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A Captain's Message
By alastria7


"Hey, I just turned on the screen.  Look what's on."

Tal Celes leaned down over her good friend Billy's shoulder and started reading the message that was displayed.  "Is this going out shipwide?" she asked in wonder.

"Shhh, yes.  Read.  This looks interesting."

"OK. Sorry."  And read she did, her eyes growing wider with every passing minute.


I thought this was best... to put this across to you in this manner rather than using the comm.  There's really too much to say here on a comm. channel anyway.

Some of you have perhaps noticed that your captain has been a
little - how shall we put this... 'different' lately?  It's been
noted, among other things, that my hair is more relaxed, not so set;
that my step has a little spring to it; that I'm apparently more
approachable when busy and that I've frequently been espied laughing
aloud in various parts of the ship during recent weeks.

I've also tried Neelix's new recipes with courage and fortitude (sorry Neelix!) and I've been caught singing openly in the Ready Room, although no celebration for Chakotay, who heard me! 

An explanation, I feel, is needed. 

So, to those of you who have noticed, and to those who maybe haven't, I decided to take this extraordinary measure to tell you why I've been behaving in such a manner.  The simple answer is B'Elanna Torres, our chief engineer. 

To all of you, my trusted crew, I want to announce that I am sharing
a state of love with the lieutenant and, further, that we've become engaged to be married.  Cargo Bay One will be open tomorrow evening, from 19:00 hours, for our engagement party and both Ms Torres and I will be delighted to see you there.

I realise this isn't a usual procedure, but these are extraordinary times, people.  I can only hope you will lend your support and good wishes for my changing personal status.

End message/Janeway."

"Wow!" exclaimed Tal.

Billy whistled through his teeth as he turned to look at his
friend.  "I never expected THAT," he said, a huge smile appearing on
his face. 

"Well, whyever not?" defended Tal suddenly. "They're both attractive women... why shouldn't they?"

"I didn't mean it like that. I meant," corrected Billy, "that I
never expected them to 'come out' about it, that's all."

She looked into his eyes for a moment, just a moment, and saw something decidedly fishy. "Wait a minute..." she accused, "you KNEW!" He made no move to deny it.  "You knew, you rat, and you didn't tell me?  How can you do that?  Aren't we supposed to be friends?  I thought you told me everything?" 

"Not when the captain of the ship tells me otherwise."  Tal was staring at him, perplexed, and he saw her trying to work it out.  "I caught them," he explained importantly.  "They were going at it in the torpedo room, near Engineering, and I caught them."

"Going at it?"  Her eyes widened again.

"Oh, only kissing.  Mushy stuff."


"They both turned to look at me, as I came in the room..."

"Hey, what were you doing there, anyway?"

"I often go there, to think.  No one goes there."

"So what'd they say?"

"They just LOOKED at me, sort of surprised, I guess.  I don't think
they expected to be disturbed in there."  Tal nodded excitedly.  "And
then the captain said, with her arms still around Torres, 'I don't think we need this to go any further, Ensign.  Do you?'  Well I knew exactly what she meant, so I said, 'No, Sir,' as politely as I could and got out of there, fast. I could hear the two of them laughing as I went!" 

"No!"  Tal giggled.  She looked back at the screen.  "So now they've gone official... they're getting married.  Who'd have thought it?"


"I can't believe you DID that."

"I told you I would," Kathryn laughed, looking up at the engineer. "Perhaps you'll believe me, the next time I threaten something like this!"  She reached out and encircled B'Elanna's wrist with her hand. "C'm'ere," she purred, pulling her down onto the Ready Room couch where they snuggled together happily.

"This is nice."

"And totally unprofessional," Kathryn countered. "But then, this IS a special day." She rested the side of her head against the dark silky hair, allowing her eyes to close while she sighed contentedly.  "I'll be professional tomorrow," she promised, "not today.  Unless the situation warrants it, of course," she corrected herself. 

"So, how far does this one-day-only unprofessional streak of yours stretch?" B'Elanna asked mischievously, stroking Kathryn's upper thigh with some purpose. 

"Not THAT far, Lieutenant," Kathryn answered, halting the hand's
flight.  "Not here!"

"Oh, come on. You have to admit, its one hell of a fantasy!"

"Certainly," grinned Kathryn. "And that's where it's going to remain. Fantasy." She looked at her lover with what was trying to be a stern look, except for the smile that was still hovering in her eyes. "It isn't going to happen."

"Not today, anyway."

"Not ever!"

"Spoil sport."

As the two women chuckled, kissed, hugged and generally showed each other how much in love they were, a little way away, on the bridge, there sat two dejected gentlemen who were less than enthusiastic about the 'good news'.

In the first officer's chair, Chakotay sat reading and re-reading the captain's message on the small monitor beside him until his eyes ached and he hardly took in the words anymore.  Occasionally he would rub a hand over his face, in the possible hope that when he looked at the screen again the words might have changed. They never did, of course.

He looked tired.

And in front of him, at Voyager's helm, there sat a fly-boy who more closely resembled a squashed insect right now. Slumped forward, Tom's body language spoke of his utter dejection at losing B'Elanna Torres, the woman he loved. But she had chosen the captain, and there wasn't a damned thing he could do about it. So he'd taken to terrorising his mind, running 'what if?' scenarios over and over, and wondering. He'd also taken to running a hand through his hair once too often, giving himself a hairstyle that matched his current state of mind – ragged.

He looked tired too. Perhaps more exhausted than tired. But he would act brilliantly, he knew, when the moment called for him to cover the real Tom Paris and pretend to be happy for the two officers when they stepped out of the ready room and got on with their day.

Almost everyone else was happy for the captain and the chief engineer.

But if 'the whole world loves a lover', then perhaps that was written by someone other than some poor fool who'd loved and lost... and never won the object of his affection.

The End

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