The lights on the lift had been conveniently dimmed, and the command team were sitting contentedly on the floor, arms around each other.
"Torres to Janeway!!!!" B'Elanna did not sound happy.
"Yes?" Janeway answered dreamily.
"What the hell is taking you so long? We need help! Now! Neelix just fell off the cabinet and I've got a suspicion that I'm next!"
"I already told Harry that I'm coming."
"Then come… get here! Be here! You are doing none of these things!"
"Don't you think you're just being a little emotional right now, B'Elanna?" Chakotay interrupted.
"Hmm… let me THINK!" She began screaming. "Neelix is being chased around by some crazed monster, Tuvok has been reduced to the intelligence of a serving of mashed potatoes, Harry is crying, and I think my husband IS DEAD! WHO'S BEING EMOTIONAL?"
"Well if it's that important." Chakotay sounded offended. "Why didn't you just say so?"
"We di~d!" B'Elanna cried. "But you two SUCK! We're all gonna DIE!"
"My god, B'Elanna, you should have alerted us earlier!" Janeway scolded. "We'll be right there!"
"They're never coming!" B'Elanna gripped the toppling cabinet helplessly. "I vote we all fight to the death!"
"To the… death?" Harry sobbed.
"Magnificent creature." Tuvok clasped his hands with adoration. "Just observe the way in which he tramples Neelix's exhausted body!"
B'Elanna muttered a few dirty sounding Klingon phrases and plunged into hand-to-hand combat with the creature. "Take this! You (another Klingon catch phrase) monster! Give me back my husband!"
"Go B'Elanna!" Harry managed, while wiping tears from his face.
"You don't stand a chance." Tuvok frowned. "Accept your opponent's glorious advantage!"
Creature and Klingon scratched, bit, and slugged each other until (hard to believe, I know) Janeway and Chakotay rushed onto the scene.
Chakotay suddenly looked stern. "Lieutenant Torres!" He exclaimed. "What are you doing to Fluffy?"
Apparently responding to its name, the monster discontinued the brutal match, released Tom, and loped over to Voyager's first officer… wagging its tail.
"Fluffy?" B'Elanna spit out some hideous, green, murderous looking creature scales. "What do you mean… FLUFFY!?!?!?!"
"Ah… such a noble title." Tuvok descended from the refrigerator calmly.
"This is Fluffy." Chakotay patted the creature's head. "Do you often engage in beating up people's pets, B'Elanna?"
"That thing is your pet!?" She was gradually regaining her composure after the ferocious battle.
"Stop the ship, I want to get off!" Harry squeaked.
"Harry," The captain rolled her eyes. "Would you please start acting like a Starfleet officer… today?"
"After you…" Harry dropped dead. (Hey, what'd you expect?)
"We all expected great things from Ensign Kim." Janeway yawned. "And we all feel this great loss hanging heavily over all of us."
Neelix opened his mouth to announce a meal, but the captain shook her head slightly.
"In a minute, Neelix. You can only cut a eulogy so short before it becomes disrespectful." She bowed her head, clutching one fist to her chin. "This just goes to prove that even the finest officers can be lost to us in a blink of an eye. …Okay, now."
"Dinner, everybody?" Neelix said joyously.
"Yeah!" The crew dashed to the battered mess hall.
Voyager's Emergency Medical Hologram laughed. "You're being overly protective! Tom's fine!"
"Look again, Doc!" B'Elanna wailed. "He's just been dragged across damn near half the ship!"
Her worries were not exaggerated. Tom had suffered several critical blows during the course of the evening, and was lying unconscious on the medical bed.
"Just be thankful you married such a resilient man!" The doctor smiled, making B'Elanna even angrier. "I promise you… he's fine to go home!"
"I thought you were going to leap at this opportunity!" She put her hands on her head in disbelief. "You've been positively yearning for somebody to get hurt!"
"That… would be unprofessional!"
B'Elanna held up one of her hands, displaying a patch of semi-dried blood. "This is unprofessional. Tom's bleeding, see?"
The doctor chuckled merrily. "Don't worry, I'm sure you'll get the hang of putting on that nail polish eventually."
"What? This is blood!"
"Your secret's safe with me!" He whispered conspiratorially.
The Klingon was preparing to curse her co-worker out when a conspicuous thud was heard outside sickbay.
"What was that?"
The two entered the corridor inquisitively. Chakotay was lying there, flat on his back, clenching and unclenching his fists in an effort to control his anger.
"Shouldn't you be in your quarters?" B'Elanna mocked. "Sitting still and not breathing too much?"
"That's where I was going." He replied very slowly, betraying the mounting fury.
"Did the computer do this?" The EMH clasped his hands hopefully. "The good stuff always happens to you, Commander!"
"Would you just shut up and help me get to my quarters?"
B'Elanna tried to hide her mirth behind a hand, but it was painfully obvious she was enjoying this. "The mighty rebel Chakotay… needs help with walking down a hallway?"
He finally dared to stand up again, glancing around with paranoia. "If I'm humble, will you help me?"
"B'Elanna!" The EMH gasped. "Have you no respect for this situation? Don't you realize how serious this is?"
"Thank you, Doctor." The first officer sighed.
"No problem." The doctor nodded. "I often find myself reprimanding inconsiderate people for ignoring the value of research. I hope you understand now, Lieutenant? We must not interfere with the test subject. This is a unique opportunity to observe this phenomenon!"
"Test subject?" Chakotay looked betrayed. "You mean you're just going to watch the computer destroy me?"
"I agree it's a little morbid." The EMH cocked his head to one side. "But we must make sacrifices for the sake of science!"
"Fine… fine… call a security officer for me, if you won't help."
"Why can't you do it yourself?" B'Elanna smirked.
"B'Elanna," Chakotay looked her in the eyes, begging for a little mercy. "What did I ever do to you?"
"Let's see…" She over-emphasized her words. "Recently? I think I can safely say that your disregard for this crew's safety has resulted in the serious condition that Tom is in right now! If you hadn't been so busy… … …" She cleared her throat. "Doing what you were doing, you could have prevented this!"
He sighed and approached a wall console timidly. "Computer, contact a security team."
The doctor and B'Elanna watched unemotionally as the computer blew a few stinging sparks at the request.
"I'm not going to make it to my quarters, am I?" Chakotay seemed to forget how to breathe.
"You've got that right, clown!" The computer snickered.
He defiantly stalked a few feet, before a security field stopped him dead in his tracks. Chakotay concentrated on breathing for a moment, then reversed his course, meeting another security field before making any progress.
"Fascinating." The doctor nodded. "Whatever is causing this must be a very sophisticated intelligence!"
B'Elanna just stood with her arms folded.
"Deactivate force fields." The captive attempted.
"Ummm… how about… NO!" The computer hissed.
"Call Kathryn…" Chakotay tensed as he accidentally scraped the side of a force field with his shoulder. "Please… call Kathryn!"
"Tsk, tsk." The doctor returned to sickbay. "Such informality! 'Kathryn,' eh?"
"Somebody really ought to check his program." B'Elanna admitted after the sickbay doors had closed. "Hey, I had a thought!"
"Maybe… just maybe… I'd give you a hand with this if you got rid of that horrible Fluffy thing!"
He glared. "Fine."
"Deal!" She clapped her hands. "Computer, lower force fields.
"Unable to comply." The computer announced.
B'Elanna's triumph dissipated. "Uh… why not?"
"Because," The computer hesitated. "I'd much rather flood that area with noxious gas."
Both occupants of the hallway experienced an extreme widening of eyes.
"You… can't!" B'Elanna stuttered. "That would be murder!"
A mechanical noise, seeming to imitate a sigh erupted through the corridor. "And what did you think I meant when I said you're gonna die?"
"Call Kathryn…" Chakotay urged again. "I mean the Captain… whatever… get her NOW!"
Gasping, B'Elanna began pounding on the door to Captain Janeway's ready room. The door opened after Janeway ordered it to from the inside.
"Captain!" B'Elanna stumbled into the room. "You've gotta come! The computer trapped Chakotay in the hall and it's threatening to kill him! You've gotta reason with it somehow!"
The captain was already on her feet and on her way. "Why didn't you use your comm-badge?!"
"The computer wouldn't let me!" B'Elanna hurried. "It was hard enough just to get all the way here!"
The women ran across the bridge.
"What's that!?" Tuvok asked them as they passed.
"Shut up you damn psycho!" Janeway swore at the distraction, causing Tuvok to burst into a pile of tears.
"Three little pumpkins sitting on a fence, a witch came flying by!" The doctor sang as he played a game of checkers with himself.
Not far from him, Tom came to his senses. "What happened to me?" He groaned.
"Oh! Mr. Paris!" The EMH smiled. "You finally woke up. Care for a game of checkers?"
"Why haven't you closed up these wounds yet?" The Lieutenant grimaced as he discovered several severe injuries.
"You hypochondriacs are all the same." The doctor moved one of the red pieces on the board then twisted the board around to view it from the other side. "I guarantee you are in perfect health!"
"Computer… run a diagnostic on the Emergency Medical Hologram." Tom winced as he reached for a medical tricorder, intending to treat himself.
"I'm busy." The computer responded.
"I said I'm busy… or would you prefer: please restate the question?"
Janeway slid her fingers into the crevice between the turbo-lift doors and shoved mightily. The computer was gradually shutting them out of all the systems.
"Computer, open the turbo-lift door!" B'Elanna began assisting her captain.
"Unable to comply… suckers!" The mechanical voice answered.
The captain gasped as she expended more effort. The door jolted open, and the two officers bolted into the corridor and proceeded to a location roughly in front of sickbay.
"Chakotay!" Janeway galloped to her friend and was hit in the face with the force field.
"Careful!" He crinkled his forehead with concern. "Don't get the computer mad at you, too!"
"What are we going to do?" B'Elanna knelt down and started scanning the wall panel. "There aren't any manuals for this!"
Janeway straightened her uniform as she recovered from smashing into the electronic wall. "I'll just do what I always do!" She smiled goofily. "I'm going to rock the house, baby!"
Chakotay rolled his eyes. "Okay… on to plan B."
"What?" Janeway shrugged. "I rock!"
"Whatever… we still need a plan."
"You think… I have a plan?" She became serious.
"I was sort of…" The first officer blinked. "I was staking my life on it… the atmosphere in here is starting to taste funny."
"So those weren't just empty threats about the toxins, then?" B'Elanna commented. "You know… I'm really going to miss you, Commander."
"Computer, lower force field!" Janeway panicked.
"Unable to comply." The raspberry sound erupted.
"Detoxify deck four!"
"Sorry, Captain." The computer attempted a little sarcasm.
She lashed out by smacking the field again, receiving a smarting hand in the process.
Chakotay's face became blank as the reality of the situation hit him. "I'm never going to see Earth again…"
"Don't… don't say that!" The captain sniffled. "Voyager is not going home without you!"
"Oh sure, like any of you believes that!" The computer interjected.
"Just promise me you will get this ship home." His breathing seemed irregular.
"Don't make me do this alone!" The captain's eyes brimmed over uncontrollably. "I don't believe…"
"Oh brother…" B'Elanna smacked her forehead. "I'm suddenly glad that force field's there to keep you two from grossing me out again."
"You can do it." Chakotay stared at her intensely. "I believe in you, Kathryn."
"Ain't that cute?" Tom emerged from sickbay, looking a lot better.
"Tom!" B'Elanna forgot the dramatic scene and flew into his arms. "The doctor is a psychopath! You look… great! I missed you."
"But that's why I need you…" Janeway continued her own conversation. "You have all the hope and the passion that I'm missing!"
"Tuvok to Janeway… what is that!"
"He never gives up, does he?" Tom remarked. "Ah, but that's Vulcan persistence for you. Chakotay's about to suffocate, but he's still trying to break them up."
Apparently, B'Elanna thought that was funny, and she started cracking up.
"Please, B'Elanna!" The captain turned a harsh expression on her. "It's not like Harry's dying! First officers don't come back!"
"What about Spock?" B'Elanna tried to control herself. "He came back!"
"Yes, but he wasn't a first officer at the time!" Janeway chided her. "Now what was I saying? Was it something about pickles?"
"No," Chakotay choked. (That has some potential for a tongue twister.) "We were kind of in the middle of this whole death scene thing…"
"Silly me!" She giggled then resumed her deathly serious exterior. "Don't leave me!"
"Promise me you'll get this crew home." He repeated weakly.
"I'm not giving up on you!" Her voice obtained that guttural quality that is uniquely Janeway. "I've let too many of my crew go already… I can't live with another death on my head!"
"Wow." Tom applauded. "She is good!"
Chakotay had long since come to occupy an uncomfortable spot on the floor. He gasped helplessly. "Just… promise."
"I promise…" She gave in. "Thank you for being here… thank you for letting me use you as a chair… god, I'll bet my chair still reeks."
"If this kind of thing ever happens to us, remind me to keep the mush in check." B'Elanna requested. Tom nodded.
"Kathryn…" The first officer's breath failed. "I love you."
"I love you, too!" Janeway blubbered uncontrollably.
"What is this?" An angry voice ranted. "This is supposed to be my show!"
"Seven!" Janeway stood up and regarded the new arrival with disbelief. "I thought you had been 'taken care of'?"
"If you are referring to your attempts to lock me in a closet," The former Borg drone said. "They were futile."
"Damn…" Janeway snapped her fingers.
"I see you have killed Commander Chakotay." Seven of Nine noticed with distaste. "You realize of course, I will have to end your pitiful life as well?"
"Because," Seven growled. "In a shocking development created by the writers for the final episode, it is revealed that Chakotay ends up falling in love with moi." She said the latter with an attitude that disbelieved anybody wouldn't fall in love with her. "And now you've ruined that."
"You lie!" Janeway shrieked.
"Not at all. Who would pick you over me? I thought you respected the Commander's intelligence?"
"Cat fight!" Tom applauded again.
The captain fumed. "Well you must have missed his last words then! I believe they were favoring me!"
"Cat fight, cat fight!"
"He was… confused." Seven decided. "That is understandable, considering the horrific death he was forced to endure."
Janeway remembered her misery. "How could he leave me?"
"I believe asphyxiation in a cloud of painful toxins would be enough to make just about anybody leave this existence… except for me of course, because I'm special."
"How can you claim to love him if you're so indifferent about his death?"
"I never said I loved him!" Seven looked amused. "I said he loved me!"
"Tom, if you don't shut up…" B'Elanna warned.
"I'm back!" Harry danced into everybody's vision. "What's up?"
"Ensign Kim." Seven pursed her lips. "We are discussing adult matters. I believe it would be beneficial for you to cover your ears, lest you hear shocking vocabulary."
Harry did so joyfully.
Janeway gritted her teeth. "Computer… will you lower the force field now?"
"Acknowledged. Security field is deactivated." The computer complied.
Janeway approached the still form of her partner wearily. All traces of the toxins seemed to have vanished. "Somebody… prepare one of Harry's coffins."
"Um…" Tom said. "Chakotay is a bit taller than Harry."
"Just get out of here…" Janeway knelt down and cradled Chakotay's head tenderly.
"I believe that is my responsibility." Seven of Nine demanded. "I was going to be his wife, after all!"
Suddenly, the doctor emerged from sickbay. "Who deactivated me?" He stormed. "Was that you Mr. Paris?"
"I was just on my way out… I'll explain later, Doc." Tom dashed off, dragging B'Elanna by the hand.
Harry began to hum to entertain himself while he kept his ears covered.
"Doctor!" Seven blushed. "How… are you?"
"Fine, fine." The doctor replied. "But you look ill, Seven! Sickbay… NOW!"
"Anytime!" Seven swooned goofily. They departed into sickbay, and if Voyager had slammable doors, this would have been a slammed door moment.
Janeway sopped up the tears from her face with her sleeve. "Ensign Kim… would you please leave now?"
Harry hummed contentedly.
"Dum dee dum dee dooo!"
"HARRY, GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!" The captain was smoldering.
"La dee doo dee daaaaa!"
Janeway pounced over to the Ensign, removing his hands forcibly. "Drop dead, Harry."
"Captain," Harry finally reacted. "Aren't you sick of performing eulogies yet? I think I'll stay alive for now, thank you very much." He left indignantly.
"Yes…" Janeway was all alone. "I am tired of all these funerals. Awh Chakotay, why you? If only you hadn't been so talented… then you wouldn't be a Commander."
Suddenly, a brilliant scheme entered the captain's head. She gasped with the simplicity of it… but would it work? She lowered herself to Chakotay's side again, inspecting his uniform collar hopefully.
"I demote you…" She removed one of the buttons that signified the officer's rank. "I demote you…" She spoke the words as if it was an incantation and claimed another button. "I demote you to Ensign." She finished.
Nothing happened, which wasn't particularly surprising, and Janeway let the loose buttons clink to the floor. Sorrow and disappointment claimed her. From behind the sickbay doors, the doctor could be heard informing Seven of a multitude of diseases she had contracted. In response, Seven kept saying blatantly suggestive expletives.
"Not crewman this time?"
"Ah!" Janeway jumped at the voice, immediately grateful for the way Voyager episodes always resolve so quickly. She turned to discover exactly what she had expected, a very live Ensign Chakotay. "What?" She gulped.
"Last time I got demoted to crewman… I think you're getting soft." Chakotay was propping himself up against the wall, inspecting the loss of rank Janeway had inflicted.
The captain said one more silent thanks for thirty-second resolutions. "Yes… but ensigns bounce right back… crewmen are expendable."
"Actually, it's what the doctor keeps saying… and I don't really define him as wise right now."
The former first officer decided to test fate. "Computer… open turbo-lift doors."
Chakotay shrugged. "All of them."
"Acknowledged." All the turbo-lift doors on the ship opened in unison, closing a short time later when it was apparent there were no waiting passengers.
Janeway was happy to release that concern. "I'm not even going to question this… even though it did work out too easily."
"The writers conditioned you that way… and I couldn't be happier about it."
"You know… sitting here on the floor isn't very dignified… should we go back to our bridge?"
Everybody had gotten used to the fact that Harry and Chakotay were a little too lucky, but were happy for them anyway. Harry promised under oath that he would abstain from dying for the convenience of the ship.
Seven of Nine discovered a tiny malfunction in the doctor's program that had been causing his irrationality. Nobody was suspicious by the fact that he was compelled to propose to her five minutes after she made the adjustments herself. Naturally, she accepted but warned that divorce would be futile.
Neelix managed to bring the mess hall back into a condition approaching cleanliness, but there are still inch deep scratches in the floor from where Fluffy fought for traction. The crew is not going to fix the imperfections… it's all they could think of to console Chakotay after he was forced to give Fluffy to a different family on an unsuspecting planet.
In a spurt of genius, B'Elanna created solutions for both of her most nagging concerns: She has Tom addicted to caffeine-heavy beverages, which has coincidentally improved their relationship noticeably. The other solution involved finding a sock that fit around Tuvok's mouth. That has also improved Tom and B'Elanna's marriage.
Tuvok is currently enjoying wearing a sock around his mouth that displays pictures of his new idol, the hideous, green, murderous looking creature, also known as Fluffy. He hasn't realized that the footwear has seriously crippled his speech yet, and nobody on the crew is about to tell him.
"Captain!" B'Elanna was waiting patiently on the bridge when Janeway entered for her shift. "I've got a big surprise for you!"
"You're going to love this, Captain!" Tom added with his new hyper personality. (Some have attributed this to the caffeine intake.)
"Seriously," Chakotay commented from his seat. "This is pretty special."
"Well don't keep me in suspense!" Janeway scolded gently. "What is it?"
"Ta-da!" Harry whipped a sheet off of a piece of furniture, revealing Captain Janeway's brand new chair.
"Guaranteed, puke free!" Neelix, who was standing off to the side smiled.
"Mmmf, fmfmm, mmmf." Tuvok nodded.
"Thank you!" Janeway settled into her present, delighted.
"We all contributed to make sure that it would be perfect!" The doctor said proudly.
"I even supplied some Borg technology to aid in the design." Seven said blandly, clutching her new husband possessively by the arm.
"This is perfect!" Janeway announced luxuriously. "It's positively the most comfortable captain's chair of all time!"
Satisfied with her reaction, the crew dispersed to attend to their duties. Janeway stretched out happily.
"Is it really as great as all that?" Chakotay leaned over to whisper, gesturing at the new seat.
"I'll be honest with you," Janeway whispered back. "It's almost the best chair ever."
"Then what's wrong with it?"
"Nothing." She abandoned the furniture in question and sidled into Chakotay's lap, coyly. "This is just better."
"Mmf mmfmm?" Tuvok attempted to distract them. Nobody looked.
The REAL End
Elly: Some might ask where the security guards were during the whole 'Fluffy' incident… my answer to you attentive souls is simply: They were on strike.
TheGWF: Sooo… who got to keep all the air fresheners?
Elly: I rather like to think that they stuffed the old chair and the air fresheners into that Cargo Bay where Seven of Nine lives. Heeheehee.
TheGWF: That's probably what they did. Or maybe Neelix used them in his latest cooking experiment?
Elly: That's valid. I wish I could be an immortal ensign.
TheGWF: Hey… what's that?
Elly: I'm not going to fall for it.
TheGWF: What is that hideous, green, murderous looking creature?
Elly: Don't make me get the sock!
TheGWF: LOOK OUT! LOOK OUT!
Elly: Gurk! What the heck? There really is a hideous, green, murderous looking creature running loose! What is the Universe coming to?
TheGWF: It's coming to Elly and The Gundam Wing Fan at: DancingMoogle@hotmail.com Drop us a line if you see any hideous, green, murderous looking creatures frolicking about.
Elly: Yeah, I feel kind of responsible for the whole monster on the loose thing… this crazy fic was my idea…
TheGWF: Except for the funny parts… I made those up!
Elly: Don't believe him… they're my jokes. Heehee.
TheGWF: Come Fluffy.