About time! By Kate O'Riley

Disclaimer: The characters belong to Paramount. I wish they belonged to me. I'd treat them a lot better. But, they don't. The story does though!

Codes: P/T Rating: G

Author's note: This is the first story started on my new laptop! From now on, I'll produce stories at a much faster rate (this is the first story *started*, but not completed. I've done two stories tonight, two a couple nights ago, one before that.). Of course, if you'd like to send donations to the "Kate's laptop needs a RW drive so she can transfer her stories by something other than floppy disk" fund, I might be willing to speed the process further. The crew total given is a wild guess of how many crewmembers I think there should be.

This story somewhat explains why Tom and B'Elanna eloped, as mentioned in the horrible episode to end all horrible episodes, "Endgame".

=/\=

"You're asking me to what?" Kathryn Janeway's tone was incredulous.

"We'd like you to marry us, Captain." B'Elanna's head was held high and proudly. Tom held her hand. Both wore blissful looks.

Janeway sat back in her chair. "Well. All I can say is, it's about time. I've been expecting this for quite some time. Who do you want to invite?"

"We're not sure yet. We want it to be a small, private wedding, and if word gets around, the entire ship will know. We'd appreciate it if you don't tell anyone, Captain." Tom said.

"All right. Your secret's safe with me." Janeway sat back. "Just let me know when."

=/\=

"They're wanting to what?" Chakotay nearly choked on his spaghetti.

"That was my opinion." Janeway said, taking a forkful from her plate.

"Well. All I can say is, it's about time." Chakotay took another bite.

Janeway wiped her mouth and leaned forward. "Just do me a favor please, Chakotay, and don't tell anyone."

"Of course."

Neither noticed that someone was very close by, listening.

=/\=

"Uncle Neelix!" Naomi Wildman rushed into the nearly empty mess hall.

"What is it, Naomi?" Neelix asked as he wiped a counter.

"I overheard Captain Janeway talking to Commander Chakotay. Tom and B'Elanna want to get married!"

"Well! It's about time those two lovebirds tied the knot! We'll have to throw a party!"

=/\=

Tom and B'Elanna had just finished a quiet, pleasant dinner. It'd only been a few hours since the race, and since they'd told Captain Janeway their plans.

They were burning recently consumed calories, via smooching, when they got a call.

"Will Lt. Torres and Lt. Paris please report to Engineering."

Tom broke their liplock and swore. "On my way," he growled into his comm badge. B'Elanna did the same, snarling.

They were even more put out upon their arrival in Engineering and finding it completely empty. "Will Lt. Torres and Lt. Paris please report to Sickbay."

They exchanged mystified glances, before setting off for Sickbay.

Again, it was deserted. "Will Lt. Torres and Lt. Paris please report to Transporter Room 1."

Tom stopped B'Elanna from going. "Wait a second. Computer, how many people are in Transporter Room 1?"

"There is nobody in Transporter Room 1."

"Where on the ship is the largest concentration of crewmembers?"

"The largest concentration of crewmembers is in the mess hall."

"How many crewmembers are in the mess hall?"

"One hundred forty three."

At this, Tom and B'Elanna looked at each other, eyebrows raised. "Out of one hundred forty six?" B'Elanna asked.

"Doesn't look like a coincidence, eh?"

"Doesn't look like we're being ordered around by mistake."

"Computer," Tom asked. "Which crewmembers are not in the mess hall?"

"Lieutenant Commander Tuvok is on the bridge and Lieutenants Torres and Paris are in Sickbay."

"B'Elanna," Tom said, taking her arm. "What say we make it 145 in the mess hall?"

=/\=

The atmosphere in the mess hall was charged with excited tension. Of course, it may also have been 143 people jammed into the same room, Janeway mused. Not a lot of space. Once again, she asked herself why they hadn't chosen a cargo bay.

Everyone was talking at once. Multiple betting pools were going on. When Tom and B'Elanna would get married, when would B'Elanna be pregnant, would it be boy or girl, and many, many other things.

Unfortunately, no one was betting on when Tom and B'Elanna would show up at the mess hall. The party was already in full swing when the door opened, and Tom and B'Elanna entered. Dead silence ensued.

"Well," B'Elanna finally said. "What's all this?"

Neelix made his way through the crowd. "We're celebrating your upcoming wedding, of course! Congratulations!"

In unison, the couple looked at Janeway. "You told?"

Janeway actually blushed a little. "It slipped out when I was talking to Chakotay. No one else, though."

They sent an accusing glare at Chakotay. "Don't look at me, I didn't say a thing!" he said, holding up his hands in mock surrender.

The crowd parted, and Naomi Wildman came forward. "I-I did," she confessed. "I was hiding out in the Jefferies tubes, and I overheard, and I told Uncle Neelix."

Tom sighed while B'Elanna shook her head. "That's it," Tom whispered to B'Elanna. "We're eloping."

She nodded her head wearily. "But don't be surprised if they show up in the shuttlebay to wave us off."

The end