Toby The Targ by Alicia

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Toby the Targ
By: Alicia (J0J0_77@hotmail.com)
(VOY, P/T, G)

Summary: Remember the episode 'Tsunkatse' where Tom mentions B'Elanna's stuffed toy to 7? Here's the story.

Spoiler Warning: Tsunkatse

Disclaimer: Not mine, Paramount's. They own it all. So please, don't sue. I'll return them when I'm through.

@~~~~~>~~~~

"I hate these missions," B'Elanna complained, wrapping the thick blanket around her. She was cold, scared (even though she'd never admit it) and not the tiniest bit sleepy. She was currently on a survey mission, along with Tom and Chakotay, to the Hubris system where they were charting new forms of nourishment. Neelix, Harry, and Lieutenant Walker were in its sister system doing the same. This particular mission entailed spending three nights in the shuttle, which was docked on the planet's surface. She'd always hated overnight missions, mainly for the reason that she had no clue what was out there that the sensors weren't picking up.

"Come here, B'Elanna. I'll scare away the big bad monsters," Tom teased, slipping his arms around her waist from behind. Usually, he'd have found her fist in his stomach at a crack like that (in front of Chakotay, nonetheless!), but she was truly frightened. She flipped on her other side and curled up in his arms, letting the feeling of him reassure her and chase away any invisible demons that might have been following her.

"Domesticated already. I must commend you, Tom. I didn't think you had it in you. Hell, I didn't think *anyone* had it in them," Chakotay sleepily joked, referring to the sudden taming of B'Elanna's wild temper.

"Chakotay, it's a good thing I'm warm," B'Elanna murmured, her voice muffled by Tom's chest. The two men just chuckled and settled in for a nights rest.

~°~°~

"She'll never admit it . . . but she was terrified," Chakotay laughed, leaning forward on his elbows. Janeway chuckled and brushed a strand of reddish brown hair away from her face. Raising the wine to her lips, she shook her head.

"I don't know about her. One minute she has the wildest temper I've ever encountered, and the next she's a terrified little girl," the captain mused with another chuckle. Chakotay smiled and reached for the wine bottle. "Maybe you and Tom can put your heads together and come up with a way to rid her of this ridiculous fear," she suggested. Chakotay stopped and looked at her like she was insane.

"Uh-uh. She'd rip my lungs out and use them as a door stop," he said with all seriousness. "She may be scared of the dark, but she is *not* going to put up with me interfering. Tom, maybe. But not me."

"True. In any case, you should talk to Tom about it. I can't assign him to every mission she goes on," Janeway said, holding up her glass and letting him pour more wine into it. "I think this is my last glass," she said, taking a sip. "Everything's getting fuzzier and fuzzier."

"That's the best way to fully enjoy the evening," Chakotay said, leaning over and kissing her across the table.

"You know we're going to regret this in the morning, right?" Janeway said, her voice not giving any signs of reluctance.

"I know, and I don't care." All thoughts of B'Elanna and her little problem were forgotten as Chakotay came around the side of the table and lifted the almost drunk captain out of her chair and carried her into the bedroom.

~°~°~

Tom leaned over the computer, his brow wrinkled in concentration. He scanned down the list of items again, hoping to find something that caught his attention. Elephants, lions, tigers, puppy dogs . . . no, none of these were right.

After five more minutes of searching, his eyes widened in excitement and he smiled. "Perfect!"

~°~°~

Humming quietly to herself, B'Elanna slid on a pair of dark blue capri pants and a white tank top. Slipping her bare feet into a pair of white sling sandal s and running a comb through her dark waves, she headed towards the door. She was meeting Tom on the Holodeck for a little R&R on one of her favorite beaches.

Her bikini was already on under her clothes, and she had a clip for her hair. After that damned away mission, she really needed the sun beating on her bare skin. She arrived in front of the Holodeck and keyed in the access code.

Stepping inside, she could see the endless stretch of golden sand and the cerulean skies dotted with pale white clouds. The water looked warm and inviting, its dark blue waves lapping gently at the surf.

She spotted Tom at the shoreline, staring out at the crashing waves in the distance. As she approached, she saw that he had a package tucked under his right arm. "Hi," she said, coming to him from his left side and placing her head on his shoulder.

"Hey," he replied, smiling. He leaned his head on hers momentarily, and they both watched the seagulls flying in silence. Tom broke it, bringing his head back up and looking at her. "Want to go sit down?"

She nodded against his shoulder, rising and taking his free arm. "What's in the box?" she asked, curiosity finally getting the better of her. Tom smiled, sliding the box over to her.

"Go ahead and look," he said. Outwardly, he smiled, but inwardly he was terrified. She smiled at him, untying the bow and lifting the lid off the box while he braced for impact.

"What . . . what is this?" she asked, sounding more confused than angry. She held up the gift, a medium sized stuffed targ with a red bow around its neck.

"It's a stuffed animal," he said, deciding to play it safe.

"Yes, that much I can tell. But why did you get it for me?"

"Well," he began, hesitantly averting his eyes. "I know how much you hate going on away missions without me . . . " Woah, did that sound as conceited to her as it did to him? "So I figured this might help a little."

B'Elanna narrowed her eyes doubtfully, her eyes going from the toy to her boyfriend.

"See the, uh, the ribbon around his neck?" She nodded. "Look on the underside."

She obediently looked, a smile crossing her face as she read the writing on it. "'Wherever you are, near or far. I'll be here, have nothing to fear.' Tom, that's so sweet," she murmured, reaching across the blanket to give him a hug.

Tom let out a sigh of relief and moved the box out of the way so he could lay down beside her. She rested her head on Tom's chest and hugged the toy under her arm. "Toby's perfect. Thank you."

"Toby?"

"Yes. Toby the Targ. I think it fits," she said, closing her eyes.

Tom kissed the top of her head. "Me, too."

~°End°~