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“Do all Klingon women bite?” Kathryn asks, examining the bruises on her breasts that trail down her stomach. Those were just the ones she could see, her neck felt a little more sensitive than she cared to admit and didn’t want to even touch it.

“I wouldn’t know,” B’Elanna replies. “Never been with one.”

She hands Kathryn a dermal regenerator before settling back against the pillows of her bed. Kathryn chuckles before running the regenerator over the worst of the bruises first. She should’ve known B'Elanna would have a regenerator too, normally she does this back in her own quarters, she’s gotten used to the engineers rough treatment.

Today though she can feel one on her ass she knows she’s not going to be able to reach on her own. It’s hard enough to get the Doctor to treat her headaches without an inquisition, she can’t imagine how she would explain a bite mark on her backside.

She rolls over onto her stomach and clears her throat. B'Elanna looks down her body and has the grace to blush slightly. She takes the regenerator back and starts to run it over the bite marks there.

“Never interested? Or never had the chance?” Kathryn asks.

“Hmmm?” B'Elanna finally drags her eyes away from the captain's ass

“Klingon women.”

“Oh, not interested in Klingons in general,” she says, continuing with her work and Kathryn appreciates her fine attention to detail. More so when she’s done and she can turn over and lie on her back more comfortably. “I don’t like to be dominated,” B'Elanna continues.

“You don’t say,” Kathryn says with a grin. B'Elanna just rolls her eyes and lies back down.

“Humans suit me just fine,” she continues. “You suit me just fine.”

Kathryn smiles and settles back on the bed with her. It’s smaller than her own, and they’re pressed from shoulder to thigh. She doesn’t usually stay, she’s usually dressed and back to her own quarters by now, her own bed.

Tonight she didn’t particularly feel like rushing out of the room and out of B'Lanna's company. She getting tired of rushing, of running, and the Delta Quadrant has been unforgiving of late. They lie side by side on the bed and there is as much satisfaction to be had from it as there is from the several orgasms she experienced earlier.

It’s not so much the sex any more, but the contact she craves.

She suspects the same is true for B'Elanna.

B'Elanna who is already dozing off, sated and smiling slightly. Kathryn pulls the covers up over their bodies, and the other woman stirs, turns to lie on her side to look at her.

“Are you staying?” she asks. There’s not want or need in her voice, none of the desperation she’s heard in the voices in other people, other partners. People who wanted more than she was willing to give. Wanted to give.

B'Elanna accepts whatever Kathryn offers. She cares, of that she’s sure, but in here, it’s exactly what they need and no more.

Even if what they need is changing. Evolving.

“You can,” she continues, eyes closing again. “I don’t mind.”

Kathryn considers it. Considers falling asleep and waking up next to her and oh she almost wants to.

“I can’t,” she manages.

“It’s too much,” B'Elanna mumbles.

Kathryn doesn’t reply but finally pulls herself up and out of the bed. Her clothes are exactly where she left them, in a neat pile on a chair. Some nights they’re strewn across the floor. Tonight was a less frenzied, less needy affair. She’s glad of it.

“It’s changing.”

Kathryn almost doesn’t hear her, her eyes are still closed and she’s snuggled down into the covers. It’s cute and it’s at these times she really cares about B'Elanna, really wants to be with her.

“We’re getting too close,” she tells her. “I mean, isn’t that why we’re here instead of with...other people.”

B'Elanna still doesn’t open her eyes and Kathryn continues dressing, sitting on the edge of the bed briefly to pull on her boots and lingering a little.

“It was.”

She opens her eyes then, a frown on her face, and bids her good night. Kathryn calls for the computer to turn out the lights before she slips out of the room and into her own.

B'Elanna is right.

She hates to admit, denial has been much easier out here – she has to concentrate on survival, getting home, keeping everything in one piece. It’s easy to deny all the feelings she has for the people on this ship with all that to do.

It’s worked well enough but the longer she is here the harder it is to turn away from these people. From B'Elanna. From...others.

Still, it’s not really the time to think about it and as B'Elanna shifts to kiss her again, hands searching for skin she forgets about it.

For a while.

It’s easy to do with B'Elanna lips and hands on her body, with her teeth tugging and tearing her skin in places. It’s easy to give into the pleasure the other woman is giving her. Easy to return the favour, return the pleasure, loss herself in the other woman’s soft skin and oddly sweet growls. She chuckled the first time she heard them, the first time she thought that; now she just found comfort in them, in the familiar.

It’s not until she’s dozing off to the hum of the dermal regenerator on her backside that she realises she’s far too comfortable.

Still, when the other woman is done and she’s perfect again (B'Elanna's words that make her blush bright), she curls up under the covers with her. B’Elanna doesn’t stiffen in surprise as she expects and she’s aware this has changed for B’Elanna already. It’s not much easier for her, for different reasons, but she’s settled into this thing between them much easier.

She did right from the beginning.

“Better,” she mumbles and Kathryn smiles.

She falls to sleep knowing it shouldn’t last. But it might all the same.