Disclaimers: This story is mine, but the characters are owned by you-know-who. No copyright infringement intended, inferred, or implied.

Series: Voyager
Codes: J, T, C
Written: October 28, 1998
Rating: G

Summary: Spoiler alert! How could events in 'Night' be tied in with those in 'Extreme Risk'?

Author's Notes: This might not make much sense if you've not seen the season premeire of Voyager, "Night" and the subsequent episode, "Extreme Risk." I dedicate this to all my buddies at JetC14. You all are awesome!!! Cofliedio!!!

Part 3
Reaching Out

October 1998 : Saffron

B'Elanna sat alone in her quarters, lights at fifty percent. Today was the first time, in a long time that she had felt a glimmer of an emotion. But still, for the most part, she felt numb. Nevertheless, Chakotay was right. She had to find another way to get herself to feel.

The door chimed.

"Come in."

Kathryn Janeway appeared at the door.

B'Elanna stood up, out of respect for her rank.

Kathryn waved at her to sit back down. "I'm not here in an official capacity, Lieutenant," knowing full well the irony of her statement and the use of B'Elanna's title. Kathryn hair was slightly unkempt; her jacket unzipped partially revealed the gray tank top underneath. She looked tired as she stepped into the room. "I just wanted to see how you were doing?"

B'Elanna gestured for her to sit down, but didn't look at Kathryn, but instead, turned her head toward the viewport.

They sat in silence for a few moments. As B'Elanna stared out the viewport, Kathryn studied her face.

Kathryn was the first to speak. "So, how are you doing?"

B'Elanna didn't look at her. "I'm fine."

A bit of command tone creeped into Kathryn's voice. "Never kid a kidder, B'Elanna. I saw the look in your eyes when we were in sickbay. It was a look that was all to familiar." Kathryn leaned in toward her. "I know, OK?"

B'Elanna turned her head and trained her dark eyes on Kathryn's gray eyes, noticing for the first time, the hints of blue that sparkled in them.

"I don't know if you recall my little disappearance act lately?" The corner of Kathryn's mouth curled up producing a half smile.

"Actually, I did. My concern for you helped me not to focus so much on what I was 'not' feeling."

Suddenly uncomfortable, Kathryn stood up. "And I…I appreciate that concern…if not then, I do now. I just wanted to let you know the someone truly understands and will listen if need be."

B'Elanna stood up and stared eye to eye with Kathryn. "And what about you?"

Kathryn's eyes blinked faster, as she tried to answer. "I…I'm working it out."

B'Elanna press further. "How?"

Kathryn tried to rise above B'Elanna, into command mode, voice barely wavering, "I didn't come here to talk about me."

"Didn't you?"

Kathryn's face turned slightly pale. Was she that transparent? Had it been that long since she reached out to another human being that she had forgotten how? Her normal direct demeanor wavered.

B'Elanna then did something rare. She reached out and gently touched Kathryn's arm and squeezed it reassuringly.

Kathryn was surprised at her instinct to pull away. She forced herself not to.

Despite the moment of closeness, B'Elanna couldn't bring herself to use Kathryn's first name.

"Captain. I'm discovering that showing vulnerability does not necessarily make you weak. I am continually reminded of this in my relationships with Tom and Chakotay." B'Elanna paused before she wen on. "You have isolated yourself, increasingly, over the last 4 years. That might have worked back in Alpha Quadrant, but here, severed from the Federation and other support systems you had outside of your command position, it's not working. And not matter how hard you try, it won't."

B'Elanna felt Kathryn's arm shaking in the loose grip of her hand.

"Talk to Chakotay. Talk to Tuvok. You can even talk to me. I might not be much help to you right now, as I am working my way back, but…you've got to connect with another person."

Kathryn carefully pulled her arm away from B'Elanna's hand, still feeling her fingers burning into her skin.

Even though Chakotay has said the same thing to her, it was as though she was hearing those words for the first time.

A lump developed in her throat as she patted B'Elanna's shoulder a couple of times. "Thank you, B'Elanna. I guess I needed to hear that. I appreciate your candor."

B'Elanna smiled. "Have you known me to be anything but?"

Kathryn turned to leave but looked back at B'Elanna before leaving. " You know you can talk to me to, right?"

B'Elanna nodded. Kathryn smiled and left the room. Within minutes, she found her self in front of Chakotay's door.

The doors opened before she could press the keypad for entry.

A surprised Chakotay looked down at her. She looked forward, into his chest.

"Kathryn?"

"I…" She glanced up briefly at his face, her face warm in inexplicable embarrassment. "I think I need…a friend."

As Chakotay backed up to allow her into room, the doors closed behind her.


FINIS

To my other stories:

 Resolutions Vignette  No Longer Alone  All or Nothing
 What He Wants  Pursuit of Closure "Night" Prequel
"Night" Sequel Reaching Out The Hunt
Thank you for being a friend The Encounter If you like Kathryn Janeway
The Dream Gotcha Mad Scientist Janeway
Remembering Kathryn Vignette Series It's Never to Early for That
Sex & Ice Heat & Insomnia  

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