An Apple A Day...
by Suz

And another new story started.....I've noticed that I keep using lots of dots in my titles (and elsewhere). So here's some more....

Disclaimer - Paramount owns all characters and starships in this story. What I do with them is my own business ;D

This was started before I saw Scorpion Part 2 (I'm in England) so it doesn't involve 7 of 9. Took me long enough to finish, didn't it?

This story also contains brief references to the episode 'Learning Curve', but don't let that stop you reading it.

Many thanks to everyone in JetC10 - you've been a great inspiration.

Leola root stew, anyone?


Examining his mobile emitter, he made sure that it was functioning properly when he stepped outside sickbay. There was always a brief feeling of paranoia when he left the room. Although it had never happened yet, he always had the feeling that the emitter would stop working and he would vanish. Actually, he should really say synthesised feeling. After all, he wasn't a biological being - his emotions were made up of a series of computer algorithms. Brilliantly complex algorithms, but algorithms just the same.

He turned to his left and entered the closest turbolift. "Holodeck one." he ordered. The turbolift complied and began its gentle hum that indicated it was moving.

The Doctor could have just transferred himself to the holodeck, but he still enjoyed the freedom the emitter provided him with. He preferred to walk the corridors of the ship, nodding at any other crewmen he passed (although he had to admit that since the incident with his 'darker' side, there weren't many young female ensigns who would get into a turbolift with him). Only the small grey box on his left arm and the lack of pips on his collar made him appear any different. He could truly blend in for the first time, and it was something he had come to appreciate.

He was also considering more and more about requesting his own quarters.

He'd been satisfied until recently, but in the last few months he'd begun to feel that he wanted his own space for a while. Most of the times he was activated was when someone else was in sickbay, or when there was a medical emergency. That was fine, but he wanted some privacy now and then.

As he mused over these thoughts, the turbolift stopped and Captain Janeway stepped in. He tried his best to look innocent, because what he was about to do in the holodeck concerned her.

"Good morning Captain!" he greeted, too brightly.

She looked at him. "Doctor." Facing away from him she told the turbolift her destination. "Bridge."

As the turbolift continued its journey, the Doctor decided to bring up the subject of his thoughts. "Captain...I've been wondering if it would be possible to have my own quarters."

She turned to him and pursed her lips as she mulled it over. "Why not?" she finally answered. "I know I was a bit reticent when you first suggested it, but I've had more of a chance to think it over. You're as much a part of this crew as anyone and you deserve the same options as any other crewmember."

He smiled, extremely pleased. He hadn't thought it would go this well. "Thank you Captain."

"There's no need to thank me Doctor. You're the one who does most of the life-saving around here."

He let himself bask in the ego-boost for a moment, then realised that this was the perfect opportunity to start his plan off.... "Even so Captain, I'd like to do something to say thank you. Would you join me in holodeck one tonight after your shift? Say 1900 hours? There's something I'd like to show you."

"Okay Doctor." she relented. "I'll see you there."

The turbolift stopped and he stepped out. Just before the doors swished shut he shouted "Oh, and dress casual!"

Her surprised expression was cut off by the doors.

The Doctor turned away from the turbolift and sighed happily. Rubbing his hands in glee he walked to the holodeck.

He pressed a few buttons on the console outside the holodeck, then called out "Computer, begin programme DoctorNEJuliasCeaser."

The doors hissed open and he entered.


Two hours later, the Doctor left holodeck one smiling brightly. He had almost expected to be interrupted with a medical emergency but thankfully nothing had happened. They'd been travelling through a relatively quiet part of space lately, and had not encountered any new species for some time.

Now that his plan had been set in motion, he had to keep going. Other matters would have to be dealt with if this was going to work.

"Computer, what is Commander Chakotay's location?"

"Commander Chakotay is on the bridge." the harsh female voice responded.

The Doctor frowned. This wasn't good. Unless...."Computer, what is the location of Captain Janeway?"

"Captain Janeway is in her ready room."

Ah ha! Perhaps this would work after all.

"Holographic Doctor to Commander Chakotay."

A brief pause. "Chakotay here Doctor. What can I do for you?"

"Commander, can you please meet me in sickbay? There's something I'd like to discuss with you." There was another pause as Chakotay no doubt tried to think of what he wanted to talk about.

His voice was puzzled when he replied. "Understood Doctor, I'll be right there. Chakotay out."

The com line closed and the Doctor realised he had better get moving.


He entered sickbay about thirty seconds before Chakotay did. He'd just managed to sit behind his desk and arrange some items to make it look like he'd been there for a while when the Commander entered.


"In here Commander." the Doctor replied, indicating his office. He thought that it was a good thing that at this moment he wasn't a biological being. It he had been, his shortness of breath would have no doubt given him away.

"What did you want to see me for?" Chakotay enquired.

The Doctor tapped a few buttons on his computer interface as if he were calling up information. "I was going through some details on the computer system when I noticed that it's been almost a year since your last physical."

"And that's all?"

"That's all." The EMH agreed.

"Well...okay." Chakotay replied. "But couldn't we have discussed this after my shift ended?"

"We're not exactly going through the most exciting part of the Delta quadrant. I thought I might as well get this done as soon as possible. There are 147 of you to get through you know."

Chakotay smiled. "Alright Doctor. Where do you want me?"

He stood up and walked into the main sickbay area. "If you could just lie down on the biobed. This shouldn't take more than ten minutes or so."

Chakotay nodded and hopped on the biobed. He laid down and closed his eyes. "You know, I never realised how comfortable these beds were before."

"Really?" the Doctor asked as he ran a microcellular scan. He wasn't really interested, but if he could keep the Commander talking he could keep him here for longer.

"I only ever use them when I'm injured, and you focus more on trying to get better than appreciating comfort."

"Indeed." The EMH replied as he feigned interest at the bioreadings that were appearing on the computer interface on the wall.

He calculated everything that he knew about the Commander. He was relaxed, he was in a good mood, and he didn't suspect a thing. Now was the perfect time.

"Hiya Doc."

The doors had slid open to admit Tom Paris into sickbay. The Doctor jolted up, looking surprised and guilty. "Mr Paris! What are you doing here?" He was extremely annoyed. Things had been going so well until now.

"Relax Doc. I'm just here to pick up the results from those samples we beamed aboard yesterday." He nodded to the First Officer. "Commander. Shouldn't you be on the bridge?"

Chakotay sat up on the biobed. "That's what I thought, but the Doctor insisted that I come in for my physical."

Tom nodded then moved forward to look at the scanner readings. He examined them, displaying far more interest on his face than was necessary. "Well...not that I'm an expert like the Doctor, but my medical training shows that you're fit."

He and Chakotay looked at the Doctor. The Doctor looked from Chakotay's amused eyes to Tom's rather pensive ones. Clearly the Lieutenant was up to something. Still looking at Paris, he said to Chakotay "Uh..yes Commander, you can go now." He finally moved his gaze back to the First Officer. "You're fit for duty. Thank you for coming."

Chakotay frowned at the Doctor's sudden non-diagnosis. "Okay Doctor." He slid off the bed and tugged on his right ear with his hand as he left sickbay.

As soon as the door swished shut Paris turned around to face the Doctor. "What the hell do you think you were doing?"

The Doctor lowered his eyebrows at him as he started putting away equipment. "I might ask you the same thing."

"You were going to ask him, weren't you?"

"Ask him what?" he questioned innocently.

"You know what." Tom replied earnestly. "Everyone knows. There's no point in asking because everyone knows anyway."

"Well I had to make sure!" he answered, waving a hypospray vial around. "I don't want to attempt anything if he doesn't love her."

"Oh you know he does."

"I think he does, yes, but knowing and thinking are two very different things." He slammed a tricorder down on the medtray with a sense of finality.

Tom observed his actions with curiosity. "This really matters to you, doesn't it." It was more of a statement than a question, and the surprise in Tom's voice was evident. Even so, the Doctor felt compelled to answer.

"Yes. I know that everyone on Voyager had a hard time seeing me as an individual, except for...Kes." He still found it hard to talk about her. "But I've come to realise how much I'm seen as a vital member of the crew, and not just as the doctor. I have some very close friends, and I'm treated just the same as anyone else. The Captain is even giving me my own quarters."

"That's great. Maybe I can stay for dinner at your place one evening with B'Elanna." He studied the expression on the Doctor's face. "Maybe not."

"The Captain and the Commander have been particularly good for me. I need to do something in return."

Tom looked down, his brow furrowed. "I can understand the sentiment Doc, but you don't need to do that. Being kind to you...that's what friends do. That's what they're for. To be there when you need them, to talk to. They don't expect anything in return."

"I know that Tom," the EMH replied, for once using his first name "and it's not just that. You said it yourself - everyone knows how he feels about her. And just about everyone knows that she feels the same way. They're destined to be together."

"You're quite the old romantic, aren't you Doc?"

He sighed. "No more than you are Mr Paris. I've seen the way you treat B'Elanna, and I've seen the way you also try to get the Captain and Commander together. They can't help but notice your attempts. I was going to try something...subtler."

Tom nodded sagely in mock agreement. "I see. And you thought that best way of doing this was by flat out asking the Commander if he loved the Captain."

The Doctor rubbed the thumb and forefinger of his right hand on his forehead, as if he was actually capable of getting a headache. "I don't believe there will be any problem with letting the Commander know. We just have to be more careful around the Captain."

"I don't think Chakotay would appreciate us interfering. As much as he may love the Captain, he'd like for her to act on her feelings without our influence."

"And how do you know that Mr Paris?"

"Let's just say I have an inside source." he answered mysteriously.

Probably Ms Torres, the Doctor mused. "Alright, so we try to get them together without telling the Commander. I already had a plan set in motion, but now that the Commander won't be helping me, the plan is going to need some serious tweaking."

The Lieutenant rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "Well tell me what you've done so far. We may need to get some help with this. And I know just the people for the job."


"Couldn't we just find some excuse to get him to go to the holodeck tonight?" B'Elanna ventured, looking at the others on her table in the mess hall.

"Well that's what we want to do," Harry insisted "but so far no one's come up with any believable excuses."

B'Elanna considered his words and suddenly an idea formed in her mind. "I've got it!" she shouted, drawing attention from other crewmembers around the mess hall.

"Shhhh!" Tom, Harry and the Doctor whispered, drawing even more attention.

"Sorry," B'Elanna apologised sheepishly "but I have an idea. What if we do just the opposite?"

"Just the opposite?" asked Tom.

"What if we're completely obvious about it? I mean, to a certain degree we'll still have to act as if we're hiding something, but..."

"No. Not at all." The Doctor ordered. "I told Mr Paris that I don't want it to be obvious, and I'm sticking with that."

"Come on Doc!" cried Tom. "We haven't got another plan at the moment, and at least this way we'll be doing something to try and get them together."

The Doctor sighed insufferably. "You're right, I suppose. I just want it to be...perfect."

Tom winked. "It will be. Trust me."

"Famous last words if ever I heard them." the Doctor moaned. The other three conspirators at the table just smiled at him.


"Sickbay to Paris."

He slapped his combadge. "Go ahead."

"She's on her way. She should be with you in less than a minute."

"Understood. Paris out." He ended the conversation and turned to B'Elanna. "Come on, let's get to work."

She nodded and smiled eagerly. Kneeling down next to the access panel beside the holodeck, she yanked it open and started pulling out components, careful not to damage anything.

Tom stood just where the corridor began to bend, keeping watch. He wondered how much time had gone.

"Computer, how long ago did Captain Janeway leave sickbay?"

"Forty two seconds." replied the computerised voice.

That meant she'd be! Quickly turning around he sprinted towards B'Elanna. He knelt down beside her and started whispering.


Kathryn Janeway was humming to herself as she walked along deck 6. It had been a pretty good day so far, apart from the physical the Doctor had forced her to endure. She was sure it had been less than a year since her last one, but Chakotay had informed her that he'd had to undergo one too. He'd also told her that the Doctor had been behaving most oddly, and he had witnessed a bizarre conversation between the EMH and Tom Paris.

Curiosity more than anything else had driven Kathryn to sickbay, but the Doctor seemed perfectly fine to her. Okay, perhaps perfectly fine wasn't the correct phrase. More like the same as usual. Arrogant, condescending - but one hell of a doctor.

The Doctor had also told her that Ms Torres wanted a word with her, and that she'd be on deck 6. Why B'Elanna had told the Doctor this was another question that needed answering.

Turning a bend in the corridor, she stopped humming when she saw Tom and B'Elanna. They were working on an open access panel and appeared to be whispering intently. Creeping forward and yet trying to keep to the side of the corridor so she wouldn't be seen, Kathryn listened in.

She couldn't hear everything they were saying but she was sure that her name as well as Chakotay's came up. Then she heard the words 'perfect for each other' and knew instantly what they were talking about.

So...they were trying to matchmake again. Not the first time they'd attempted it, but it had been a while.

Retreating back a bit she then walked towards them heavily, easily giving her presence away. They looked up at her then sprung apart guiltily.

"Hi!" Tom exclaimed, then tried to calm himself. "I mean, hello Captain."

"Mr Paris." she greeted, utterly failing to keep the grin from her face. She turned to her Chief Engineer. "The Doctor told me than you needed to speak to me."

B'Elanna stood and grinned too brightly. "Uh, yes...that's right Captain. I'm having a problem with some of these conduits and I could use your help. I asked Tom, but he's been no use..."


"...and Harry's now on bridge duty."

Kathryn agreed to help, but she frowned. It was a little irregular for B'Elanna to ask for her help but her reasons sounded plausible enough.

Tom excused himself, explaining that he had something else he needed to do. Kathryn noticed that he didn't say goodbye to B'Elanna.

Walking over to the access panel, she glanced at B'Elanna, who then sighed heavily.

Now there's an invitation to talk if ever I heard one.


"B'Elanna, is there something you want to talk about?"

B'Elanna turned to Kathryn, trying to keep the grin off her face. It looked as if things were going to plan so far. The Doctor had been right about the Captain's near-insatiable curiosity.

Leaning forward again, Torres feigned interest in the contents of the panel.

"'s just that Tom and I have been having problems lately." She confessed, trying to sound upset. It wasn't that difficult. She and Tom were always arguing over something.

"Problems?" Kathryn queried, far more interested in what B'Elanna had to say than the trouble with the holodeck.

"Yes. We...I...I mean, I guess it's not exactly a secret that we've become closer."

"Well," Kathryn said, "if you mean that it's been more than a month since I heard you threaten to break his nose, then no it's not."

Both women grinned at the comment, although B'Elanna felt rather embarrassed. That bothered her. She wasn't supposed to be feeling embarrassed - that's what she was trying to do to the Captain.

With a renewed effort she continued with the plan. "Anyway, I know how much Tom cares for me, and I know he wants us to get much closer."


B'Elanna hurled her tricorder at he floor, turned around and slumped against the corridor wall. She was going to give the Captain a good show. "I keep pushing him away! I don't even mean to do it, but one moment we're happily hugging and the next I won't even let him touch me."

Kathryn blinked, quite surprised at the young woman's outburst. Not by the actual outburst itself (she had them quite a lot) but by the subject of her anger. It seemed familiar somehow.

"I care about him so much." B'Elanna continued. "Why do I keep him away?" her voice was a plaintive question.

The Captain seemed to regard her words then turned and sat down next to B'Elanna, oblivious to any looks they were getting from other crew members who were passing by.

"'s the only way you can cope." She replied cautiously.

"Why?" the half-Klingon queried.

"If you let yourself truly embrace him, how would you get anything done? You wouldn't be able to concentrate on your work. You would be able to eat. You wouldn't be able to sleep properly."

B'Elanna frowned. "I think you may be over-estimating Tom's appeal."

Kathryn continued talking as if B'Elanna hadn't said a word. "And maybe you're afraid." She said shakily, her eyes unfocused.

"Why would I be afraid?" Torres asked, trying to tread gently. They were in delicate territory here.

"What had to order him...I mean...what if he went on an away mission and he got killed? Wouldn't you feel like it was your fault? Wouldn't you feel that if you had just said something to object...that if you had voiced what you really felt then maybe it wouldn't have happened?"

"But isn't that part of the joy of being in love? Taking those risks? If you can't risk everything, then you can't be in love." B'Elanna countered, wondering where this new-found wisdom had come from.

Kathryn had no reply and B'Elanna knew the plan was working. She'd have to congratulate the Doctor later. It was incredibly difficult keeping the smile off her face though. She tried to think of dark thoughts, then remembered the trouble that had gotten her into last time. And she hadn't even been trying then.

The plan had to proceed, no matter what. "Captain...could I ask a favour of you?"


"I know you and the Doctor have plans in the holodeck this evening, but would you mind if I booked time for Tom and I in there instead? I think we need the time alone together."

Kathryn stood. "Of course B'Elanna. I'll let the Doctor know myself."

"Thank you Captain."

"Please, when we're off duty - call me Kathryn? Chakotay's the only one who does and I almost miss it from a female friend."

B'Elanna filled that interesting little bit of information away in her brain. "Okay...Kathryn."

Kathryn nodded towards the access panel. "Well, now that we've found a solution, I'm sure they'll be no more 'problems' with this?"

"Oh I doubt it Kathryn. They're quite sturdy usually."

B'Elanna turned back to reconnect the circuitry and completely missed the small smile tugging at her Captain's lips.


"Please state the nature of...oh hello Captain." The Doctor greeted. His processed thoughts were racing, as all the information about his plan became available to him.

Ah ha. He thought. Then she must be here to tell me-

"Doctor, I'm sorry but we won't be able to visit the holodeck tonight. There's someone else who needs to use it more urgently."

Remember. Look upset. He frowned heavily, much more than was necessary. He sighed dramatically. "I see. Thank you for letting me know Captain. I shall have to find some other way to keep myself entertained tonight."

Janeway gave a firm nod of her head and smiled. "Tell me Doctor, just what were you going to take me to see anyway?"

Look calm. "Oh, just a...thank you I suppose you could call it. It's not that important - we can do it another time."

She left shortly afterwards, leaving the Doctor alone in sickbay. Exhaling deeply (even though he didn't breathe oxygen) he headed towards his office. Well his original plan may have gone haywire, but his latest one seemed to be going well. It was quite a shame that they'd had to rethink everything - he'd spent hours recreating New Earth for them on the holodeck. No, it didn't matter. The only thing that did matter at all was that they got together. He wasn't doing this to feel good about himself - he was doing this for them.

And he did rather like this new plan. It was still pretty obvious, but Tom had managed to convince him that his original plan had been even more so. He supposed logic wasn't his strongest point, for which he was extremely grateful. He didn't want to end up like a Vulcan.

No...this new plan was a good one. They'd had a tough time deciding where to do it. Either of their quarters would have been too obvious, as would have a turbolift. It had to be somewhere where they always saw each other and wouldn't suspect a thing until it was too late.


B'Elanna entered the bridge with the engineering report. A quick glance around the room confirmed what the computer had told her - Captain Janeway wasn't on the bridge but Chakotay was.

Walking to her former Maquis Captain, she handed him the PADD. "Good morning Commander. Here's the engineering report." She hoped her voice sounded more confident than she felt. It must have, because he didn't seem to notice anything out of the ordinary.

He thanked her and she walked over to her station on the starboard side of the bridge. She winked at Tom, Harry and Neelix (who had also been brought in on the scheme), thankful that Tuvok didn't have this duty shift.

Ten minutes later Chakotay was still reading the report. What in the name of Kahless was taking him so long? She pressed more buttons on her console, trying to look fascinated at what she was doing, which was in fact nothing. Not work anyway. What she was doing was waiting for Chakotay to-

Yes! Finally he stood up.

"Mr Paris, you have the bridge." He informed the conn officer, then walked to Kathryn's ready room to give her a summary of the report. He beeped for entry, and after a few seconds of waiting, heard her summons and entered.

As soon as the doors swished shut the bridge became a flurry of activity. B'Elanna, Tom and Harry leapt out of their seats running toward the ready room doors, while Neelix tapped his commbadge and summoned the Doctor the bridge.

B'Elanna almost ripped the panel next to the ready room off the wall and hurled it across the room in her eagerness. It narrowly avoided Ensign Parsons who was trying to get a good look at the action.

Tom whipped out a tricorder, Harry a hyperspanner and B'Elanna began re-organising the contents of the panel.

The Doctor entered the bridge and walked towards the group who were now almost swarming around the doors to the Captain's ready room. "Well," he stated "it's a good thing Mr Tuvok isn't here. No doubt he'd be informing you that it was illogical for all three of you to work on one access panel."

Paris glanced up from his tricorder readings. "Will you hurry up Doc? We've got no idea how much time we have."

"Relax Tom." Harry insisted. "We've got a couple of minutes yet. They always have a chat when he takes her a report. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't hurry." He said, with a significant look in the Doctor's direction.

Sighing, the Doctor nonetheless moved quickly and leant down next to them. Clicking open the medkit he was carrying he took out the tools he needed. Finally a small beeping noise sounded and B'Elanna grinned triumphantly. "We're done here. Now it's you turn Doctor."

"Thank you Ms Torres." He leant forward to begin his work but paused. "Are you sure you've done this correctly Lieutenant? It's not that I doubt your abilities but if something's gone wrong it could affect the whole ship."

"I'm sure. Tom, use your tricorder to check."

The blonde-haired pilot nodded and activated the tricorder. As the data appeared he grinned. "No problems whatsoever Doc. All we're waiting for is for you to do your job."

The Doctor regarded them and thought they looked quite funny. Everyone on the bridge was leaning forward, anxiously waiting for him to finish. Well, how could he not finish it with this appreciative an audience?

Leaning forward once more he began working.


Chakotay gulped down the last of his coffee and set the mug down on the table.

"Well I'd better be going Kathryn. Who knows what they're up to out there by now?"

She grinned at him. "See you later Chakotay. And don't forget to bring round that sand painting you promised to show me."

He rose from his seat, smiled his agreement and walked towards the door. Nothing happened. He tried again and when that failed tried using his override code. By now Kathryn had risen from her seat and was standing behind him. Turning toward her he shrugged and tapped his combadge. "Chakotay to Torres."


The chatter on the bridge continued unabated as everyone talked excitedly about what they could get up to in there.

B'Elanna realised she was being hailed, and shushed everyone. "Quiet." She whispered, wanting to yell but knowing Chakotay and Kathryn would probably hear her. Of course no one on the bridge heard her because her voice was so low. Growling she stood up and waved her arms about frantically to get their attention.

Her strange behaviour soon got them to shut up. "Thank you." She whispered sarcastically. Tapping her combadge she responded to Chakotay. "Torres here Commander. Sorry for the delay."

"That's alright B'Elanna."

"What do you need me for?" she queried, knowing exactly what the problem was and how to fix it.

"I appear to be stuck in the Captain's ready room. The doors won't open."

B'Elanna suddenly realised everyone on the bridge was staring at her. It was very disconcerting. Tom started chuckling at Chakotay's comment but he soon shut up when she elbowed him in the ribs. She hoped Chakotay and Kathryn didn’t hear his muted grunt.

She propelled Tom toward Harry and the Doctor knowing they would keep him quiet.

"Okay Commander. I'll just get over to the access panel." She paused for a few seconds, letting them imagine that she was walking from one side of the bridge to the other. She then made a hmming noise. "It appears as if the bio-neural gel packs in this access panel have been infected."

"Again?" Janeway's voice cut in, exasperated. "Could the contamination get to other systems as it did last time?"

"I don't believe so Captain. The infection seems to be isolated to just this access panel. I also think it may be treatable which means we won't have to use one of our backup packs for a replacement. I'll have to consult with the Doctor though."

"Understood. Let us know as soon as you find something."

"Aye Captain. Torres out."

As soon as the comline closed she exhaled a heavy breath. Well that was a little easier than I expected.

She turned back to see the occupants of the room grinning at her, although Tom was still moaning at being man-handled. She thought she heard a comment for his preference on being woman-handled instead.

The Doctor spoke. "That went quite well, didn’t it?"

Everyone nodded in agreement.

"Well, let us begin stage two." He told them. "You know what you have to do."


The com traffic about Voyager was abuzz with activity. Everyone on the bridge told their friends about the Captain and Commander's predicament, and they subsequently told their friends.

By the time thirty minutes had passed two thirds of the crew knew about it, but everyone was careful not to let Tuvok know.


The Doctor listened as B'Elanna finished her update to the Captain. She had the ability of lying about their situation down to an art form. When she closed the com line she walked over to him.

"Any progress?" she asked.

"None yet I'm afraid." He reported regretfully. He pointed to the readouts on the console. "The only good news at all is that both of their heart rates have quickened, but it's a very small increase."

"Well then…we may have to turn up the heat."

He smiled when he realised what she was suggesting.


Twenty minutes later everything was set. B'Elanna was ready to begin the process and was awaiting the Doctors order.

"Doctor to the Captain."

"Janeway here Doctor. I hope you have some good news for us."

"Well that depends on how you view your good news Captain. I'm sorry to report that the only way we can open the doors to your ready room is by doing what we did before - superheating the bio-neural gel packs."

A few seconds later she responded. "I see. Will we have to heat the whole ship?"

"No Captain. Lieutenant Torres has found a way of only heating up the gel packs surrounding your ready room. The bridge will get quite warm too, but I'm afraid your ready room will have the worst of the heat." He paused for impact. "Captain, I feel it is my duty as Chief Medical Officer to advise you how to handle the situation. You should wear as little as possible and drink as many liquids as possible." He didn't care about being subtle anymore, as long as it worked. "I would also advise against any…strenuous activity."

He heard a chuckle come from behind him, followed by a thump and groaning noise. He turned to see B'Elanna standing over Mr Paris who was holding his nose in apparent agony.

The Doctor continued talking to Janeway. "Even after the infection has been destroyed, Ms Torres predicts it will still take approximately thirty minutes to get your doors open."

"I understand Doctor. Proceed."

After ending the hail, the Doctor turned back to B'Elanna and Tom. "Ms Torres…I really wish you'd stop doing that."

"It's his own fault."

"I'm not saying it isn't, but maybe you could try and restrain yourself?"

Tom staggered back to his feet, gingerly feeling his nose. "It's okay Doc, I don't think she broke it this time." He turned to the Chief Engineer. "Come on B'Elanna, you have to admit that was funny."

Her arms were folded across her chest but her lips twitched. "Of course it was funny Tom. Everyone on the bridge found it funny but the rest of us managed to keep quiet. Maybe you should try and restrain your sense of humour for once."

The Doctor wasn't going to let this idle chatter continue. "Let's get to work!" he exclaimed, and the crew set about their tasks.


Thirty minutes later B'Elanna approached the Doctor once more. "Well?" she demanded.

"I'm getting some very encouraging readings." He reported, tapping at his console.

"Really?" she asked excitedly.

"Yes. Their heart rates have are extremely fast now and both of them are sweating heavily. Now I know this is to be expected from the heat, but their hormonal levels have also risen by a great degree."

B'Elanna was pushing in front of him now to have a look at the data. "Really?!" she exclaimed again.

He was as happy as she was, but she was getting in the way. Pushing her firmly to one side he continued speaking when…"Oh my."

"What? What is it?" she demanded.

"Does Tuvok still have security surveillance equipment all over the ship?" he queried.

B'Elanna was baffled. "Yes, as far as I know. He's got it everywhere except for in the crew quarters. Why?"

"I think we should attempt to deactivate the devices monitoring the Captains ready room. Thanks to our gossip-spreading, eventually a member of the crew will attempt to tap into the surveillance systems and get a look at what's happening in the ready room. If they do…I imagine they would get quite an eyeful."


Janeway and Chakotay left the room twenty minutes later. Both were dishevelled, sweaty and hot…and both wore ridiculously big grins. They weren't touching, but from the look of intimacy that passed between them they might as well have been all over each other.

The Doctor was very pleased.


Kathryn giggled as they entered her quarters. "I swear everyone we passed in the corridors knew we'd been trapped together for the last hour."

Chakotay grinned and pulled her close for a quick kiss. "Mmm…I wouldn't put it passed our crew to let everyone know. It seems you were right about your matchmaking theory."

"It's sweet of them, and you have to admit it's been quite a while since they've attempted anything. You wouldn't believe the speech I gave to B'Elanna about keeping 'distant' from a possible relationship. She pretended to be talking about her and Tom but I knew full well she meant you and me."

"So what did you say to her?" he asked as he slowly removed her uniform.

She sighed as she lay down on the bed. "Oh just some rubbish about protocol. All the things I used to let get in my way." Smiling slyly she sat up. "But then I opened my eyes."

"I'm glad you did." He told her, his dark eyes examining her as he undid her bra. "How long had it been before this afternoon?" he asked. "A week?"

"No, the last time was this morning." She frowned, hurt that he'd forget.

He grinned again, the full-on dimple grin. "That's not what I meant. What I meant was…how long had it been since we made love on a table?"

"Ohhh…." She couldn't stop smiling. "Yes, you're right. Before today it had been a week."

He leant down and kissed her soundly. "You know…it's been even longer since we made love in your bath."

"I'm not surprised. It took forever to clear up that water last time."

"I'll help clean up this time, I promise."

How could she say no when he used his eyes like that? Besides, she wanted to as much as he did.

Grabbing the cover from her bed, she threw it over his head before leaping up and running for the bathroom.


The EMH programme sat in his office going over his medical reports. His thoughts kept wandering to the Captain and Commander. He wondered how they were doing.

His thoughts were interrupted as someone entered sickbay. He looked up to greet who it was. "Good morning Captain."

"Good morning Doctor." She greeted, and he noticed she was carrying a box with a ribbon tied around it. "This is for you."

"Me?" Why would she be giving him a gift?

"Yes. I have discovered from…various sources that you were the instigator of this little matchmaking attempt. And although I can't say I fully appreciate it, I understand why you did it. So this is sort of a…thank you I suppose you could call it." She smiled as she imitated his earlier words.

"Well…thank you Captain." He said happily, taking the box from her.

"You are very welcome Doctor." She paused. "And one more thing…Chakotay and I would appreciate it if you would refrain from any more attempts at matchmaking, unless it is somehow directly connected with out health."

"Aye Captain."

"Good. I hope you enjoy your presents." She grinned as she left sickbay.


Pulling the red ribbon from around the box he cautiously opened it, expecting something to come popping out. Thankfully nothing happened so he peered inside. There was a small envelope with 'The Doctor' written on it. Curious, he pulled out the small card that was inside. It read:

'To A Dear Member Of The Crew,

You have been allocated room number 19 on deck 8 for your own personal quarters. We hope you enjoy the new freedom this brings you.

Kathryn and Chakotay.'

Grinning, the Doctor placed the card on his desk. He put his hand in the box and pulled out an item that was surrounded in white tissue paper. Slowly unwrapping it in case it was delicate, he frowned when he realised what it was.

Why would they give him an apple??


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