DISCLAIMER: Paramount owns all things Star Trek. Just borrowed a few folk. No money earned.
NOTES: In my recent tale, Hurt Feelings, I had Seven (bless her) sulking in a Jefferies tube on Deck 17: two of you - horrors - came back saying there isn't one! (There isn't really a Seven, either, if it comes to it). OK, so were you lot not paying attention when Deck 17 came about? Huh? It was a lot to do with Kes coming back to Voyager and wrecking the joint on Deck 11, when she walked up the corridor and everything exploded. Hell of a mess. So, how did Deck 17 get there? Let me enlighten you!
Captain Kathryn Janeway entered the Bridge and stood there, modelling. She was met by various wolf whistles and catcalls. Bowing, she took her leave, in search of coffee in her Ready Room. The door chimed almost immediately. Chakotay entered and stood there. just stood there - looking at her.
"Oh, put your tongue in, Commander. You look ridiculous!"
"I'm sorry, Kathryn, it's just the sight of you, standing there, in that boiler suit. With all that dirt and dust on your body. and your face." He started towards her, hand outstretched, intent on rubbing her cheek.
"Whoa boy. Keep yourself in check. OK?" She backed off, hands before her in a "no" position, then picked up her coffee from the replicator.
"You never liked me, did you?" he asked, slowly.
"Oh, I like you well enough, but not `that way'. You're definitely not right for my bed, Commander."
"Why not?" asked an idiot, who just couldn't get it.
Kathryn came close, playing with him, put a forearm down his shoulder and paused, then whispered in his ear. "You're not. enough. for me." She drew back to look at him, taking a sip of coffee; "I want a man, not a wimp - you're a wimp - and you're not occasional-roll-in- the-hay material either, you'd get far too serious. So you're no good to me at all, do you see?" She smiled, sweetly, and moved to take a seat behind her desk, where she wrapped both hands around her cup.
As all good wimps do, Chakotay took it in his stride, good- naturedly. He approached the desk. "So how's it going, on Deck 11?"
"Oh, huge mess. Kes didn't stop to wreck the place, it's ruined! We'll have to get the contractors in. I've helped our teams do all they can, but it's a tad beyond them. They have their duties you know," she waved an index finger at him, "I can't have them busy down there while the ship goes bumping into everything in sight, and breaking down, because they're not paying attention to their jobs. No, it's a contractor."
"Captain, I'm not sure I approve," he waved a hand towards her boiler suit, "of this hands-on approach."
"I'm not sure I care," she said dangerously, "quite what you approve, Commander. Since when did you have any clout around here, anyway?" She asked seriously, but the wimp in question didn't realise.
"Well, I'll get back to the Bridge, in case we `bump into' anything." He took one last look at the boiler suit and headed for the door.
"You do that!" `That's just about far enough away from me,' she muttered as she returned her full concentration to the coffee.
Seven came into Engineering, made her way over to B'Elanna, stood behind her and wrapped her arms around the smaller woman's waist. "What are you doing, you bewitching, dark-eyed creature?"
"The Captain wants a contractor. And what the Captain wants, the Captain usually gets, right?"
"She didn't get me," reminded Seven, putting her head down to rest her chin on B'Elanna's left shoulder.
"What's the book?"
"I'm looking in Delta Yellow Pages, for a." tracing her finger down a page, she said, "ah, here we are, contractors. Now, this sounds interesting."
"Explain," urged Seven, nuzzling her partner's neck.
"Oooh, that feels good. It's a good job my staff are attending to the clean-up operation on Deck 11, or."
"Or what, Lieutenant?" asked Seven, cheekily. "You would put me over your knee and reprimand my derriere?"
"Don't give me any ideas." Returning to the task, as opposed to the distraction, B'Elanna read: "'Arachnazoids: Many Hands Make Light Work - done in an eighth of the time!' Oh, that sounds too good."
"You should run it by She Who Usually Gets What She Wants. I'll cover for you here," Seven offered.
"Yeah, probably should. I know how pissed she gets when we go over her head. I'll see you later." Before departing, B'Elanna took a sly look around Engineering, checking its empty status, and then kissed her blonde willowy Borg to within an inch of her nanoprobes.
"Later," replied Seven, wobbling about on her legs a little, as B'Elanna left for fields anew. Well, the Bridge actually. The doors whooshed closed and Seven was alone - or so she thought.
"I never saw any of those goings on, when I was on Voyager," said Kes in her gentle voice. Seven jumped, fit for competition sport, and turned to face the diminutive Ocampan.
"Kes! I believed the Lieutenant and I were alone," she said, shakily.
"Oh, well that was obvious." Seven blushed and Kes looked at her thoughtfully. "If I'd known back then that kissing was permissible between women, I would have approached Kathryn immediately."
Seven forgot to be shaky. "Indeed?" she said, with a glint in her eye. Come, tell me about it.."
"I can't stay, I have to report to Kathryn now. She's a little mad with me."
"Neelix to the Captain's Ready Room," ordered Kathryn, as Chakotay left the room.
"Captain, uh, may I initiate a site-to-site transport, please?" pleaded Neelix.
"Now, why in the worlds would you want to do that!"
"It'll all become clear to you, Captain, when you see me."
Fascinated, Kathryn replied, "Permission granted," and waited to see what would materialise, so to speak. She didn't have to wait too long. In a gush of sparkles, her favourite Talaxian appeared. She did a double-take. "Neelix?! What happened to you?"
"Oh, just a little accident in the kitchen, Captain. Something. blew up." He stood before her; his outfit was blackened around a large hole, in the chest area, displaying his characteristically Talaxian skin. Kathryn was on her feet and heading towards him, with a mixture of feelings.
Neelix meanwhile was having feelings of his own, "Captain, that boiler suit. It. becomes you. You look - very handsome."
"Handsome is for men, Neelix. Face it, I look darnright gorgeous," she purred, finding the hole in his outfit irresistible. She put her left arm around his neck and traced her right index finger around the outside of the blackened hole. "I had no idea your skin was so." she left the outside of the hole and ventured inside, feeling Neelix shiver as she played over his skin.
"You're a little dirty, there," he said, looking at her cheek. And when he put his hand out to wipe it clean, Kathryn shivered back. She eyed his whiskers, mischievously and drew her hand up, tickling them lightly.
"I always wanted to mess with your whiskers," she said huskily.
"You did? Oh, uh, Captain," squirmed Neelix, "I must warn you."
"Erogenous zones, right?" She purred. At his astonished expression, she continued, "What, you think a Captain doesn't know everything?"
He slipped an arm around her waist and squeezed gently, "I'm sure you do. Uh, not that this isn't nice, but what did you want to see me about, anyway?"
"Ah, yes, that." The Captain had gone back to exploring the skin at Neelix's chest. "I was just wondering if you knew of any contractors who might want to come and fix that unholy mess on Deck 11? I've got B'Elanna looking in Yellow Pages, but.."
"Well, it's a little out of my area, Captain," he leaned forward and brushed his whiskers up against her chin.
"I know what you're doing," came her deep voice.
"Uh, huh," he pulled his face back. "But I've heard on the grapevine that there is a race called The Arachnazoids. They're supposed to be pretty handy with this kind of thing. I think their logo is, `Many Hands Make Light Work', or something like that."
"I'll have B'Elanna look them up. Now. " Kathryn looked at the Talaxian and pulled his face towards hers, ". this seems to be a day for firsts. I mean, Deck 11 gets screwed, your outfit gets screwed. and they say things come in threes. Are you familiar with the Karma Sutra, Neelix?" she whispered, biting his earlobe.
"No, what is it?"
"An ancient Earth writing - meet me tonight at 18.00 in my quarters, and I'll go through it with you. Page by page." Neelix was about to agree when the door chime interrupted him.
"Damn," said Kathryn, backing off. "Come in!" she yelled, heading back to her desk and its chair.
Kes entered, and stood too near to the door for it to close; it still didn't even after she moved away. It went unnoticed. She totally ignored Kathryn when she saw the state of Neelix's outfit. "What happened, sweetie?" Looking at his face, her voice changed from concern to anger. "Wait a minute, you're wearing lipstick.!" She rounded on Kathryn, who was sitting at her desk with smudged lips. "Your lipstick!"
Kathryn was out of her chair and heading towards Kes before you could spit. "Now just a damned minute here," she bellowed, pointing a hand at Kes. "You broke my ship. After all I did for you, you broke my ship." Kathryn screwed her eyes and shook her head sideways, "You shouldn't have done that," she said, stabbing a finger at Kes.
At precisely that moment, B'Elanna pushed her way through the collection of people gathered around the open door and entered the Ready Room. Kathryn was on the point of attacking Kes - B'Elanna and Neelix rushed to hold her back. "What's going on here?" questioned the Engineer.
"She's pissed I broke her ship," Kes replied, angrily. "Things happen when I get angry, don't they Captain?" A ceiling panel suddenly exploded, "You'd do well to remember that when you go messing with my man."
"You left him!" screamed Kathryn at the Ocampan. "So he's not yours anymore, is he, huh?" B'Elanna had to hold real tight, her Captain was fighting to get free. "Let me kill her" Kathryn pleaded, first of Neelix, then B'Elanna. "I won't hurt her, I just want to kill her. She broke my ship."
It appeared the Captain was also broken. Temporarily. After all, you can't keep a good legend down for long. B'Elanna took control. "Chakotay, get in here. Look after her." From the open doorway, Chakotay ran into the room and took hold of Kathryn, despite her protests. "Kes, take Neelix to sickbay," continued B'Elanna. Kes nodded and started to lead Neelix towards the crowd at the door.
"But she wants him," protested Kathryn.
"Never mind about that," cautioned B'Elanna.
"What's he got, that I haven't?" pouted Chakotay, to Kathryn.
"Where would you like me to begin," she smiled sweetly.
"Don't we have a ship to repair, here?" Asked B'Elanna, over the hubbub.
"Arachnazoids!" shouted Kathyn and Neelix together.
"Relax, I've already found them in Yellow Pages. I was here for your approval, Captain."
"Call them. And while you're at it, get them to add on two more decks. We could use the extra space. OK? Now everyone get out of here," ordered their Captain.
They left, except for Chakotay. The doors finally closed.
"Tuvok, get in here," shouted Kathryn to her combadge.
Chakotay protested, "But B'Elanna said I was to stay with you, Kathryn. You're in a state. You shouldn't be alone." Tuvok entered the room, together with his raised eyebrow.
"I'm more alone WITH you Commander!" said Kathryn, with gusto. "Tuvok, get him out of here!"
Back in Engineering, B'Elanna picked up the `phone and dialled the number in Yellow Pages. It rang six times and then picked up. "Hello, Arachnazoids? Many Hands Make Light Work?"
"Yes, how may we help you?"
"My name is Lieutenant Torres, Chief Engineer. I'm calling on behalf of the Federation Starship Voyager's Captain Janeway. We have a deck blown to hell here, and need two more constructing. Can you do it?"
"Tell me about your ship."
"Uh, OK. She has a gross mass of 700,000 metric tons; 15 decks at present; she had a crew compliment of 141, but that went up to 152 - though that kind of fluctuates. She runs on part bio-neural circuitry and part isolinear optical circuits. And she can land on a planet's surface and take off again, so any addition needs to bear that in mind. Well, can you do it?"
"We certainly can. I'll just get my diary."
The Klingon started to squirm. "Hey, we need this, like yesterday," she pushed.
"Yeah, OK. It's not like we're snowed under with work, anyway. Tell your Captain to expect us first thing in the morning."
B'Elanna hung up and informed the Captain. Not long until my shift ends, she thought, and then home to Bed and Borg.
The Captain was the last one on the Bridge. It was morning, and she was a whole minute late. She crossed to her Command Chair and sat down, aware that her First Officer was staring in dismay at her neck. Just over the top of her tunic, there was definitely a.
"Relax, Commander. You never seen a hickey before?" she whispered, for his ears only. "It's what happens when you're with a real man."
"Neelix??" he whispered, harshly. "That little."
"Oh, Commander, you know size isn't everything!"
"You know, you make me so mad."
"Stay that way, it's a definite improvement on."
"Captain," interrupted Harry Kim.
"What is it?"
"We're being hailed. The Arachnazoids."
"On screen." Oh my God, she shrieked silently, she even grabbed Chakotay's hand - a measure of her fear. There, on the viewscreen, was a greatly oversized (for want of a better word) spider. Black, fluffy-legged, with two shiny eyes. If it hadn't been for the green overall bearing the words: `Many Hands Make Light Work', the Captain might have lost it completely.
Chakotay squeezed his hand over hers and moved his thumb over her skin. His eyes closed. Kathryn looked from the screen to Chakotay, considering which of these situations was the most appalling. She decided, snatching her hand away, that it was Chakotay.
"Our appearance seems to frighten most races, Captain. Fortunately our size prevents squishing (as does Chakotay's - she thought). We're ready to start work."
"Well then, come aboard," Kathryn said, hiding the rest of her revulsion.
Three Arachnzaoids materialised on the Bridge, as big as horses. Kathryn breathed in deeply and then stepped forward. "I will accompany you to Deck 11, she said, relived to see that somehow they didn't look quite as vile in real life. They headed towards the door. Kathryn jumped as a spider leg tapped her shoulder. "Want a lift?" asked the Arachnazoid, sitting down low and reaching a leg out for her to climb onto. The Bridge crew watched, amused, as she climbed aboard, and off they went to decks anew. Well, Deck 11 actually. And the Captain rode off into the sunset.
The Arachnazoids proved brilliant workers and repaired Deck 11, and built on two more decks. Kes kicked Neelix one last time, for bedding the Captain, and then left the ship. Our girls thanked the Captain for contracting an Arachnazoid to build them a king-sized bed. Everyone settled to the idea that the Captain and Neelix were an item; well, almost everyone. And life got back to near normal.
And THAT, good people, is how Deck 17 came about. Now, any questions?
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