Summary: The Vulcan sense of timing does not work in Tuvok's favour.
Characters: Tuvok, Janeway, Chakotay
Disclaimer: Utter smart-assery. I'd think Paramount would be far too embarrassed to claim it, but then again, they did make Threshold.
Notes: This is what happens when you read far, far too many J/C PWPs and get a little punchy.
Part 1: Ready Room
Lieutenant Commander Tuvok stood at the tactical station on the bridge. “Captain,” he stated, “I am detecting a subspace surge off the starboard bow.”
“What kind of surge, Mr Tuvok?” asked the petite redhead in the command chair.
“I am uncertain, Captain. It appears to have an improbability factor of ninety-six point four percent.”
“That high?” The dark-eyed first officer turned to face Tuvok. For a moment they engaged in a silent battle of raised eyebrows until Chakotay conceded defeat. “Shields to full, Tuvok,” he grumbled.
“Shields are at maximum,” obeyed Tuvok. “We are being hailed.”
“Hailed?” Janeway stood and placed her hands on her hips, her jaw firming. Watching from the helm, Tom Paris sent a quick private message to the Ops station: That’s the fifth command stance this shift. You owe me two days’ replicator rations, Harry!
“Did you detect a ship, Mr Tuvok?” the captain continued.
“No, Captain. As I said, I detected a surge. It may indicate a cloaked ship in the vicinity.”
“On screen, then.”
The viewscreen blinked on to show a smiling humanoid female. Her skin was ebony, her eyes green, her hair white and piled atop her head. She wore flowing robes that matched her eyes. At the Ops station, Harry Kim fell instantly in love.
~Welcome, travellers,~ she greeted them. ~I am Phzztlyk of the Klkhztx Alliance.~
Captain Janeway paused momentarily, wondered if she could try to call the alien by her name and, suspecting she would mangle it impossibly, opted instead for her standard greeting. “I’m Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation starship Voyager. We’re on a peaceful mission, trying to reach our home. Is this your region of space?”
~It is indeed,~ Phzztlyk replied. ~I would like to offer you succour on our home planet, twelve light years from here. Will you come?~
Janeway locked eyes with her first officer. A long, meaningful gaze passed between them. Tom Paris sent Harry another message. Twenty-second telepathic stare. OK, Ensign, your bet wins. Consider your rations returned.
Satisfied that Chakotay agreed with her silent suggestion that they accept Phzztlyk’s offer, Janeway turned back to the viewscreen. “We’d be delighted. Thank you for your generosity.”
~I will send you the coordinates of our homeworld. Please join us at your leisure. Phzztlyk out.~
The captain stood, a whirlwind of activity in a tiny frame. “Mr Paris, lay in a course when you’ve received the coordinates. Mr Kim, work with Lieutenant Torres on a list of our trade needs. Mr Chakotay, my ready room. Mr Tuvok, you have the bridge.”
There was a chorus of “Aye, Captain”s, and the ready room doors swished closed behind the captain and first officer.
Chakotay leaned on the edge of her desk, watching the sway of her hips as Janeway went to the replicator. “Coffee?” she asked.
She gave him a coy glance from under her eyelashes. “Can we use your rations?” she wheedled. “I’m out.”
“Already? We only got the new allotments last week. How much coffee have you been drinking?”
“I’ve cut back to only seven jugs a day,” she protested. The coffee materialised and she handed Chakotay his cup. Their fingers touched. Electricity jolted between them. Chakotay stifled a moan.
“Damn,” said the captain. “Is the replicator still playing up? I told B’Elanna to fix it. It almost gave me electro-convulsive therapy this morning.”
Chakotay’s shoulders sagged.
“So, Commander,” she said brightly, leaning on the desk beside him. “I’d like you to draw up a roster for shore leave. Try to give everyone at least two days off.”
“Including a certain overworked captain I could mention?”
“Yes, including her.” She smiled at him impishly and he lost himself in her impossibly blue eyes. Suddenly those eyes widened. “Chakotay, look out!”
In his daze he had let his cup tilt in his slackened fingers. Steaming coffee splashed over his hand and she grabbed the cup and set it on the desk, taking his hand between her own. “Oh, you’re hurt!” She cast around wildly for something to ease the burn. Finding nothing, she lifted his hand to her mouth and blew gently on it. He found it much harder to suppress his moan this time.
“If only the Doctor hadn’t found that dermal regenerator I borrowed from Sickbay,” she lamented, cradling his hand to her chest. “I guess I’ll just have to do this the old-fashioned way.” And she bent her head and licked at the burn on his hand, following up with another breath of cool air.
Chakotay was instantly, unbearably hard. “Kathryn …”
“Yes, Chakotay?” She looked up into his eyes and suddenly realised how close he was. The long-hidden desire was there in his dark eyes for anyone to see. She felt a quivering ache start low in her belly and tried ruthlessly to quell it. But he was leaning toward her, and she couldn’t stop looking at his lips. So this is it, she thought dazedly, after all these years, it’s finally going to happen. She thought briefly about protocols and parameters, and then his lips touched hers and she forgot everything …
~Tuvok to Captain Janeway.~
… including that damned Vulcan and his atrocious sense of timing.
Pulling herself away from Chakotay and breathing hard, she slapped her commbadge viciously. “Yes, Tuvok?”
~I wished to inform you that we have received the coordinates of the Klkhztx homeworld and are proceeding there at warp six.~
She noticed that he pronounced “Klkhztx” perfectly. “Wonderful,” she replied, unable to keep the sarcasm from her voice. “Thank you so much for letting me know. And, Mr Tuvok? I’d like to see you in my ready room as soon as the Commander has returned to the bridge. Janeway out.”
She turned back to Chakotay, who was doing an impressive job of looking simultaneously aroused and depressed. She bit her lip. How she longed to take him in her arms … But duty called, and her coffee was getting cold. “You’re needed on the bridge, Commander.”
“But, Kathryn –”
“Yes, ma’am.” He turned dejectedly, passing Tuvok on his way through the ready room doors.
Tuvok stood at attention before the desk. Janeway prowled around him in a predatory circle. “Well, Lieutenant Commander, I suppose I have to thank you.”
“For what, Captain?”
“For stopping me from making a very big mistake.”
Tuvok observed his captain. Her eyes were glacial, her hair fairly crackling with fury. “If I may say so, Captain, you do not appear grateful.”
“I didn’t give you permission to speak freely,” she snapped. “You’re dismissed.” She waited until he’d almost reached the doors, then said, “One minute.”
He turned. She slinked over to him, far too close, her blue eyes death-staring into his. Despite his emotional control, Tuvok felt the faintest flicker of fear. Janeway reached up to his collar. “You’re overdressed,” she hissed, pulling the third, black-centred pip from his turtleneck, “Lieutenant. I’m reassigning you to Engineering. Report to Lieutenant Torres for your next duty shift.”
Tuvok opened his mouth to protest, saw the captain’s little hands plant themselves on her hips, thought better of it, and turned smartly on his heel.