DISCLAIMER: Star Trek is the property of Paramount, this story depicts a loving/sexual relationship between women.
CHALLENGE RESPONSE: Submitted for the Passion & Perfection Xmas Challenge 2005
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Santa Visits Voyager
"Captain, something's just appeared, off the starboard bow."
"Appeared, Mr Kim?" Janeway twisted around to look at him. "Could you perhaps be a little more specific?"
"Actually, no. One minute it wasn't there, next minute it was. Sorry Captain."
Janeway inclined her head in acknowledgment. She looked at Chakotay. "On screen." And the two of them turned to the screen, together with the rest of the crew. "My God," Janeway gasped. "Get some scans on that thing," she ordered. "Tell me that's not what it seems."
A few minutes passed. "It checks out, Captain."
"It can't be." She frowned, thinking. "It has to be an alien, dipping into our minds and pulling out what we expect to see. It has to be a trick."
"You know, you were always difficult," boomed a jovial voice throughout the bridge.
"You. Difficult. You always poked your presents, Katie. Never content to just leave `em alone until the day, were ya?"
"I'm sorry, I don't think we've been introduced," the captain countered slowly, smiling.
"You're right. Manners. Manners." As the bridge crew watched, the viewscreen changed from a picture of a sleigh with its driver and reindeer, to the large head and shoulders of just the driver. "My name is well, I guess I have many names. Santa Claus is one you'll recognise, but I guess you can call me Kris Kris Kringle."
"Well, Kris," replied Janeway, not for a moment believing that she was talking to the mythical Santa Clause, "I'm "
"Captain Katie Janeway, of the Federation wotsit yes, I know," he finished impatiently.
She studied him. "Are you always this rude?"
Janeway's suspicions were verified. She grinned knowingly at Chakotay, although it was clear he was still quite in the dark. The poor man. Never in the queue when it came to the giving out of brains. And speaking of queues "Would you care to come aboard?" she asked `Kris.'
"Love to, dear lady. Love to. Uhm ?"
"Is there somewhere I can park my dear reindeer, dear?"
"I'm sure we can accommodate them for you. We'll beam them to "
"No need to put yourself out."
"Of course." She smiled again that little smile that said she knew she was being had but was quite happy to go along with it. Licking her lips and pouting she asked him, "Care for a sherry and a mince pie in the ready room?"
"Oh, I thought you'd never ask," he said. "I'll see you there," and then he vanished. Together with his livestock and sleigh.
"I'll be in the ready room," Janeway told Chakotay. "With Kris Kringle. Apparently. You have the bridge."
"Shall I send him through when he arrives?"
"Oh, I think I'll find he's already there, don't you?" She winked at him.
And, true to her hunch, Kris Kringle came forward to greet her as she entered the room. "Ah, Katie, so nice to see you, now that you're all grown up." He cast his eyes around the room. "You used to play with one of these things, in miniature, around your bedroom. Now you're actually in charge of one. How times change."
"You can cut the act, Q. I know it's you under there." She peered deeply through the beard and face fuzz. "I have only one question."
Q sighed, rumbled. He straightened up and threw back the Santa hood. "Damn it, you're too clever for me." Then he remembered what she'd just said. "What question?" he asked, muttering, "I didn't think you'd get it this soon!"
"Out there, you called me Katie. You always call me Kathy, not Katie. What gives?"
"Oh, please miss, I know this one " he said an excited child with his hand in the air. "When I'm Q, you're Kathy. Of course. But when I'm Santa, you're Katie."
"Yes, I got that bit already, but WHY?"
"Why what?" he asked, losing interest and looking around.
"Why the difference!" she shouted. "Ooooh, you always make me so mad."
Q placed a steadying hand on her shoulder and looked into her eyes, sincere for the moment. "Do you remember, when you were 4? You asked for a giant rocking horse? You got it, didn't you?" He smiled. "Loved it. Kept it for years. Played with it endlessly. Always galloping away into your fantasies."
"How do you know about that?"
"And that letter you wrote to `Santa' asking for the only present you really wanted when you were 9 for your mother to get well?"
A look of fear crossed Kathryn's face. "I never told a soul about that. I burned that letter because I believed that Santa would get it if I did. I told no one. No one." She shook her head as a truth was beginning to dawn.
"Ah, you see?"
"In the flesh. At least, one of me."
"I don't believe it. You're kidding."
"And, of course, you'll want to know how I do it all, in one night? It's what they all ask. It's very simple - there are a lot of Q out there, Kathy. It never takes us very long. Home in time for tea."
Luckily the two of them had been making their way to the upper level while they were talking and Kathryn had a couch behind her, because she dropped onto it now, a look of amazement on her face. "Oh, look. I know what you're trying to tell me, but I really can't belie "
"Then why did you burn the letter?"
"If you don't believe, why did you burn the letter?" She stared at him as he continued, "You signed it, `Little Katie Janeway' because that's what your mother called you then. And you drew a rose in the corner, because she loves roses."
"No," she groaned, denying that he knew these things.
"Yes you did. I saw it."
She frowned. "Ha! Caught you out, at last! How could you have seen it, huh! I burned it!"
"To get it to Santa Clause, right?"
"Well," he said, studying his fingernails, "It got there."
Well, that did it. The captain gave Q a faraway look and slowly got up of the couch, standing before `Santa'. She smiled at him warmly and took hold of both of his shoulders, squeezing them, before planting a kiss on his whiskery cheek. "I don't care if this is the biggest hoax you have ever pulled on me," she told him, shaking her head, "but I have to tell you something, Q. I believe you. Fool that I may be, I believe you!"
"Then would you like to sit on my knee, little lady?" asked Q cheekily, grinning. "And tell me what you'd like for Christmas this year?"
To his surprised she answered, "I'd like that very much."
"Well all right!" He sat down promptly, in case she changed her mind, and pulled her down onto his lap as she shrieked in surprise, laughing. Then she slipped an arm around his neck and smiled at him, hopefully. "Yes?" he prompted.
"Don't you already know what I want?"
"I might. But you have to ask anyway. Rules," he said importantly.
"All right then. I want B'Elanna Torres to fall in love with me."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I can't do that."
"But you're Santa, Q," she said, patting his chest. "You can do anything."
"I can't do that."
"Because she's in love with you already." Kathryn's mouth dropped open in surprise. "You'll have to ask for something else." She recovered herself quickly and thought for a while. Then her face developed a determined sort of look and she drew breath, only to be interrupted. "But not that," he blocked. "I can't do that, either."
"It couldn't hurt to get us all back to Earth, could it?" teased Kathryn.
"You know my hands are tied on that one. I can't get you home and that's final. Now, come on. Hurry up. There are a lot of people out there writing letters you know. I'm a busy Q."
"Well then, I wish that that you'd come back, as Santa, for our Christmas party next week and join us."
"Done! I'd be delighted." Then he leaned forward and kissed the tip of her nose before clicking his fingers and disappearing, sending Kathryn dropping onto the couch.
"Q!" she grumbled, smiling, as she got up.
"You wouldn't want me any other way," a voice said.
"You know what?" She smiled wistfully. "You're right." Her look became misty eyed. "Thank you Santa Q,..." she said quietly.
"You're welcome," he whispered back. "And tell the crew to expect some bumper presents when I return. I got permission to bring all the gifts from your relatives and friends for you."
"How the hell did you do that?" she asked perplexed, thinking of what was involved. But there was no reply. He'd gone. She broke out into a wide smile, looking around the ready room. "You're a darling," she said happily, heading for the ready room door.
"Spread the word."
Just as her shift was ending, B'Elanna Torres called the bridge. "Engineering to the bridge. Captain?"
"Go ahead, B'Elanna."
"Can I call by your quarters. Say in 15 minutes?"
"Make it 10 and I'll agree," answered the captain happily, ignoring the looks from the rest of the bridge crew.
But she made it there in 7 and was just going through her own door when a person came thundering up the corridor behind her. "Hold the door," called out B'Elanna, following her through. "I hear you had a visit from Santa?"
"Word travels fast." Kathryn now wasn't certain she believed that Santa was Q, or that all of the Q, collectively, was Santa, but she wanted to believe, and maybe that was enough. She turned to face B'Elanna. "He gave me an early Christmas present, by the way."
"Oh?" B'Elanna stopped, standing close to her captain. She studied Kathryn's eyes. There was something different about them. "What did he give you?"
"That's a strange kind of present."
"No. It's the best kind of present. Really."
"You want to let me in on it?"
Kathryn moved closer. "You're already in on it." She took B'Elanna's face gently in her hands and looked from one eye to the other. It was clear that her next intention would be welcome and, just as she moved closer to realise it, a flash appeared above them. They both looked up and saw a piece of mistletoe, suspended in the air. "Thank you, Santa," Kathryn said softly, returning her attention to B'Elanna.
And after their very first kiss, B'Elanna asked again, "Are you going to tell me what your present was?"
"I told Santa I wanted your love for Christmas. He said I already had it. It was the best present." She released B'Elanna's face and pulled her close for a hug, which quickly got out of hand.
"OK," said B'Elanna breathlessly. "So you got your present. Now do you think I could have mine?"
Her smile and the position of her hands left Kathryn in no doubt as to what B'Elanna's present might be. "You really should wait until Christmas Day," teased Kathryn, trying to appear serious.
"And let you give it to me under the tree, in full sight of everyone?"
They both stopped what they were doing and stared at each other. Excited looks passed between them. Shocked and excited. Until Kathryn agreed, "OK, now! Scoot."
She shooed her present into the bedroom.
"But you know," murmured Kathryn, through a kiss. "I have to unwrap mine before you get yours!"
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