Hold This

Summary: A day in the life of a fine first officer.

 

Characters: Chakotay, Janeway, Torres, Tuvok, EMH, Seven of Nine, Paris, Kim

Codes: Janeway/Chakotay

 

Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS owns the characters and the ship. I own the deviant things I decide to do with them.

Notes: Written for talsi74656’s Prixin Prompt Comp, to Prompt No. 9:

 

"I don't have a long time to explain - trust me, hold this".

 

And also to this tumblr prompt:

 

Boss: Know why I called you in here?
Me: Because I accidentally sent you a dick pic.
Boss (stops pouring two glasses of wine): Accidentally?

Rated T

I’m peeling off the pieces of her uniform one by one, exposing each delicious curve and hollow of creamy, lightly-freckled skin. Her fingernails are trailing over my chest, and she’s smiling up at me, that narrow-eyed, lascivious, utterly carnal smile she sometimes gives me in extremely inappropriate locations. She smiled like that on the bridge yesterday and I had to walk around for the rest of the afternoon carrying a PADD awkwardly in front of my crotch.

She says something I don’t quite catch, but as I lean in to kiss her again I don’t even care. I’ve got her bare to the waist now and my hands are eagerly mapping all that luscious flesh and she’s moaning in my ear. It’s distracting, somehow, and not in a good way. It’s insistent and repetitive, so I say “shh, Kathryn,” and start kissing my way down her throat, hardly daring to believe she’s letting me get this far.

I take her hand and push it down the front of my trousers, murmuring, “Hold this,” and her fingers curl obligingly around me but she’s making the strangest noises now, like staccato grunting but at a higher pitch, and I can actually feel my boner wilting, so I look up into her face and ask “Kathryn, are you okay?”

And she says, “The time is 0600. The time is 0600,” and then she’s gone and I wake, heart pounding, sweaty and very much alone.

Beep… The time is 0600, bleats the computer.

“Shut the fuck up,” I growl, and the computer, blessedly, does.

I look down at my hand wrapped around the pathetic vestiges of my erection, and sigh. It’s just another day on the Starship Voyager.

 

=/\=

 

I step into the mess hall at 0630 and immediately start hoping like hell that whatever it is I’m smelling isn’t breakfast.

Harry’s standing at the galley counter with his back to me as Neelix, dressed in his usual garish chef’s hat, yammers at him, vigorously stirring a bowl of something. I make my way over and clap Harry on the shoulder.

“Commander!” Neelix bubbles effusively. “And how are you this morning, sir?”

“Fine, thanks Neelix.” That strange smell tickles my nostrils again and I can’t help sniffing the air. “Uh, Neelix? What is that smell?”

“Ah! It’s called aspugia, Commander. I picked up the recipe when we stopped at that last trading station. Invigorating, isn’t it?” He holds out the bowl so I can see. Inside it is some kind of creamy, semi-viscous substance.

I recoil slightly and exchange an unnerved look with Harry. “That’s the breakfast special?”

“Yes! Aspugia is actually considered a delicacy in this sector, sir. It’s found in the stalk of the testosi plant. You have to squeeze the stalk to extract it, rub it a few times, give it a good whipping, and voila!”

Harry starts to blush, and I’m staring at Neelix like he’s grown Vulcan ears.

Undeterred, he continues, “Of course, it’s also a vital component of the most famous dish in this sector: embri. It’s when you mix aspugia with the albumen of an utera egg that the magic really happens.”

Harry’s bright red and coughing now, and I can feel my jaw hanging open. “And, ah, the smell? Is it supposed to be so … pungent?”

“Oh, it’s just a characteristic of the aspugia, Commander. Interesting, isn’t it? I’m not sure I’ve ever smelled anything quite like that.”

“I have.” I’m trying hard to remember when and where, but I’ve definitely smelled this before. And the sense memory is making me feel a little funny. In a good way. I think.

“Really, Commander?” Neelix screws up his spotted face.

“I have, also,” a cool voice announces from behind me. I turn around, and there’s Seven of Nine, poised and perfect in her shiny blue catsuit, striding up to the counter. “The odour is strongly reminiscent of human seminal emissions.”

I can’t help it – I leap back and stare at Neelix. “You’re feeding us spooge for breakfast?”

That’s it. Harry doubles over, giggling so hard he starts to choke. I’m torn between asking Seven how the hell she knows what spooge – excuse me, aspugia – smells like and dying of embarrassment at having just admitted, in front of three of my senior officers, that I’m quite acquainted with the scent of nut butter myself. But before I can decide how to feel, Neelix is vaulting over the counter to slap the gasping Harry on the back. “Hold this, Commander!” he cries, shoving the bowl of spunk into my arms.

Unfortunately, as he one-arms it over the bench, his big, clumsy, Talaxian foot clips the underside of the bowl and it flies out of my reluctant grasp and into the air.

The four of us gaze up at the bowl as it sails above our heads, flips over, and deposits its contents all over my uniform jacket and Seven’s admittedly hard-to-miss chest.

Harry howls with strangled, hysterical laughter and literally falls to the floor, clutching his stomach and rolling into the foetal position.

“Oh, gosh,” Neelix is stammering. “I’m so sorry, Commander, Seven! Here, let me –”

He grabs a kitchen towel and starts dabbing at Seven’s catsuit.

She gives him the skunk eye. “Remove your hand,” she orders, “or I will introduce your testicles to your tonsils.”

Harry laughs louder.

I stare down at the alien breakfast jism dribbling down my front and decide I have a choice between joining Harry on the floor and beating a hasty retreat. Wisely, I opt for the latter.

 

=/\=

Showered and changed for the second time this morning, I make it to the bridge with ten minutes to spare.

“Good morning, Commander,” Kathryn greets me as I take my seat beside her. “You’re on duty bright and early.”

“I could say the same for you,” I respond, trying to avoid her ever-penetrating gaze by tapping into the centre console. I’m no stranger to experiencing erotic dreams about my commanding officer, or to rubbing one out in my morning shower while fantasising about her doing improbable things to me, but I always find it hard to look her in the eye after a particularly vivid episode. And boy, was this morning’s fantasy vivid. I could almost have believed she had her mouth on my –

“Chakotay?” A pair of slender fingers snaps in front of my face.

Oh. Shit. She was talking to me, and I just zoned out. In fact, I may have drooled. Crap.

“Sorry, Captain. You were saying?”

“Would you join me in my ready room for a moment, Commander?”

Shit, it’s The Voice. The one that brooks no disobedience. “Yes, ma’am,” I mumble, trudging behind her to the ready room and trying not to let Paris catch me checking out her ass. What can I say? It’s a reflex.

“Coffee, black,” she orders the minute the door closes behind us, then with a glance over her shoulder, amends, “Make that two.”

No cream or sugar for me. I must have really pissed her off if she’s making me drink her devil’s brew straight up.

“Here, hold this.” She hands me both cups while she shuffles a stack of PADDs on her desk. “Something wrong this morning, Chakotay?”

“No, Captain. Everything’s fine. Thank you very much for asking.”

She gives me the side-eye. “At ease, Chakotay. And it’s Kathryn.”

Oh. It’s Kathryn. And here I thought she was about to bust my balls down to crewman. Suddenly cheery, I take a sip of liquid tar. Spirits, it’s strong enough to put hairs on my chest. Then again, I could use some, considering I only have three.

“You seem a little out of sorts,” she’s saying while the inside of my mouth puckers so hard I can practically feel my uvula trying to climb out my nostrils. “Didn’t you sleep well?”

“Er …” I try very hard not to blush, “not exactly.” I slept just fine, actually, Kathryn, since you ask. Waking up was the problem.

“Oh. It’s just that I thought I heard you through the bulkhead, thrashing around a bit. It sounded like you were having a bad dream.”

“Thrashing … around?” Jeez, what was I doing? Humping the mattress?

“Yes. And you were sort of … moaning.” She drifts close to me, looking at me kindly with those big, pretty blue eyes. “I almost came over to see if you were ill.”

I was moaning? Shit. Spirits. At least tell me I wasn’t moaning her name …

She places a hand on my chest and my wang responds like Pavlov’s dog, starting to sit up and beg. Down, boy. If I didn’t have my hands full of coffee, I’d clasp them casually in front of my tented trousers.

“At one point I even thought you were calling out for me,” she continues. I’m only half-listening, too busy concentrating on conjugating verbs in my head. I screw, you screw, we screw. Future perfect: we will have screwed. Shit, I’m screwed. Do verbs get conjugal rights in the brig?

“Chakotay?” She’s right up in my face now; any closer and she’s going to find out that’s definitely not a phaser in my pocket. I shrink back and she follows. I take another blind step backward and my butt collides with the edge of her desk.

“Uh, yes, Cap-Kathryn?”

She’s still got her hand on my chest, and she’s giving me that smile. The smile. And now I’m at full salute. Hell, Kathryn. Sometimes I wonder if she does it on purpose.

Wait.

Is she doing it on purpose?

“You know,” she purrs in that throaty voice of hers, “you’re not the only one who’s a dab hand at dream interpretation, Chakotay.”

“I’m not?” It comes out as a somewhat breathless squeak. I clear my throat in a manly fashion.

“I’m not so bad at it myself,” she murmurs in a tone my brain decides to classify as sultry. Sultry. Fuck, I’m in deep, deep trouble here. “So why don’t you tell me what you were dreaming about, and we can find out what it means together?”

She lets her hand drift ever so slightly south, and I drop the coffee cups I’ve completely forgotten I was holding. One plummets to the carpet. The other falls onto her desk. Where it bounces once, tips sideways, and spills its – mercifully cooled – contents all over my uniform pants.

I utter something witty and suave, like “Ack”, and shuffle sideways, my freed hands covering my slowly-subsiding crotch-rocket, wishing Starfleet-issue fabric wasn’t so unforgivingly clingy when it gets wet.

“Are you all right?” Kathryn sounds concerned, but if I’m not mistaken there’s the slightest twinkle in her eye. She finds this funny, the little minx!

“Fine. Great. Perfect,” I assure her, wondering when my vocal cords decided to inhabit a register at least an octave higher than normal. “If you’ll excuse me, Captain, I’d better go and make myself decent.”

“Oh, don’t go to any trouble on my account ...” Her reply, coloured unmistakably by a giggle, floats out behind me as I squelch through the door as fast as my sodden boots can carry me.

 

=/\=

 

After my third sojourn in the ‘fresher – during which, I confess, I take the opportunity to relieve some more pent-up tension – I decide to forgo returning to the bridge in favour of touring the lower decks. Deck 15 is about as far from Kathryn and her capriciously wicked ways as I can get. Even the anti-social Mortimer Harren must get a little lonely on occasion. I’m sure he’ll appreciate some personal attention from the ship’s first officer and unofficial counsellor.

Like fuck. Ten minutes into my genial and increasingly heroic attempts to draw Harren into conversation and receiving ever-surlier grunts in response, he rounds on me. “Is there something I can do for you, Commander?” he demands. “Because if you’re not here to offer a fresh and exciting perspective on Reinhold’s Eighth Theorem of Continuous Stellar Matter Ejection, I’d rather you return to whatever it is you do and leave me in peace.”

Right. Considering I’ve probably had enough of continuous matter ejection – stellar or otherwise – for one day, I make my excuses and head up to Engineering. At least B’Elanna will be pleased to see me.

“Nicoletti, watch the core pressure,” she’s shouting as I enter the main engineering level. “Make sure it doesn’t get above ten thousand kilopascals. Vorik, where’s that damn calibration frequency? What are you doing, writing a Vulcan sonnet about it, for Kahless’ sake? Hey! Dalby! Hurry up with that efficiency report –”

“Anything I can do?” I interrupt.

“Oh, Chakotay. Sure. I need to realign the power relays to the gravimetric displacement manifolds, and I could use a steady pair of hands. Hey, petaQ!” she breaks off, yelling in Freddy Bristow’s direction. “Didn’t I tell you to keep an eye on antimatter containment? Do you want this ship to smear itself all over subspace the minute we go to warp six?”

Okay, B’Elanna on a tear is something I can deal with. I grab her by the elbow. “Come on, Lieutenant. Which Jeffries tube are we gracing with our presence today?”

“Fine,” she mutters and stomps off, pausing only to shout at nobody in particular, “If those warp coils aren’t properly calibrated by the time I get back, you’ll all be cleaning the waste conduits with your tongues. On Gamma shift,” and disappears into the Jeffries tube hatch.

“Good luck, Commander,” Dalby mutters as I pass.

I have a feeling I’ll need it. But I’m Maquis, and I don’t scare easily.

Or so I remind myself as I get on my hands and knees and follow the sound of B’Elanna’s vicious grumbling to junction 18-epsilon.

She wrenches off the conduit cover with marginally more force than necessary and immediately dives head-first into the manifold cavity. The sound of her cursing doesn’t abate, but at least it’s slightly muffled. “Everything okay in there?” I ask, more to remind her I’m here than because I actually want to know.

She backs out, a streak of grease on her forehead, and glares at me. “Apparently,” she spits, “my so-called engineering staff can’t tell a gravimetric caliper from a gravy boat. Honestly, this is child’s play, Chakotay. How am I supposed to keep this ship from falling apart when I’m surrounded by idiots?”

“Well, that’s what I’m here for,” I reply cheerfully.

She raises an eyebrow. “To be an idiot?”

Right. Walked into that one. “What can I do to help?” I ask with exaggerated patience.

“You can hold this.” She shoves an evil-looking tool into my hand. “Keep it as steady as you can.”

I squash in beside her, holding the tool at an awkward angle while she does impressive things with a tricorder and a hyperspanner, cursing all the while.

“So,” I try, in an effort to mollify the Klingon mood, “what’s got you so hot under the collar?”

“Apart from the rank incompetence of my staff, you mean?” B’Elanna huffs, blowing an errant strand of hair out of her face. “Let’s just say I’m not too happy with anyone who’s attached to a penis right now.”

I do my best not to be too obvious about sidling out of her reach.

“Oh, not you,” she snorts, noticing. “I don’t think of you as having a penis, Chakotay.”

“Thanks a lot,” I mutter.

“Don’t get your panties in a bunch. You should be used to it, anyway.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

She flicks me a glance. “Never mind. Where was I?”

“You were explaining why you’d like to castrate half the ship but consider me exempt because I’m apparently already emasculated.”

“Right, exactly. Well, actually, I only want to castrate Tom.”

“Tom Paris is manlier than I am?” Spirits give me strength.

“And maybe Harry. Oh, and Carey and Vorik could stand to lose a ball or two. Do Vulcans have balls? Chakotay, hold it steady!”

“Sorry.” I tighten my grip on the gravitic exocaliper or whatever it is I’m holding. My hand is starting to cramp, possibly because it’s already tired from its morning acquaintances with the penis B’Elanna doesn’t think I have. Ahem. “So, what did Paris do this time?”

“It’s what the moron didn’t do. He was supposed to book us some holodeck time tonight so I could kick his ass in Klingon martial arts, but he forgot. And then I found out he’s made a date to play Captain Proton with Harry. PetaQ,” she snarls. “Anyone would think he was scared of a little hand-to-hand combat.”

“With you?” For the first time in a while, I’m experiencing simultaneous admiration and pity for Paris. “I can’t imagine why.”

She bares her teeth at me, and I try not to cower.

“As it happens,” I say hastily, “I have some holodeck time booked tonight. How about a game of hoverball?”

B’Elanna cheers up a bit. “Sure. Thanks, Chakotay. Kicking your ass always puts me in a good mood.”

“Glad I can help.” I flex my hand, one finger at a time so I don’t drop the calibretic gravimeter or whatever it is. “So, back to why you don’t think of me as manly…?”

“Oh, Chakotay.” She laughs. “If you were any kind of man, you wouldn’t still be pining and worshiping the captain from afar. I mean, it’s been five years! When are you going to make your move? I think you should just push her up against a bulkhead and –”

~Janeway to Chakotay?~

The husky voice issuing from my commbadge startles me so much I give a high-pitched shriek – a manly one, of course – and the exothermic gravileptor slips out of my cramping fingers, impacting with the power relay and sending what feels like a hundred-megavolt shock up my arm and into my chest. There go those three carefully-cultivated chest hairs.

“Oww. Owww!”

~Chakotay, are you there? Are you planning to grace us with your presence on the bridge today?~

I’m too busy cradling my throbbing hand to my chest – that must be a third-degree burn, at least – and whimpering to answer. B’Elanna leans over me and presses my commbadge.

“Captain, it’s Lieutenant Torres. I’m taking Chakotay to Sickbay.”

~What happened?~ Kathryn sounds worried. My heart warms. Or it would, if it wasn’t already fried and cowering behind my liver right now.

“Just a minor electric shock, Captain. I’m sure he’ll be just fine in a jiffy.” She closes the channel and looks at me, cocking her head to one side. “Oh, man up, Chakotay. I’ve had worse shocks from changing a light bulb.” She grips me under the armpit and hauls me to my knees. “You should try getting hit with a painstick sometime. Now that’s exhilarating.”

 

=/\=

B’Elanna drags me to Sickbay and fills the Doctor in on my high-wattage mishap, throwing in a couple more slurs against my masculinity in the process, reminds me to report to Holodeck Two after Alpha shift, and strides out to do battle with whatever manifold – or man – gets in her way next.

Sighing in relief, I manoeuvre myself up onto a biobed and wait for some tea and sympathy, or failing that, medical attention, but it’s not to be. The Sickbay doors open again and in comes Crewman Jarvin, gingerly cradling his elbow.

“What seems to be the problem, Mr Jarvin?” asks the EMH, bustling up to him and guiding him to the neighbouring biobed.

“I think I’ve busted my –” Jarvin begins, but he’s interrupted by the swish of the doors. Crewman Anderson limps in, looking paler than usual.

“What happened here?” the Doctor asks, moving to help her to the biobed on my other side.

“Tuvok’s training program,” she answers succinctly.

Doc rolls his eyes. “I should charge Commander Tuvok for every injury he sends my way,” he starts, and then the doors open again and Ensigns Lang and Sharr stagger in, faces green-tinged.

“Let me guess,” the Doctor says sarcastically, “you’ve just come from the mess hall?”

Sharr nods faintly, clutching her stomach. “Neelix promised to make Southern fried chicken and grits for lunch because he heard me mention how much I miss my mother’s cooking.”

“And the problem would be…?”

“I think he used actual grit,” Sharr moans.

“You ate some of this abomination as well?” the Doc demands of Lang.

“No,” she whispers, paling by the minute. “Neelix also tried his hand at my mother’s cumquat jam. I don’t even want to know what the active ingredient was …” And she claps her hand over her mouth.

The Doc springs into action, shoving a bowl lightning-fast under Lang’s chin as she promptly loses her jam. The sight of Lang’s retching sets Sharr off, and the Doctor yells “Commander! Hold this!”, thrusts another bowl into my hand and pushes me in Sharr’s direction.

Only problem is, he’s picked my charred hand for the task, and it’s not up to it. The bowl slips from my fingers and clatters musically on the floor. I watch in slow-mo horror as Sharr delivers a street pizza onto my formerly pristine uniform. The spectacle of warm beige-and-orange puke dribbling lazily down to my Starfleet-issue boots makes Lang’s eyes go wide in nauseated empathy. Even the EMH’s enhanced holographic reactions aren’t quick enough to catch her next bout of projectile cookie-tossing, and a stream of creamy-coloured chunks joins the rainbow splatter on my jacket front.

Well.

Sickbay is silent. I glance down at my multi-coloured uniform, and with suave and enviable aplomb, announce, “Computer, site-to-site transport for one, directly to my quarters.”

Strangely, I’m not in the least tempted to spend my fourth shower of the day putting my right hand – or my cumquat – through any more self-abuse.

 

=/\=

I decide to forgo lunch in the mess hall and instead dial up some soup and crackers from the replicator in my office while I get on with Kathryn’s paperwork. At 1400 hours I’m paged to the bridge. It seems we’ve been hailed by some friendly aliens keen to embark on a cultural exchange.

Which, as becomes clear quite rapidly, does not mean they want a tour of the ship, a peek at our literary database, or even a personalised operatic performance from the Delta quadrant’s very own Singing Emergency Medical Hologram.

When I arrive on the bridge, Kathryn is standing in the command centre conversing across the viewscreen with a very well-endowed, very orange-skinned female wearing … not a whole lot, actually; it looks like something the women’s volleyball team in Neelix’s holoprogram would wear. I take one look at the captain, who’s sporting her most pained and diplomatic smile and massaging her temple with her fingers, and immediately step up to her side.

“Commander,” she says with visible relief. “May I present Mystic Permatan of the Arancia? Mystic, my first officer, Commander Chakotay.”

~Oh my,~ the vision in orange replies, licking her lips as she practically peels off my uniform with her eyes. ~Aren’t you just good enough to eat?~

Paris’ shoulders are shaking. He’s lucky he’s facing forward and can’t see Kathryn’s killer stare scorching a hole in his back.

 “Ah…” I’m dumbfounded, but a surreptitious glance at Kathryn, furiously kneading at her migraine while baring her teeth in a grimace, has me trying gamely to take it in stride. “I guess so? Um, it’s very nice to make your acquaintance, Mystic Permatan.”

~Oh, you can call me Missy. All my friends do.~ She giggles, leaning forward so far her assets lurch dangerously against the frail confines of her bikini top. ~And I hope we’re going to be very good friends, Cha-ko-taaaay.~

“Uh… Sure,” I answer, flashing her the dimples.

She practically salivates. ~Oh, stop it! Those are blinding!~

I shoot Kathryn a nervous glance and she cocks an eyebrow at me. Okay. I’m supposed to play along. We need supplies – as always – and I guess Ms Permatan has the goods.

~So, Chakotay – can I call you Chakotay? – how soon can I come over to your ship? I can’t wait to meet you.~

If she leans forward any further her goods are going to break for freedom. Paris claps a hand over his mouth to stifle his snickers.

“Well, uh, Missy, how about I meet you in our transporter room in an hour?”

~That long?~ Missy gives me a big orange pout, then cheers up, fluttering her eyelashes. ~I’m sure you’ll be worth the wait.~

“Ah. Yes. Um, see you then. Voyager out,” I finish quickly, and not a moment too soon. Paris slides sideways off his chair, howling with laughter.

Thank you, Mr Paris,” Kathryn says in that voice that can leave a man’s gonads with permanent trauma. “Chakotay, Tuvok, join me in my ready room.”

I’m still a little flustered as Kathryn waves me to a seat on the couch – Tuvok, as usual, prefers to stand – and smirks at me.

“Come on, Chakotay. Surely you’re used to attractive women flirting with you?”

Only one, I refrain from answering aloud, tugging on my ear.

“It does appear that Mystic Permatan’s interest in you could benefit the ship, Commander,” Tuvok intones helpfully.

“Good point, Tuvok.” Kathryn crosses one leg over the other. Her smile is positively feline now. “Make her feel at home, won’t you, Chakotay?”

In other words, get my schmooze on so we can wheedle what we need from the alien of the week. What am I, a piece of meat? I’m starting to get a little offended.

Kathryn cocks her head to one side. “Any objections, Commander?”

Oh, no. None at all, Kathryn. I’ll just offer myself up on a platter to the bodacious orange babe so B’Elanna can get her dilithium and her Engineering staff can live to serve another day. All part of the service, right?

“It would be a logical use of your interpersonal skills,” butts in Tuvok.

Now I’m really pissed.

Tuvok is still droning on. “You appear somewhat unsettled, Commander. Might I offer my assistance in regaining your emotional control?”

“Oh, that’s a wonderful idea, Tuvok,” Kathryn says, eyes gleaming. “Why don’t you show Chakotay some of the meditation techniques you’ve been working on?”

“Gladly. Commander, if you would?” Tuvok indicates I should stand up.

I stare at him suspiciously.

“Go on, Chakotay. He won’t bite.” Kathryn sparkles at me. She’s enjoying this just a little too much, but I’m such a sucker I’ll do anything to keep her smiling like that. So, reluctantly, I stand and walk over to Tuvok.

“Breathe in deeply through your nose.”

I obey.

“And out through your mouth. And again.”

After six repetitions I’m getting bored. “This isn’t exactly a new meditation technique, Tuvok.”

“There is more. Place your hands on your head.”

I shoot Kathryn a dark look, but she just widens her eyes at me in expectation. Sighing, I link my hands on top of my head. “Now what?”

“Continue breathing. Now, place your heels together, point your toes outward and bend your knees.”

I’m pretty sure I hear Kathryn muffle a giggle as I follow Tuvok’s instructions.

“Return to an upright position,” Tuvok orders. “Now, move your feet shoulder-width apart and slowly lower your arms, keeping your elbows bent. Continue breathing. Bend your knees, and allow your hands to fall to hip level. Now curl your hands into fists. Tense your muscles and hold this form.”

That’s definitely a captainly snort. I turn to glare at Kathryn and find her hiding her grin behind her hand.

“I’m sorry, Chakotay. You look just like an old-fashioned body-builder.” She snickers. “Or a gorilla.”

That’s it. I straighten up, scowling. “Have you both had your fun now? Can I go and do my job?”

Kathryn bursts into giggles.

Tuvok’s eyebrows quirk asymmetrically. “Your reaction is illogical, Commander. I am merely trying to assist.”

I’ll stick his logic up his Vulcan assist. Glowering at each of them in turn, I make my exit while I still have a shred or two of dignity.

 

=/\=

Mystic Permatan, when she materialises on the transporter pad, looks less orange than burnt-umber. It’s an interesting shade that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen before in nature. Infinite diversity in infinite combinations, though, right?

She also appears to have undressed for the occasion. If I’d thought the bikini she was wearing before was brief… Frankly, I have no idea where to look.

Missy doesn’t seem to mind that my gaze keeps straying to her … assets. She wiggles her way down from the transporter pad and immediately hands me a strange carved object that vaguely resembles a Risan horgon. “Hello, Chakotay,” she simpers. “This is for you.”

“Er, thank you. What is it?”

“A traditional Arancian greeting gift.” She tucks her arm through mine. “It’s rumoured to bring the recipient luck in life, and especially in love.”

Well, if anyone could use that kind of luck … I smile my thanks and lead Missy out of the transporter room. “Are you interested in a tour of the ship?”

“Actually,” she sidles closer, both hands curled possessively over my arm now, “your captain told me you were a fine first officer. And you certainly are fine.” She titters. “So why don’t you show me how a fine first officer spends his days?”

I laugh nervously. “It’s not all beer and skittles, but I’ll happily introduce you to my mountains of paperwork and the queue of disgruntled crew members lining the hallway outside my office door.”

Missy wrinkles her nose. “On second thought, beer and skittles sound much more interesting. Where can we get those?”

“It’s just an expression. It means fun. Pleasure. Enjoyment.”

“Ooh.” Missy bats her eyelashes at me as I usher her into the turbolift. “What are we waiting for?”

Ah. Okay. Well, there’s always the Paxau Resort. “Holodeck One,” I order the ‘lift.

The holodeck is filled with crew members from Gamma shift winding down before bed, and some who’ve dropped in before they start on Beta. Missy takes a good look around at the bar and the beach and the scantily-clad holograms and claps her hands in glee. “This is my kind of place!”

I thought as much. “Would you care for a drink?”

“I thought you’d never ask.” She sashays up to the bar and hoists herself onto a stool. “I’ll have something pink and fruity with one of those cute little umbrellas in it,” she tells the barman. “What are you having, Chakotay?”

“Just a cup of tea,” I answer, and when she pouts I add, “I’m still on duty.”

She pokes my chest playfully. “Party pooper. Now put that thing down and sit next to me. I want to know all about you.”

Our drinks arrive – Missy’s is the size of a warp nacelle and just as shiny – and I’ve just embarked on the story of Voyager’s trip to the Delta quadrant and the merging of the crews, when Neelix bustles up. “Commander! What a surprise to see you here!”

“Hi, Neelix. This is Mystic Permatan, a guest from Arancia. Missy, this is Neelix, our chef, among other duties.”

“A Talaxian!” Missy claps her hands in delight. “I haven’t seen a Talaxian since my last visit to the Shivolian petting zoo. Wherever did you find him?”

“Neelix has been a valued member of our crew since our early days in this quadrant,” I answer, straight-faced, as the man in question puffs himself up, whiskers quivering indignantly. “And we don’t, uh, pet him.”

“Oh, but you should!” Missy seems completely oblivious, reaching out to wind her fingers through Neelix’s facial tufts and tugging gently. To my amazement, he stops spluttering, his mouth falling open and a glaze filming his eyes. “See? Look how much he likes it!”

I try to remember to shut my own mouth. Neelix is drooling a little and the last thing I need is to bear any resemblance to a salivating Talaxian.

“It’s a well-known fact that Talaxians aren’t truly happy unless they have their whiskers stroked regularly,” Missy croons as Neelix lists sideways, leaning on the bar, his knees buckling. One spotty Talaxian foot tangles with the leg of my stool, and the bar tips ominously. The horgon wobbles.

“Oh, Chakotay, hold this, will you?” Missy grabs the horgon and thrusts it into my arms, just as Neelix’s eyes roll back in his head and he slumps onto my lap. I grab at the horgon but I’m too far off-balance. As I tip over backwards, the horgon slips out of my grasp, turns upside down, and deposits a cloudy, sparkling puff of contents I didn’t know it was holding all over my jacket.

Neelix rolls onto his back, one foot jerking slightly.

Missy giggles.

I cough.

That’s when I register the smell. Gagging, I leap to my feet, brushing frantically at the dust on my jacket, but it’s no use – the stench is overpowering. I’ve never stripped so fast in my life, not even that time I pulled my shoulder boxing and Kathryn offered to give me a massage. Throwing my jacket to the floor in abject horror, I gasp, “That … stuff … what the hell is that?”

“Oh, just a traditional Arancian lucky dip. It’s made from a mixture of pulverised Hirogen war trophies and glitter.” She pauses, watching as Neelix reaches out a still-twitching hand and brings my discarded jacket to his face, licking it experimentally. “And a pinch of leola root.”

Ugh. Spirits. I’m actually speechless.

“You aren’t supposed to spill it, silly,” Missy snickers.

“I … I have to change,” I stutter, trying not to inhale. “You’ll be all right here, won’t you? Neelix will take care of you…”

I’m halfway out of the holodeck by the time Missy’s speculative reply reaches my ears: “It’s been a while since I had a Talaxian. Maybe I’ll take care of him…”

Agh. I clap a hand over my mouth and take the fastest route to my quarters.

 

=/\=

I manage to beg off resuming diplomatic relations with the umber-skinned olfactory assassin, leaving her in Neelix’s capable hands – and there’s a mental image I try hard to shy away from – and finish my shift with a sigh of relief. I’ve barely made it back to my quarters, stripped off my fifth clean uniform of the day and propped my feet up on the coffee table when my commbadge chirps.

~Torres to Chakotay. Did you forget we have an appointment? Get your butt to Holodeck Two and prepare to be slaughtered.~

Groaning, I mumble, “Can we take a raincheck, B’Elanna? I’m shattered.”

~Absolutely not. Be here in five minutes or I’ll have to work off this excess energy in Engineering. And you know how happy my staff will be about that, Chakotay.~

And how happy I’ll be tomorrow when I have to deal with all the complaints. Sighing, I haul myself off the couch. “I’ll be right there.”

Suitably attired in shorts and a tank, I cast one last, longing glance at the couch and make my way to the holodeck.

“Finally,” B’Elanna snaps when I enter. She’s bouncing on her toes, slamming practice shots at the scoring wall, and she looks about as fired up as I’ve ever seen her. “I hope you’re ready for this, Chakotay. I’m gonna make you sweat.”

Two hours later I collapse to the holodeck floor, limp as a noodle and wondering if there’s any sweat left in my body. B’Elanna still looks fresh as a daisy as she towels a slight glow of perspiration from her face.

“Not a bad match,” she offers, reaching a hand down to help me up.

“You beat me 32 to 17,” I grumble, taking off my shirt and wringing it out onto the floor.

“Yeah, I went easy on you.” B’Elanna yanks me to my feet. “You’re getting soft, Chakotay.”

“Am not,” I sulk.

She snorts. “This,” she pokes my stomach, “used to be rock-hard. Captain Washboard, we used to call you. Guess that was the old days, though, huh?”

“It’s still rock-hard,” I protest. “See? Definition like a dictionary.”

B’Elanna guffaws. “Sure, if you walk around with it all sucked in. Face it, Chakotay. You’re getting old.”

God, is she right? I stare down at the abs I always assumed were still toned and taut. Experimentally, I straighten up and flex my biceps.

“Computer, scan the holodeck and save image,” B’Elanna says quickly. “Download to my personal PADD.”

~Acknowledged,~ the computer declares. I hear a gentle beep from the PADD lying on a bench on the other side of the hoverball court. B’Elanna skips over to pick it up.

“Hey! What –”

“Ooh, Chakotay,” she drawls, head on one side as she surveys her handiwork. She holds it up for me to see. There I am, in all my sweaty, shirtless glory, frowning at my flexed left bicep.

She’s wrong about my stomach, though. It looks pretty good. At least it does from this distance. I grab for the PADD, eager to confirm I look just as ripped in close-up.

“Maybe I should send this to Jenny Delaney,” B’Elanna taunts, holding the PADD behind her back and dancing out of my reach. “I’m sure she’d love – ah! Aghh! Ow! Damn it, hold this!” She thrusts the PADD into my outstretched hand and crumples to the ground, furiously rubbing her thigh.

“What is it?” Alarmed, I crouch beside her, clutching the PADD. It gives a couple of beeps and trills, but I’m too concerned for B’Elanna to pay it any attention.

“Cramp,” B’Elanna grits out, following up with a venomous cascade of Klingon obscenities.

“Stretch it out,” I advise. The PADD beeps again and I glance at it.

Message sent, it informs me helpfully.

Message?

I access the missive in question and there I am, half-naked and posing like a big fucking cheeseball.

Attachment forwarded to Janeway, Captain Kathryn M.

“Oh, shit. Shit.”

“What is it?” B’Elanna pummels her thigh and sighs in relief as the cramp abates.

“I just…” Spirits. How could this happen? “I just accidentally sent that holopic to someone.”

“Who?” B’Elanna looks up, eyes wide.

“The captain,” I whisper.

Shit, I am so dead. I can literally feel my balls shrivelling.

“Recall it, you idiot,” B’Elanna urges.

“It’s too late.” I wave the PADD at her frantically. “She’s already read it.”

~Janeway to Chakotay.~

Shit. Shit. My balls start clamouring to crawl up inside my body. “Uh, yes, Captain?”

~Would you please report to my quarters at your earliest convenience, Commander?~

Commander,” B’Elanna mouths at me. “You are so dead.”

I shudder. “Yes, Captain. I’ll be there shortly. Chakotay out.”

The channel closes with an almost audible demotion.

“Oh, you’re in for it now,” B’Elanna cackles. “Well, it’s been nice knowing you, Chakotay.”

 

=/\=

If I’m going to be reprimanded, not to mention have my pathetic hopes of ever convincing Kathryn to get naked with me dashed yet again, I’m at least going to be clean and dressed for the occasion. As I step out of my sixth shower of the day I briefly consider going in civilian gear. But no. Kathryn – excuse me, the captain – would probably see that as a sign of disrespect.

At least the uniform I left on the floor a couple of hours ago is still relatively fresh. Buttoned up, hair slicked down, I square my shoulders and trudge to the captain’s cabin.

“Come in, Chakotay,” she calls, and I step in to the lioness’ den.

Except she’s nowhere to be seen.

“Captain?” I ask warily.

“I’ll be out in a minute,” she calls from the bedroom. “Could you pour us some wine?”

“Uh, sure.”

Okay. She’s not standing in front of me in full uniform, snapping disapproval from those pretty blue eyes. She wants a glass of wine. She wants me to have a glass of wine. And she’s calling me Chakotay, not Commander.

I’m confused, but I’m not complaining.

I pour the wine, and Kathryn emerges from the bedroom in a billow of vanilla scent, wearing … not very much. Not very much at all.

I am definitely not complaining.

“Thanks,” she says, taking the wine and flicking me a sidelong glance I’d rank somewhere between mischievous and downright flirtatious. “You didn’t have to dress for the occasion, Chakotay.”

“Occasion?” My tongue feels like a double-thick mattress.

Kathryn settles onto the couch, crossing one bare leg very slowly over the other. I really hope my head didn’t just tip to one side trying to sneak a look up her skirt, but from the arch of her eyebrow I suspect it did. She pats the seat beside her. I try not to trip over my suddenly Talaxian-sized feet. I’ve made enough of an idiot of myself today.

“Do you know why I called you here, Chakotay?” she asks when I’m perched ramrod-straight on the very edge of the couch.

“Uh…” There’s just no way out of this. I hang my head. “Because I accidentally sent you an embarrassing selfie. I’m so sorry, Captain. You were never meant to see that.”

She’s silent for so long I risk a glance at her. To my surprise, she’s chewing on her lip, eyes glued to her wine glass, her cheeks tinged pink.

“Captain?”

“I’m sorry,” she blurts, jumping to her feet. “I thought – Obviously I misread – I feel like such a fool –” She closes her eyes, shakes her head once. “Never mind. Can we just forget this ever happened?”

Okay, now I’m confused. “Forget what happened?”

“Exactly!” She looks relieved. “Well, excuse me, Commander. I have, um, reports to read. See you on the bridge tomorrow.” And she’s standing by the door looking at me expectantly. Clearly waiting for me to get the hell out.

Except she doesn’t have reports to read, because I’ve already read them for her, signed them off and forwarded the executive summary to her personal console. And we’re on different shifts tomorrow. And she’s still blushing. And –

And that not-very-much-at-all that she’s wearing looks like its sole purpose is to be peeled slowly – or possibly, ripped quickly – off its wearer, and oh, shit. Now I couldn’t stand up even if I wanted to.

And I still don’t know what the hell she’s talking about. Unless …

“Kathryn,” I ask, hardly daring to believe, “did you think I sent you that holopic on purpose?”

She bites her lower lip again. It’s simultaneously adorable and painfully sexy.

“And did you think that purpose was to make you laugh, or to show you what you’re missing?”

That blush is pretty adorable as well. And judging by the way the visible part of her chest is turning pink, it’s a whole-body blush. Which immediately sends my mind off in less-than-pure directions, wondering what else I could do to make her blush like that.

Sternly informing my eager pecker that it’s time to behave and if it screws this up for me I’ll treat it to an entire evening of Vulcan dirge poetry while fantasising about the hairy growth on my third grade teacher’s chin, I control myself enough to get to my feet and move in Kathryn’s direction without immediately attracting her attention to the bulge in my briefs. She watches my face nervously as I move closer.

I’m standing right in front of her now, and she has to tip her head back to meet my eyes. Which she does, blushing even harder. Never let it be said that Kathryn Janeway backs away from a challenge.

“Kathryn?” I’m still waiting for her answer, holding my breath.

“Okay,” she says in a slightly shaky voice. “The latter.”

“And that’s a good thing?”

She’s regaining her balance now; I can tell, because she straightens up and narrows her eyes at me. “Well, I thought it was,” she answers. “But then, I didn’t think we’d end up doing so much talking.”

What?

While I’m still gaping at that reply, she slides sideways and saunters toward her bedroom with a subtle sway to her hips. “Coming?” she purrs at me over her shoulder.

“Ah…” There are several replies that immediately jump to mind, but the one that comes out of my mouth is, “Hell, yes.”

“Oh, good.” She stops at the doorway to her bedroom, smirks at me again, then pulls off that skimpy little top and tosses it in my direction, saying, “Hold this.”

I take a moment to thank Missy and her lucky leola-glitter horgon, and then I charge after the woman of my dreams, determined to get hold of a whole lot of luscious, naked captain before the night is over.