by Suz email@example.com
Disclaimer - Paramount have hired a lout.
Okay, a 'Coda' coda. Could be considered a companion piece to 'Taking Flight' and 'Revival'.
He knew he had something of a bad reputation when it came to piloting shuttles. He'd certainly damaged, crashed or destroyed enough of them since stepping foot on Voyager. Actually it had started before that when he destroyed his ship to help save hers. Since then his success rate with piloting ships or shuttles had gone rapidly downhill.
Problem was, he'd always been able to handle it before. The kind jokes and taunts that were never meant in cruelty actually made him laugh sometimes, but Chakotay couldn't help but notice that no one had made a joke about this latest crash. And he knew why.
It was the shuttle crash where she had died.
The others he'd been able to laugh off; no one else had been in danger except for himself. But this one was different. *He* had been piloting and *she* had died. He hadn't even been injured and didn't require any further treatment from the Doctor beyond a quick tricorder scan to confirm what they'd all known anyway.
But she'd died. She'd lain on the rough surface of a stormy planet, still, quiet, pale where he'd been anything but. The guilt was overwhelming.
After confirming that Kathryn was absolutely fine - at least physically - he went to the holodeck. Discovering that holodeck one was busy he entered the parameters for the holoprogramme he wanted into holodeck two and entered, pulling off his uniform top as he went.
Reaching the middle of the bare holodeck grid he pulled his arms out of the jacket and flung it one side. Soon the rest of his clothes were removed and he padded naked towards one corner.
"Computer: begin programme."
In front of him a simple shower appeared. There wasn't much too it, just a nozzle on a tiled surface, the water pouring out.
Stepping under the water he kept his eyes open, his head bowed.
It wasn't enough.
"Computer: raise water temperature by five degrees."
"Computer: increase water pressure by ten percent."
The liquid pounded down on him, the floor, the wall. Leaning his body forward he rested his weight on his arms which leant against the wall, splaying his hands. Lowering his head further he closed his eyes and something akin to the murmur of a name emerged.
The water continued falling, turning his skin red.
"You've lost weight."
He recognised the voice. He knew how she would be standing; hip jaunting off in one direction, arms crossed over her chest, a wry grin on her mouth and concern in her eyes. He stayed where he was.
A towel appeared next to him in her hands. The arms of her uniform were getting wet from the spraying water but she didn't move.
"Take this," she ordered. "I refuse to speak to you if you insist on being naked, no matter how good a friend you are."
He stayed where he was.
"This is so typical of you!" she growled, throwing the towel at him. "You tell me and the entire population of this ship to come and see you if they have a problem, but whenever you have one you won't talk to anyone! You always have to deal with it privately, keep it to yourself." When she still received no response, B'Elanna growled again and turned away.
A wet hand grabbing her wrist stopped her from leaving.
"Stay," he said, head still lowered.
Some of her frustration ebbed and as he released her she bent down to pick up the now-soggy towel and got herself even wetter in the progress. "Kahless," she muttered, but held out the towel to him anyway.
He took it from her slowly and stepped away as he wrapped it around himself and ordered the water to stop. The now soaking wet towel wasn't going to be much use at all, so she ordered the computer to produce another dry one.
"Thanks," he said, still avoiding looking at her by using the towel to quickly rub over his hair.
Eventually he raised his eye and looked at how she was standing; hip jaunting off in one direction, arms crossed over her chest, a wry grin on her mouth and concern in her eyes. If it had been another day he would have smiled.
With a wet towel wrapped around his waist he used the dry one on his chest and listened as she spoke.
"Most people use their own quarters to take a shower."
"But I'd have to take a sonic shower. I wanted water."
She nodded. "Well the Captain has one. You could have asked her-oh I see." B'Elanna commented at the reaction on his face as she had mentioned that particular crewmember. "*This* is about the Captain."
"Stow it Torres. You knew before you came in here that this was about the Captain."
Ordering a chair from the computer, he sat down shortly after it materialised and continued drying himself off.
Taking a cue from him, she ordered another seat and sat next to him.
"I'm right though. You do this every time. Hide away from the rest of us so you can deal with it."
He rubbed at an arm. "It works, doesn't it? I always manage to make peace with whatever's happened."
"Yeah," she snorted "Eventually. But don't you think that talking it out with someone might be healthier than scalding yourself in hot water? I swear you've never looked that red. Not even that time you burst in on me and my vibrator-"
"Do we have to bring that up again?"
B'Elanna grinned and leant towards him. "No. But you know I'm always here to talk."
"I know," he agreed, and touched her arm. "It's just not how I do things."
She thought over his words for a few moments. "Maybe you should learn."
"Maybe *you* should," he suggested.
"And what is that supposed to mean?"
"Not much," he said far too innocently. "I've just noticed the amount of time Tom has been spending hanging around you lately. Is there anything you'd like to talk about?"
Her defences instantly went up. "I have no idea what you're talking about." She cracked. "What has he been saying? I am going to *kill*-and you can stop doing that." she suddenly added, glaring at him.
"Changing the subject to something you know will provoke me."
"Ah," he grinned "so I was right."
B'Elanna folded her arms over her chest. "Shove it."
Her mouth hung open. "Chakotay!"
He chuckled. "You should be glad. You've made me smile again."
B'Elanna's mouth remained open as she figured out what to say. "I guess I did, huh? I didn't even realise it..."
"Sometimes that's the best way to go about it. Things that are pre-planned don't always come off as intended."
"I suppose not...but some things do." She smiled as he regarded her with a quizzical look. "For example, for further therapy I would recommend a visit to the Captains ready room to check on her progress and...take her a flower of some kind. Something nice."
"A flower?" he asked, raising his eyebrows.
"Do you realise the flack I'll get for that? I'll never hear the end of it."
B'Elanna grinned. "Then she'll appreciate it even more." Before he responded she continued. "But I suggest you get dressed first. Unless you really want to give her something to remember..."
Standing from her chair she shrugged. "So you've got a nice butt. I couldn't help but notice."
Chakotay shook his head. "But did you have to bring it up?"
B'Elanna screwed her face up before heading towards the exit. "I'm not touching that with a ten foot hydro-spanner."
Leaving holodeck two, B'Elanna headed towards the turbolift next to holodeck one. As she pressed the button requesting a 'lift, the doors to holodeck one opened and Tuvok stepped out. They regarded each other almost guiltily for a moment, before stepping into the turbolift.
They rode in silence for a few seconds.
"Yes. The Commander?"
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