Swap Ideas Day


By Britta

Captain Janeway opted to take the afternoon off. After her lunch had been disrupted by Tom Paris careening into her office and proceeding to shout semi-coherent, yet angry sounding syllables, she needed some time to think.
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Security, in the form of Tuvok, had removed the senior pilot with orders to escort him back to his quarters. She sipped coffee and resumed munching a rather dry sandwich that the replicator had spat out. Idly considering the possibility that the replicator system needed an overhaul, she decided to wait until Tuvok returned before summoning Chakotay and chewing him out for allowing his lover to become so out of control.
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She had always thought it was a mistake for the two of them to get together. This event just proved her right--again. Oh how she loved it when God seconded her opinion, and that seemed to happen more often than not lately.

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"Mr. Paris, do not fight me or I will carry you through the corridors for all to see."
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Tom felt Tuvok's hand heavy on his shoulder and sighed in capitulation. It didn't occur to him then that Tuvok was a touch telepath. He was too tired to think straight. All he knew was that he'd gone to the highest authority around and tried to make it clear what he wanted: which was to have Chakotay back, loving him--not her.

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Tuvok kept his own counsel as he watched the young human sit on the edge of the bed. Tom peered up at him in confusion, then accusation flashed in his eyes as Tuvok calmly delivered a neck pinch.
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The Vulcan stripped Paris efficiently, covered him, then left the cabin shared by two of his favorite officers, though he would never admit that fact. Deliberately, he took the long way back to the captain's office as he had much to think about.

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Chakotay couldn't face eating in the mess hall, and so upset was he that a deluxe order of Chile Rellenos was all that could calm his soul. To his shock, the replicator informed him that he did not have the rations available for what he wanted.
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Angered, Chakotay demanded a full record of the activity for the last two weeks in his and Tom's joint account. When the data was returned, he sat back in his chair, stunned.
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Why had Tom been replicating new sets of sheets at such an alarming rate? What had his lover been doing? Could he have been sleeping with other people on gamma shift, cheating while Chakotay was on duty?
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Hungry and thoroughly confused, the commander barely heard his door chime. "Come," he answered automatically, still staring at the output of the ration account.
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"Commander, if I may have a word with you?"
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Tuvok's steady voice served to center him in the present moment. "Of course," Chakotay replied as he once more shoved aside his personal concerns in favor of his professional responsibilities.

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Janeway had grown tired of waiting for Tuvok to return and called for a location check on him. Her eyebrows rose as she was informed that he was in Chakotay's office.
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Must have been quite a trip back to the first officer's cabin, she thought, if Tuvok had chosen to beard the ex-Maquis on his own. Smiling, and confident that her good friend would make her message clear about skirting the edges of insubordination, she ordered yet another cup of coffee and put her feet up on the desk.

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Tuvok entered Chakotay's realm and noticed the strain showing on the commander's face. He made a decision then, and, before taking the chair Chakotay offered, he asked, "May I have a cup of tea?"
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"Yes, I'll--"
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"Do not disturb yourself, Commander. I am quite capable of operating a replicator," Tuvok said, as he moved past Chakotay pausing only long enough to brush a few fingers against the first officer's shoulder.
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"As you wish," Chakotay replied tiredly.
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Tuvok nearly recoiled at the anger and resentment harbored within Chakotay. He slowed his movements, trying to stretch time in order to process all he'd learned, but Chakotay's twitching told him he'd best get to the point quickly. He set his mug on the desk and sat opposite his 'old' captain and one-time assignment, who was by now displaying the limits of his patience.
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"Tuvok, if there's a problem, I'd like you to tell me about it now. I know Vulcans don't lie, but they have been known to stall."
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"My apologies, Commander. I have had much to contemplate in the last hour." At Chakotay's curious expression, he went on, "What I have to say to you can be summarized in two short sentences."
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Chakotay stared at him warily. "Go on."
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Tuvok sipped his tea then set his mug aside. "One: Vulcans have much better hearing than do humans. Two: I believe the captain is lonely."

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TO BE CONTINUED

Comments? Suggestions?
E-mail me at Britta