Part 34

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"Oof!"

Was all Tom was able to say as Torres drove her boot harder against his chest, trying to scoot out of the panel hole.

She was unconcerned, apparently, with the phaser he thrust in her face.

She didn't have a reason to be concerned with it after she kicked him in the shoulder with her other leg.

The phaser dropped out of his hand.

He heard it fall to the floor and couldn't recover it in time.

In time for Torres to somehow scoot the rest of the way out of the panel.

Unfortunately, the limited space in the Jefferies Tube meant there was no room for her to get out without unintentionally landing on top of Tom. She fell on top of him, their legs interlocking as she landed.

She continued trying to kick him, but she didn't have any leverage and it was equivalent to being stepped on.

It still hurt.

He felt one of her hands try to unclip the phaser from his belt, the phaser he'd dropped was trapped somewhere under their entangled legs. Her other arm wasn't doing anything, she was holding it behind her back as if to protect it.

He grabbed the hand she was using to retrieve the phaser, held the wrist and didn't let go. Squeezed it as hard as he could.

She lurched forward and bit him on the face.

That hurt. That hurt a lot.

He felt blood begin to seep down his neck.

He grabbed her chin and shoved her away.

Her teeth closed on his fingers. Hard.

He jerked his arm away, letting go of her hand and her chin as he did so.

She moved incredibly fast, bringing one knee down on his stomach, kneeling on the floor with the other. As she shifted, she jostled his injured foot.

His sharp intake of breath could have been from the pain that whistled up his leg or from the sudden compression of one of his lungs.

He turned his head just in time to avoid her fist, which bounced off the floor, right next to his face.

Before she could draw back her arm again, he grabbed the phaser that at some point had been kicked up by someone's feet.

He brought his arm up so that the phaser was mere inches in front of Torres' face.

"Stop it."

Torres froze.

Momentarily.

She looked very much like she was contemplating doing something to get that phaser out of his hand.

Tom sat up, shoving her knee off his stomach.

"Stop it," he said again, somehow thinking that repeating it with more force would make her more inclined to obey him.

He was wrong.

Very wrong.

Torres didn't even do it on purpose.

She sat back on her knees, eyes glued to the phaser. As she leaned back, she put a significant amount of her weight on his injured foot.

He cried out, trying to get his foot out from underneath her.

Tom's sole focus was on freeing his foot, not on keeping a tight grip on the phaser, as it should have been.

B'Elanna didn't know why Paris suddenly started screaming. Or why his legs started thrashing around. Or why his hold on the phaser suddenly loosened substantially enough that she was almost able to get it away from him.

Almost.

She grabbed it and tried to tug it out of his grasp. He let it go. Then, looking rather shocked that he'd actually released the phaser, he seized it again, with both hands.

Tug-o-war with a phaser isn't very fun.

And it's even less fun when you're the one on the business end of the phaser.

She saw his fingers move over the controls, inching toward the firing button. She tried one last time to pull it away from him, but she knew he had the advantage of using both hands to hold on to it. Even if she'd managed to bruise one when she bit him, he was still able to hold tightly with both.

She knew she had the speed to let go of the phaser and to move out of the way of the phaser beam.

She did it, for the most part.

The part that didn't was her right shoulder blade. The phaser beam skimmed over her right shoulder.

She howled, barely hearing the sound of the beam frying the systems of the open panel over her own voice.

She grabbed her right shoulder with her left hand, spitting the filthiest, most obscene Klingon curses and insults she knew at Paris.

He didn't know what she was saying, but it obvious wasn't praising him.

She held her throbbing shoulder and watched him. He moved away from her, phaser held at ready. He rubbed his cheek where she'd bitten him.

"Ow," he muttered to himself, looking at the blood coming off on his fingers. He looked at the teeth marks on his hand, and shot her a suffering look.

"Isn't biting some sort of Klingon mating ritual?" Paris asked sarcastically.

She glared at him harder, hissing more Klingon insults.

"What were you doing in there?"

He waved the phaser toward the panel opening.

B'Elanna didn't say a thing.

Paris looked irritated. He raised the phaser and fired, the beam hitting just to the left of B'Elanna's other shoulder.

She jumped involuntarily.

"Cutting off life support to the Bridge," she said finally.

"Did you finish?"

He looked like he hoped she had.

"No. But, you did."

She eyed the smoking remnants of electronics behind her.

"You're welcome," he said.

She didn't think she could glare any harder.

"Chakotay to Torres."

Paris actually looked around, like Chakotay was somewhere in the Jefferies Tube with them.

B'Elanna smirked.

"Answer it," Paris told her.

B'Elanna tapped her comm badge.

"What?"

"Starfleet is advancing on the Shuttle Bay. Have you neutralized the Bridge yet?"

"Yes."

She stared at Paris, who suddenly looked very upset.

"Good. Continue with Plan C. Chakotay out."

Paris wiped sweat off his forehead.

"Is Chakotay in the Shuttle Bay?"

"Yes," she said, pleased to see that Paris was getting very nervous. "Along with twenty other Maquis."

"Damn!"

He actually punched the wall.

He turned back to her, phaser rising.

"I'm a dead man," he said.

Part 35 | Index page