by Suz

Disclaimer - "Do it!" said Janeway as she was assimilated by the Para-Borg.

I do not know *what* I was thinking when I wrote this. In particular I would like to apologise to Kate Mulgrew. Utter silliness. You have been warned.

It was inevitable. Those who know me well knew that eventually it was going to happen. And considering the subject matter, it seems only appropriate that I dedicate this story to the other three Goddesses - sex, violence and male genitalia (as opposed to war, famine and pestilence). This is for you.

And no. My next story is not going to be titled 'The Hand Warmer'. (pause) Hmm...

In memory of Suz's Cucumber, who was tragically killed in a freak run in with the tyres of a car.


"What are you doing?"

Yelling in surprise at his voice, she whirled to her left, the cucumber held menacingly in her right hand.

Chakotay raised his hands in mock fear. "Careful what you do with that thing."

Kathryn stared at him, her cheeks flaming in embarrassment. Doing her best to look nonchalant about the whole thing, she spoke. "Cooking. What are you doing here?"

He still had his arms raised. "Put down the cucumber and we'll talk."

She smiled despite herself and quickly lowered the offending vegetable. "Sorry. Guess I'm still a little jumpy."

He nodded as he approached, lowering his arms. "That's understandable. The Trindani were not the most hospitable race we've ever met."

A grin tugged at her lips as turned back toward the counter, placing the cucumber on the side. "True. But that seems to be the case with just about every species we encounter here."

He leant against the counter next to her as she picked up the knife and began cutting carrots on the chopping board. He nodded towards the cucumber that rested on the surface between them. "What were you planning on doing with that thing anyway? Thwacking me with it?"

Kathryn pinched her lips together in a futile attempt to stop from smiling. She kept her eyes fixed on her hands as they sliced through the carrot with the knife. "I'll have you know that a cucumber can be deadly in the right hands."

He hoped she wasn't speaking from experience - that was a little too bizarre to consider. He couldn't stop himself from replying however. "And I suppose you have the right hands for the job."

The knife whacked through the orange vegetable with a loud snap, her shock making her lose control for a brief moment. Oh he was going to *pay*...but she didn't get the chance to retort before he spoke again.

"Want some help?"

She shrugged, her mind inventing devious ways for revenge as he moved closer and they stood side by side hovering next to the chopping board. She handed him a spare knife and tried not to watch as he reached for a piece of celery and began slicing.

"Hmm. I thought you said you were cooking..." he commented.

"I am..." she replied, frowing as she studiously cut the tomato she had just moved onto the board.

"Well I don't see any saucepans, frying pans...nothing on the stove. In fact it looks like you're just cutting vegetables."

Glaring, she raised an eyebrow at him. "Now you're just being pedantic."

The celery completed, Chakotay reached for the nearest available piece of food...and found his hand resting on a very familiar vegetable. He placed it on the chopping board, and Kathryn's eyes widened as she saw his knife move closer to its target.


He jumped as she shouted, the knife going off course and just missing his finger. She didn't even apologise, and he watched in amazement as she grabbed the cucumber, cradled it against her breast protectively and started backing away from him. He took a step forward, dropping the knife on the side behind him. "Kathryn? Are you alright?"

The expression on her face was one of desperation as she clutched onto the long green vegetable. Her hands ran up and down the side of it. "You were about to hurt a perfectly good cucumber!"

Chakotay stopped moving, utterly confused. "What?"

Her arms wrapped around the cucumber and herself, trapping it completely against her chest. "You heard me Mister! There are *much* better uses for a cucumber than as food."

This conversation was getting decidedly odd...


"Captain, please! I only want to scan it for a few moments!"

"Keep your hands off my cucumber! You only want it for yourself."

The Doctor paused before rolling his eyes in sarcastic desperation. "For what possible reason could I want your cucumber?"

Kathryn narrowed her eyes at him as she tried to put the cucumber under her top in a futile attempt to hide it. "You know."

"As a matter of fact, I don't...and just what are you implying - that I have a fetish with long green vegetables? *I'm* not the one who's shoving a cucumber under my uniform."

She looked upset. "You mean you can see it?"

"Of *course* I can see it!"

Pouting, Kathryn moved to the other side of biobed two trying to use it as some kind of defense against him. By this point she was so concerned about the safety of her cucumber that she had completely forgotten that Chakotay was also in sickbay, so she was unprepared when she felt his hands on the tops of her arms. Gasping in anger, she tried to break free but he quickly moved his arms down and around her body, hugging her back to his front. His hands wrapped across her stomach, tightening their hold as she tried to shove her elbow into sensitive parts of his body.

"Umm Doctor...I think now would be a good time for you to relieve the Captain of her cucumber..."

Chakotay was instinctively holding his head away from her, worried that she might find some way to hit it.

"Oh yes...of course." The Doctor approached warily as Kathryn changed her attack from elbowing Chakotay to trying to kick the Doctor. "My apologies in advance Captain," the Doctor warned as he grabbed the end of the cucumber that was protruding from the top of her shirt and deftly pulled it out.

"No!" she yelled, intensifying her attack with new venom. She switched back to trying to elbow Chakotay again.

"Kathryn, calm down!" he demanded, even knowing that she wasn't thinking straight and that his pleas would go unheard. Apparently he was wrong, because suddenly she froze then shook her head as if to clear it.


Relief flooded through him and he carefully released her, only now becoming aware of how much their bodies had been touching.

In one almost fluid movement, Kathryn quickly turned, pushed, and pounced onto her First Officer as he landed on biobed three with a surprised "oof".

Chakotay stared at her as she used her full body weight to keep him in place, her feet locking in position under his calves. A wicked, delighted grin spread across her face. "Maybe you're right Chakotay. Maybe there *are* better things than cucumbers..."


The EMH looked up from his patient - the cucumber which was lying on biobed one - and his eyes widened as he took in the sight before him. "Oh. Would you like some privacy?" he asked even as he reached for the sedative on the medtray next to him.

"Very funny Doctor," Chakotay growled, and Kathryn sighed. Managing somehow to evade her lips he was trying desperately to fight off his body's natural reaction to her proximity.

Thankfully, the comforting hiss of a hypospray was heard a few moments later and Kathryn's body immediately became limp. Now if only a certain part of his would do the same...

His head thudded back onto the small pillow on the biobed and his eyes closed. He could feel her breasts moving slightly as she exhaled, he could feel her breath on his neck...Gods this was almost as arousing as when she had been moving against him.

Realising how quiet the room had become, he raised his right eyelid to find the Doctor looking down at him with curiousity.

"What is it?" Chakotay queried, raising the other eyelid.

"Oh nothing," the Doctor responded "I just wish I had a holophoto of this moment."

Ignoring Chakotay's expression the EMH walked back to biobed one, picked up the cucumber, then returned to stand next to biobed three. "I've found something quite interesting about this vegetable Commander."

"And I'd love to hear all about it Doctor, but can you help me out? The Captain's a little heavy when she's asleep."

"Certainly Comman-"

The rest of the word faded into cybernetic oblivion as the door to sickbay swished open and a visitor arrived. He took in the scene before him. Chakotay was lying on a biobed with an embarrassed expression on his face and the Captain sprawled on top of his body. Standing next to them, rather bizarrely, the Doctor was holding a cucumber in his right hand.

Folding his arms across his chest, a huge, greatly amused smile forming on his face, he spoke. "Let me guess - there's a perfectly logical explanation for this, right?"


Surprisingly, Tom agreed to keep quiet about what he had seen, although unsurprisingly he didn't say that he wouldn't use it as blackmail material in the future. Deciding they'd have a little chat about that later, Chakotay herded Tom out of the door sending him on a mission.

Kathryn began to wake up about ten minutes later, which was plenty of time for the Doctor to tell Chakotay what he had discovered.

Their faces hovered over hers, desperately wondering if it would be *her* this time when she woke, or the other woman she had become under the cucumber's influence.

She had to blink several times when she woke up to make sure that both Chakotay and the Doctor were actually looking down at her and she wasn't imagining things. "Chakotay...what happened?"

"Kathryn...what's the last thing you remember?" His expression was almost pleading with her to tell him what he wanted to hear.

She frowned, recalling what she could. "I...we were in the mess hall. Actually, the *last* thing I remember is you entering the mess hall and me threatening you with the cucum-" She broke off and blushed slightly, sending a cautious look to the Doctor.

He grinned. "I wouldn't worry about it Captain. That little piece of information doesn't tell me anything particularly Earth-shattering about your psyche. No, later events would tell me that." Realising what he'd said, he quickly found the console on the side of the biobed extremely interesting.

"What does that mean?" When no answer was forthcoming, she moved her head to look at Chakotay. "What does he mean by that?"

Standing to his full height, Chakotay looked over at the Doctor who finally lifted his eyes from the console to meet his gaze.

"Who's going to tell her?" Chakotay asked.

Neither moved for fully ten seconds, before finally the Doctor spoke.

"Computer, deactivate the Emergency Medical Hologram."

As he vanished, Chakotay muttered "Coward," then turned to Kathryn wondering just how he was going to explain recent events.


Chakotay could tell that she had never, in her entire life, been so embarrassed. He had considered not telling her what had happened but she had a right to know. The only information he witheld from her was exactly what happened to get the two of them on the biobed. He decided it would not be beneficial. She was embarrassed enough as it was.

Sitting up on the edge of the biobed, her face was red, and her hand kept coming up to rub her forehead. Occasionally she would say something like "I can't believe..." or she would look at him then become embarrassed again and her face would go even redder.

He did his best to make her feel better about the situation. He explained about the Doctor's findings, that the cucumber had properties that affected a persons behaviour. It didn't seem to give her much comfort.

"But why didn't Neelix realise when he brought the cucumber on board?"

"The Doctor said it's very well hidden. It only becomes noticable after the cucumber comes into contact with skin."

"Are there any more of them on board? And what happened to the one I had?"

Chakotay nodded to the cucumber behind him. "Doc put your one in a security field just to be on the safe side, and we've sent Tom to find out about the rest."

"Tom was here too?!" Her hand covered her mouth in utter mortification.

Gently pulling it away and smiling tenderly, he caressed the back of her hand. "Kathryn, don't worry about it okay? The Doctor and I are certainly not going to tell anyone, and Tom gave his word that he wouldn't say anything."

She was obviously surprised. "He did?"

"Don't look so surprised," although he didn't add that he had been too "you know how much he respects you."

Kathryn smiled, and for the first time since he told her what had happened the redness in her cheeks began to diminish slightly. "Thank you Chakotay."

He mock-bowed. "'Tis my honor Ma'am."

Laughing, she turned her hand slightly so their fingers met gently, but then her expression became serious. "Seriously. Thank you."

"For what?" he asked, still fascinated by the fact that he had actually seen her blush.

"For making me feel so good about myself."

That was so...honest of her. He didn't know what to say in response, so instead he smiled and held her hand tighter. Finally the words came to him.

"There's a lot for you to feel good about."

Saying nothing, she reached up with her free hand and pulled his head down until their lips met for their first kiss. It was soft, gentle, and very comfortable. Pulling down from him she wrapped her arms around him and rested her head on his chest. His arms wrapped around her and he rested his head on top of hers. He didn't think he'd ever felt so at peace. It was as if every concern or doubt he'd ever had began to fall away from him.


"Hmm?" he asked, his hand moving in slow circles over her back.

"Is that a cucumber in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?"


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