As usual, I don't own these folks — I just put them in situations that will never make it to the TV screen. So I certainly don't get any $ from this.


Tom was a bit nervous as he checked the holodeck. Hopefully, this wouldn't get him thrown in the brig, or out an airlock.

When he created the Dance Party holoprogram, he wasn't sure if it would go over. Turned out that most of the crew really enjoyed the once-a-month gatherings. After every session, he'd get messages asking him to add songs to the next month's playlist.

In fact, Chell asked to borrow the program a few times: He was teaching folks how to do the Bolian Bounce. And Neelix was teaching the Talax Shuffle in the Mess Hall.

But Tom had learned something more interesting than the Bolian Bounce: The Captain really liked to dance.

Whatever pressing matters that kept her from other gatherings were thrown aside for Dance Party. She'd show up in casual clothes and chat a bit, or sip a drink as she waited for the right moment to hit the dance floor. And damn, she was a good dancer; graceful moves, good sense of rhythm.

There were a few things, though. He noted that she kept her hips under control, not too much sway. She'd participate in the line dances; move from partner to partner on some of the fast dances. But any dance that kept her with one partner was the signal to take a break. And once the slow dances started, she was gone.

It wasn't fair, he decided, and determined to do something about it. He'd copied the program … if anyone happened to look at the holodeck list, they'd think he was golfing at St. Andrews. A few tweaks, and …

He sent a text message to the captain's private channel.

"If you have some time tonight, I have a holodeck program I'd like your opinion on. It's on Holodeck 3; booked for 1730."


"A new program, eh? All right; I'll get there as soon as I can."


Kathryn's jaw dropped when she walked into the program. It was the Dance Party scene, though the lights were a bit brighter, and the dance floor was populated by holographic dancers representing each quadrant.

"Bring in a new crowd?" she quipped. "Please don't tell me you're renting out my ship for parties."

"It's a thought, but no," he chuckled.

"Good, I was a bit worried about those Kazon over there," she mock-growled. "And I could do without the Cardassians."

"No problem; they're gone. I programmed the Kazon to do the Bolian Bounce. That should be fun to watch," he replied.

She shook her head. "So, what's all this?"

"Actually, this is for you," he said, ignoring her raised eyebrow. "You're a great dancer, but I get the feeling you can't cut loose the way you want to."

She just shrugged; he knew why. She was the captain and had to maintain a higher standard, which was too damn bad.

"Anyway, if you feel like it, I can turn on the music, and we can dance the next couple of hours away. I've created a ladies' room with a replicator if you want to change. I've also locked the door, and I, your humble dance partner, am at your service," he finished with a short bow.

He was elated as he saw the curiosity and interest flicker across her face, only to crash when she narrowed her eyes at him. "And what does B'Elanna think of this?" she asked, arms now crossed across her chest.

"Well, when I told her, she said, 'Better the Captain than me.' I swore her to secrecy, by the way. And I have not told Harry."

Kathryn winced at his first statement. Tom nodded, then leaned back against the bar. "Look, I'm not asking the Captain to do anything inappropriate. I am asking Kathryn if she'll trust me enough to enjoy a couple of hours of dancing. Really, when was the last time you had some fun?"

She looked at him for a moment. "It's been a while," she finally sighed. Another minute as she considered. "All right, where's that ladies' room?" she finally asked, then took off toward the door he pointed out.

She stopped halfway and turned. "By the way, how's your Talax Shuffle? I asked Neelix to teach me; wouldn't mind trying it out," she said with a wink.

She headed off again, leaving Tom somewhat shocked. She'd just asked for a single-partner dance.

"Well, yes, ma'am," he said as he cued up the music. "One Talax Shuffle coming up."