Disclaimer - characters are Paramounts.
This starts almost exactly where A Miniature Tractor Beam And A Bottle Of Lubricant left off.
Dedications: To Kim, my sister in crime, and Annick, my soon-to-be mother-in-law.
Tuvok appeared on the bridge to find Chakotay sleeping on the carpeted floor of the bridge. He said nothing, merely walking over to the security console and pressing a few buttons.
With the help of two of the eleven crewmembers, Tom and Harry grabbed Chakotay and propped him up in his chair and left him there as they all trundled over to the coffin. Deciding *not* to eject it into space this time (Chakotay would only try to leave with it again), they elected that it should be kept in the cargo bay for now until they decided on a more permanent holding area.
That was when their plan hit a snag. Or rather, Tuvok. Being very careful not to smile no matter how badly he wanted to, Tuvok stoically informed them that he had just begun the long-overdue transporter diagnostic and that they would be unable to use the transporters.
They would have to carry it.
Closely scrutinising the Vulcan, Tom then turned to the eleven crewmembers. A few murmurs and a show of hands later, they all came to the conclusion that Tuvok was evil. Not that it helped them at all, but it was gratifying to know.
Tom and Harry were taken for granted as wanting to help carry the coffin, but when they asked for two helpers the eleven crewmembers suddenly grew quiet. It was only after Tom threatened them to a recorded rendition of Neelix's latest attempt at Klingon opera that everyone suddenly volunteered.
"I have a plan Neelix, and as our morale officer I think you're just the man to execute it."
Neelix paused his work, hand stilling over the cucumber he had just been polishing.
"I'll do anything I can to help, Tom."
The lieutenant grinned. "I thought so. I know the crews morale is always your top priority - not to mention that you're the one who killed the Captain."
Laughing nervously, Neelix insisted "yes, yes. How can I help?"
Tom propped an elbow up on the counter. "Well, things have been a bit dreary around here lately, what with the Captain's death and all...and I have an idea of how to cheer some of us up."
Tom laughed. "Well let's face it; who really gives a dogs butt about the junior officers? They're nothing more than cannon fodder." Smirking, he quickly continued. "No, this'll just be the senior crew and possibly any recurring characters who haven't already met a grisly end or vanished with no explanation."
"Ah," commented Neelix "the Joe Carey Syndrome."
"Got it in one, Neelix."
"So what's your plan?" he continued, patting the cucumber comfortably.
Standing proudly, Tom gave Neelix a 'brace yourself' expression. "Drag racing." Noticing Neelix's confusion, he explained: "It's a great 20th Century hobby. And you know how much I *love* the 20th Century, it's drilled into you at every possible opportunity."
"Yes, your last conference on the different styles of lavatories in the 20th Century was quite worrying..."
"Of course we'll have the safeties on in the holodeck as real drag racing would probably kill a few more crewmembers."
"Might be worth getting Ensign Unknown and Lieutenant Deathwish to participate then." Neelix pointed out.
Tom tapped his fingers on the edge of the counter. "Hmm. That's not a bad idea. Maybe next time though. I'd prefer that no one else be killed at least until next week." Slapping the console with his hand, he grinned again. "Well then Neelix, I have to be off. I have some bridge duties to perform. The computer should have any details you need to know."
"Good bye Lieutenant," Neelix called, waving the cucumber in a traditional yet somewhat disturbing salute.
When B'Elanna visited Chakotay in his quarters the next day he seemed to be back to his old self. He greeted her warmly, hugged her, chatted amiably about ships business and invited her to use his replicator while he got changed from his night clothes into his uniform.
Surprised, she watched as he walked into the bedroom then she shrugged and headed towards the replicator. The sooner he got over Janeway's death the better for everyone. It wasn't that she'd disliked Janeway, but dammit *any* woman who had sex with Tom and probably imagined having sex with Chakotay deserved to be punished.
She stopped walking, her mouth hanging open in horror, when she looked over towards the viewport.
Janeway was sitting on the couch, quite clearly still dead, and there was no hint that she was going to start sponatenously breathing again any time soon.
"Ugh..." B'Elanna managed to utter. How had he gotten her body here from the cargo bay without anyone noticing? The transporters, obviously. Yes, Tuvok's diagnostic would be long over. B'Elanna sighed. She was going to end up on a chat show, she just knew it.
Ugh again. "Torres to Tuvok."
"Go ahead Lieutenant."
"Tuvok, can you come to Chakotay's quarters? There's a bit of a situation here. Oh, and you'd better bring the Doctor as well. And some sacrificial security officers."
"Understood. Tuvok out."
Hearing footsteps appearing from the other room, she did her best to look nonchulant.
"I thought I heard voices," Chakotay commented as he clipped his commission bar into place. "What were you and the Captain talking about?"
"That's nice." he grinned. "Actually, we have to go B'Elanna." He leant forwards, whispering for her ears only. "Kathryn and I are going to the mess hall for breakfast together."
"No!" B'Elanna yelled, grabbing his arm. "You can't take her to the mess hall!" Yuck! What would that do to people's stomachs? The place would smell worse than the last time Neelix tried to make that rootin' tootin' chilli sauce. Pulling him towards the other room before he could respond and with an "Excuse us for just one moment Captain" thrown over her shoulder towards Janeway's corpse for good measure, she tried to come up with a plan. "Wouldn't it be better if the two of you had breakfast here? You know, the *two* of you. Alone. More intimate."
His frown dissipated into a smile. "Oh you're *good*."
She forced a smug smile. "I try."
The door beeped and B'Elanna quickly let go of him and scampered towards the entrance to let them in.
"Oh my," commented the Doctor upon seeing Janeway.
"Fascinating," agreed Tuvok.
"Woah," stated Ensign Unknown, determined to get one line in before he died.
Excusing herself with "Gentlemen, he's all yours," she left the room squeezing past Tuvok who was still standing in the doorway.
"Hello Doctor." greeted Chakotay. "What's that hypospray for?"
"You must be hallucinating Commander. It's not a hypospray."
"Then what is it?"
"Why it's...it's a carrot. Can't you see the leaves at the top?"
Tom, Harry, Tuvok, the Doctor and Vorik entered the holodeck the next morning at Neelix's summons. The holo-programme was complete. B'Elanna didn't join them, deciding that her time would be better spent watching over Chakotay in case he developed any other fetishes. Seven refused to go, stating that drag-racing was irrelevant. The truth was that she had no clue what drag-racing was but she didn't want anyone to know.
The five men stood at one end of a large field, looking for Neelix. The only object in sight was a wooden partition so they mutually agreed that he had to be there and all walked towards it.
As they approached they couldn't help but notice the grunting noises that were getting louder the closer they came to their target. Casting cautious glances towards each other, they wondered who would be the first to say anything.
Tom took a step further than anyone else. "Neelix?"
"Just a minute!" he called out, and they heard a few more grunts before he emerged. Leg first.
Watching in fascinated horror, they instinctively took a step back when a tight-clad, blue high-heeled, yellow, brown-spotted leg appeared around the edge of the partition.
The rest of him quickly followed, dressed in a tight aqua-marine knee-length dress (with yellow cuffs). A matching handbag hung over his right shoulder, blue eye shadow covered his eyelids, and a blonde wig - not entirely disimilar from his famous hair pasta - sat limply on his head.
The crowning touch were his fake breats, which appeared to be two watermelons strapped on with medical dressings.
"Oh my God..."
"Oh my God..."
"What?" Neelix queried, touching an earring with one blue nail-varnished hand, and touching his hair with the other. "Is it too much?"
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