DISCLAIMER: Paramount owns it all.
WARNINGS: Contains nothing worse than my ham-fisted use of the english language and rather a lot of random isanity.
NOTES: This one is way out in left field; it's basically insane. No, really. It's dedictated to TJ (Happy B-day!) Although whether TJ will want the dedication once y'all have read it...*eg* Seriously though, it makes no sense.

Janeway's Problem

By Quew

'Are you alright, Captain?' Chakotay leant across from his command chair, eyeing his superior officer worriedly.

Janeway nodded frantically and then returned her attention to fidgeting, squirming in her seat like someone had put eels in her briefs. Raising one delicate, shaking hand, she ran her hand over her hair, which didn't move an inch.

Suddenly, she leapt upright and screeched 'I can't do this!' , striding into her ready room. She sprinted across to the replicator and in two seconds flat had the bottom half of her face in a jumbo family sized mug of black coffee.

Back on the bridge, Chakotay watched her leave. Sharing a despairing glance with Harry, he tapped his com-badge.

'Chakotay to Seven of Nine.'

'Yes commander?'

'You'd better get up here, Seven. It's happened,' the man said.

'Captain?' A voice called. Janeway turned and saw Seven, ex-borg, staring at her with an eyebrow raised.

In as dignified a movement as she could manage under the circumstances, she put the coffee down and wiped the thick sludge from her chin, neck, nose and tunic. 'Yes, Seven?' She asked, waving the ex-drone forward.

Never one to pull her punches, Seven got right to the point. 'I am worried about you, Captain. I am aware you tried to give up caffeine, but your efforts appear to have been unsuccessful.'

'Huh?' Janeway asked, not able to drag her eyes away from the steaming mug she had placed on her desk. The aroma of the coffee filled her nose, and she could almost see the steam rising out of the mug, beckoning her, teasing her…'Yes, great.'

'Are you listening to me, captain?'

'Have it on my desk by oh eight hundred,' the captain replied absently, still staring at the hot beverage.

'I am…unsure as how to proceed in this situation. Perhaps Chakotay or Tuvok would have been better suited to it, but I…'Drew the short straw.' I believe they are physically afraid of you in relation to lack of coffee, captain.'

'That's great news. I'm very pleased,' Janeway mumbled, starting to shake again.

'I will be back, but I have to inform you that the doctor has relieved you of your command.' Seven stated, clasping her hands behind her back.

'Yes, yes, a leap forward in your humanity, take a shuttle…huh?' Janeway's eyes focused a little and her eyebrows drew together as the words pierced her coffee-saturated mind.

Seven took one look at the captains' bloodshot eyes and bottled out. 'The doctor has…ordered you to take some leave. He says you haven't had a holiday in almost a year.'

Janeway looked ready to argue, but then visions of holodeck time swam through her brain. Coffee streams, coffee baths, coffee everything…woo boy.

Seven left as quickly as she could as a thin line of dribble traversed the captains madly grinning face.

/I cannot do this,/ Seven thought as she rode in the turbolift. The only problem was, not one other crewmember was willing to help. They'd seen the captain when she'd missed her morning coffee now and again, and almost every time the Prime Directive had been shot to hell. Arse kicking was for before coffee, diplomacy for after.

Wait…there was one person who hadn't been there when they'd had the meeting…it was a long shot, but maybe it would work.

'Lieutenant Torres.' B'Elanna groaned as Seven came up behind her just as she was entering a jefferies tube. Trying to exit in as dignified a manner as possible while still having her ass pointing at the ex-drone, she turned and put her hands on her hips.

'Yes? What?'

'I require…your assistance.'

The way Seven said it made B'Elanna pause before dismissing her outright. Ignoring the little voice that said to ask if the blonde was alright, she frowned and tipped her head to one side, making an impatient 'go on' motion with her hand.

'It's…the capt-'

'Ooohh, no way Seven! If you think I'm going to get between Janeway and coffee, you have got another think coming! No-one's that stupid!'

She turned and started to enter the tube again, until she heard…


Scrabbling back out, she turned, her eyes narrowed. 'Why me? Why not Harry, or Chakotay?'

'They have refused. We had a meeting during which we drew lots. I lost.'

B'Elanna snorted, 'tough break.'

'Also…you are perhaps the only other crewmember who would do what needs to be done, and not…'gossip.' You would tell the captain her foibles to her face.'

/Was that a compliment?/ B'Elanna thought, keeping her eyes locked on Seven's face. The blonde remained impassive, and yet the engineer thought she could detect a hint of…something in her expression.

Without allowing herself to think about it too much, she threw up her hands and sighed. 'Fine, whatever.'

'Does this mean you agree to help?'

'That's what I just said, wasn't it?'

'Actually, I believe 'whatever' to be an ambiguous term-'

B'Elanna opened her mouth to start an argument when she saw something that threw her completely. The blonde was smirking! Feeling a little off balance, B'Elanna gawked for a moment and then shut her mouth with a snap.

'Jeez Seven, manners, compliments and jokes…are you feeling alright?'

'I feel fine,' Seven said, looking a little perplexed.

'I meant…oh, never mind. Lets get this over with, shall we?' B'Elanna said, packing up her equipment. 'Computer, locate Captain Janeway.'

'#Captain Janeway is in holodeck two#', the automatic voice replied.

B'Elanna took a deep breath and squared her shoulders. 'Right.'

She had taken four steps before she realised Seven had not moved. She turned and saw the blonde still in the same place, her hands behind her back. 'We need a plan.' She stated.

'Pffft,' B'Elanna pulled a face, 'who needs plans? We go in, drag her to sick bay and get back to work. Those isolinear relays aren't going to fix themselves, you know.'

'Yes, we could do that…if we wanted to face a highly unpredictable woman who had access to anything in the holodeck files…weapons, bodyguards…' Seven trailed off, and B'Elanna, looking annoyed, nodded once.

'I guess you're right. Lets lock out her codes first.'

They approached the holodeck arch carefully, suddenly realising what a dangerous woman Kathryn Janeway could be, and especially when fired up by extra strong Nescafe gold.

B'Elanna rubbed her hand on her pant leg as they reached the panel, and then tapped in the commands to open the doors. The door beeped, telling them the privacy lock was active. She tried again and again, using some of her engineering tricks, but the coffee-demon captain had used tricks of her own to thwart her attempts.

She had started to swear viciously in Klingon when suddenly Seven pushed in between the panel and the engineer and B'Elanna found her personal space invaded by six feet of blonde ex-borg. She felt the body heat seeping out of Seven's bio-suit encased body and felt her Klingon side rise. Taking a step back in surprise, she desperately tried to calm her breathing and rapidly flushing face before the ex-drone pulled that 'Your respiration has increased and pupils have dilated' trick.

When Seven turned, the engineer was almost glad the doors opened instantaneously, and she shot through them before Seven could see her face. When had she started to react to the Ice Princess like that? Before she could think about it anymore, she was brought to an absolute standstill by the picture laid out in front of her. Her mouth fell open and she made a noise like, 'gnhhuh?'

Next to her, Seven's eyebrows were trying to merge with her hairline as the blonde swept the holodeck with her gaze.

B'Elanna walked up to a nearby tree and carefully broke off a piece of trunk. She popped it in her mouth and then spat it out a second later. 'Ugh, coffee flavoured chocolate.'

In front of them, a beautiful forest was spread out, sunlight filtering through the tall trees and hitting the women. Or, at least, it would have been beautiful if everything hadn't been made of coffee products. A coffee bean bluebottle buzzed by, its round brown body ducking and weaving in-between coffee-chocolate trees and coffee sponge bushes.

A path wound through the brown scenery, and the pair followed it. As they travelled, the sound of a waterfall became louder and louder, along with off key singing, until finally they stepped out into a brown clearing.

This time, even Seven could not hide her extreme reaction. Her jaw dropped and she gasped, her eyes widening. B'Elanna thought the expression made Seven look more human than she could ever remember…there was something awfully childlike about her expression.

Then, she turned and followed the ex-drones gaze, and her reaction was more extreme than Seven's.

'What the f-!'

The dignified Captain Kathryn Janeway was squealing like a little girl as she splashed naked in a huge coffee pool, frothy liquid being added all the time from the waterfall. She ducked under the surface and then reappeared a moment later, spraying brown coffee all over the place. She started to swim around in circles, her mouth open, swallowing huge mouthfuls of the sweet smelling brew.

B'Elanna sniffed deeply and then moaned in horror. 'That's the captains favourite! The extra strong black bean extra caffeine extra sweet south Louisiana brew! And she's drinking it like its water!'

Seven nodded, having already reached the same conclusion, and continued to stare at the captains naked body as the small woman pranced like a deranged fairy in the thick sludge.

B'Elanna noticed her staring and immediately scowled, kicking herself into gear. 'What are we going to do?'

'We must…try and convince the captain to accompany us to sick bay,' Seven said.

The engineer rolled her eyes but gamely stepped forward, walking to the edge of the pool.

'B'Elanna!' Janeway squealed when she saw the svelte hybrid. She swam over and B'Elanna tried to ignore the naked flesh that was only partial covered by the coffee.

'Captain, there's, er, been an accident. Tuvok and Harry are in sickbay, and the doc wants to see you. Something about-'

'Sorry, can't!' Janeway said, playfully splashing the engineer.

Wiping the liquid off her face with a hand, B'Elanna tried to hold on to her patience. 'It's important, captain…there are some…unidentified vessels on attack vectors.'

'Sorry, can't!' Janeway repeated. 'I'm on holiday! Weeeeee!'

B'Elanna suddenly realised the captain was far beyond reasoning…she'd gone straight through over-caffination and out the other side. This theory was backed up by the fact that Janeway was vibrating furiously, causing ripples to spread out around her and causing her to look slightly out of focus.

'Come on in B'Elanna!' Janeway said, splashing the wound up engineer again. 'The water's lovely!'

'Right! That's it!' B'Elanna yelled, and she was about to grab Janeway and pull her out of the water when a hand landed on her shoulder. She looked up to see Seven's placid blue eyes staring back, and B'Elanna felt a little of the anger drain away.

'Captain,' Seven said, stepping forward. 'You must accompany us to sickbay.'

'Oh, I must, must I? Must I?' B'Elanna could see a caffeine fuelled rant coming on as the captains mood did a complete one-eighty, and her mouth started working a mile a minute, seemingly detached from her brain, which had probably been overloaded from coffee hours ago. 'Who says? You say? You're not the captain, I am! Ha! Oh yeah, who's the boss! I am! I get to boss people around and I get the comfy chair! Woo! Coffee's great, don't you love coffee? It's rich and smooth and hot and sweet and brown!' Suddenly the raving captain lunged forward, grabbing Seven's arms and pulling her into the pool. 'Try it!'

For the first time, B'Elanna saw true panic swamp Seven's features as the diminutive captain pulled her into deep coffee. Even with her Borg enhanced strength, the tall blonde couldn't break the coffee-enhanced grip of Janeway.

'Captain, please! I cannot swim!' She begged even as the captain pushed her deeper still.

'Oh Kahless!' B'Elanna swore. She watched, horrified, as Seven lost her footing and went under, the captain still pulling her along, lost in her own little world.

As the captain continued rambling ('Yes, coffee! Who doesn't like it? No-one! It's hot and it's…') B'Elanna ripped off her jacket and dived forward, the coffee closing over her head with a thick 'gloop'.

She swam until her hands came into contact with Seven's body. The blonde felt her questing grasp and wrapped her hand around B'Elanna's wrist, squeezing so hard the engineer felt the bones compress. She felt the captains momentum capture her, pulling her along so they were strung out in a line in the coffee-pool.

She broke for air and started treading water, with Seven still desperately gripping her arm. She tried to break the captains grip but to no avail, so she took a deep breath and ducked under again. Using her free hand, she felt her way up Seven's body until she reached her face and then, without thinking, pushed forward, pressing her lips to Seven's and blowing air into the blondes' lungs.

She came up again and again, each time trying to break the captains vice like grip, but now she wasn't even sure the poor woman was even aware she was still holding Seven. She was just swimming along, dragging both the other women behind her as if they weighed nothing at all.

'Forget steroids,' B'Elanna thought. 'Just put her on special brew.'

Taking another deep breath, she ducked under once more, finding Seven's lips easily. She blew the air into the blondes mouth, feeling the full lips part to allow more air to pass. Suddenly, Seven let go of her wrist, and the ex-borgs' hand reached round the smaller woman, pulling her closer. B'Elanna was starting to run out of air, not that she was really aware of the fact, and her hands moved of their own accord, one stroking the other woman's face, the other slipping round and pulling Seven forward. She felt long legs wrap around her torso, and suddenly, they were kissing.

She felt a forth hand caress her back, and for a minute thought it was the captain, before it hit her that it was Seven's other hand…the captain had released her! She pushed off the bottom, and they broke the kiss as they broke the surface. To B'Elanna's amazement, Seven didn't unwind her legs from B'Elanna's body, and it took a moment to register that the woman was sobbing quietly.

'Shhhh, shhhh,' she managed, her brain not being able to cope with both this and a commanding officer who was now swimming around the pair, singing another rousing chorus of 'Where has all the coffee gone? (Decaf just isn't the same)'.

An idea struck her, and she went to pull her com-badge from her jacket, only to remember her jacket was on the bank. She looked at the side of the pool, which seemed a lot further away than it should have been, and then at the captain, who was doggy paddling happily around them like a mentally challenged shark.

'I'm going to reach for your com-badge, Seven,' she said quietly, reaching under the surface. After a few very embarrassing fumbles, she found the little object and removed it from Seven's bio-suit and activating it when it appeared above the surface.

'Doctor, ETA thirty seconds,' she whispered into the coffee smeared badge.

She turned her attention back to Janeway, and then realised that the captain had nothing on, nothing she could pin the com-badge to…except maybe…

Grinning toothily, she slowly propelled herself and Seven toward the captain, and when she was within range she lifted her hand and-

'B'Elanna!' The captain yelled, frantically reaching for her backside.

'Computer! Site to site transport, Seven's com-signal from holodeck two to sickbay, now!!' B'Elanna roared.

Finally, she was able to breath a sigh of relief when the naked, thrashing woman dematerialised in a flash of blue sparkles.

'Seven?' She asked, suddenly aware her other hand was still stroking the blonde's face.

Seven lifted her head from B'Elanna's shoulder, and the engineer could see where tears had left tracks through the coffee sludge that covered both of them. 'I…I…' Seven stammered, visibly trying to pull herself together. Suddenly, B'Elanna's feet touched the bottom, and she breathed a sigh of relief.

'Seven, put your feet down,' she said softly. The other woman complied and almost immediately B'Elanna missed the heat and weight around her.

They made it out of the pool, and B'Elanna helped Seven to stand on unsteady legs. She could she the former drone was embarrassed and decided to take pity on her.

'It's very scary, being trapped underwater,' she offered.

'Yes,' Seven said, her shock easing slightly. 'But you cannot help what you cannot do.'

'I could…I could give you a few lessons, if you like,' B'Elanna felt almost shy asking, which was a novel feeling.

'I would enjoy that,' Seven said. 'Almost as much as I would enjoy this.' Without warning, Seven leant forward and captured B'Elanna's lips. She stepped closer and B'Elanna wrapped an arm around her, pulling her closer still.

It was B'Elanna's turn to have unsteady legs when they broke for air. She opened her mouth to speak but Seven placed a coffee-coated digit over the engineers' lips, forestalling her.

'Thank you,' Seven whispered, kissing the engineer again.

The End

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