Copyright disclaimer: The characters and concept of Star Trek Voyager belong to Rick Berman, Michael Piller and Jeri Taylor. I'm just borrowing them and I promise to return them to the toy box, without any damage, when I'm through playing with them.
It didn't escape Chakotay that Kathryn Janeway looked beautiful this evening. Normally she appeared to their weekly dinner in uniform or, if she was in a good mood, in a simple beige shirt. But today she looked striking. She wore black slacks and a sleeveless top with a flattering low-cut, the colour smoky blue, matching her eyes perfectly. And she seemed to be quite flirty and relaxed. Chakotay took this as a sign that their relationship was restored to a level of trust and friendship. The First Officer smiled. After the Equinox disaster her behaviour towards him was icy and he was more than relieved that things had changed.
Chakotay smiled genuinely. "Actually I'd like to have ice cream for dessert, what do you want?"
"Ice cream sounds great." She smiled at him.
"I think I'm going for the classic, vanilla and chocolate."
"I prefer coffee ice cream."
Chakotay rose from the couch and walked over to the replicator. "I've expected nothing else from you, Kathryn."
"Computer, coffee ice cream without caffeine."
"Damnit, Chakotay." He heard the unmistakeable sound of someone hitting his table with a fist.
The first officer turned around, studying her. "You didn't flirt with me to trick me into ordering you something with coffee, didn't you?" He asked with a mixture of disbelieve and sadness.
"Oh, I'm so sorry, Chakotay. No I didn't, really, I swear. It was the way you said ice cream, so alluring. I was reminded of this wonderful coffee ice cream. I thought it could do no harm. It's such a great temptation. " She looked at him almost pleading. "I'm sorry Chakotay."
"It's for your own best."
"Of course Chakotay. I know, but that doesn't mean it's easy."
"Why you don't take the decafeinated ice cream? The taste is the same."
"No it is not." Janeway looked stubbornly. "It is absurd. Something that has the taste of coffee, but no caffeine."
"Alright, we don't need dessert. What do you think of Saurean Brandy? The real one."
Janeway looked at Chakotay in awe. "You still have Saurean Brandy? How could you hide it from Neelix over all these years."
He smiled teasingly. "I can't tell you."
"Oh, let me guess. Cargo bay 2"
"How do you know?"
"After all I'm the Captain."
"Well, Captain, just wait here, I'll be back soon with Saurean Brandy, the real one." With these words Chakotay left the quarter.
Kathryn Janeway settled back and tried to relax. Saurean Brandy was good. Well no alternative to coffee, but it was ok. For now.
Captain Kathryn Janeway was drinking hot water. All or nothing. Janeway or no way. If she couldn't have coffee, she would have water.
"How are you doing?" B'Elanna Torres glanced over the table at her Captain.
"You mean how I'm coping with drinking water instead of coffee?"
"I can imagine that it is hard," B'Elanna tried. "But your pancreas will be thankful, your whole body will be thankful. I mean think of all the positive effects. You will be more calm and when the Doc allows you to drink coffee again you don't need such high doses."
Janeway smiled sarcastically. "It's very nice what you're trying B'Elanna, but it won't work."
"Well, I mean you could have the decaf stuff," Tom Paris interfered, taking a sip from his coffee mug. B'Elanna shot him a warning glare but it was too late.
Janeway cast a white-glowing death glare at her pilot, who shrunk visibly in his seat. Coffee or not, she still has The Look.
"Tom! Your pancakes are ready," Neelix yelled over to their table. The mess hall was crowded with people who wanted to get non-replicated breakfast before alpha shift and Neelix was busy. Tom jumped up to fetch his food. "Thanks for the rescue, Neelix," he muttered.
B'Elanna Torres exhaled. Suddenly the coffee mug of her husband caught her attention, and not only hers. Janeway put forth a hand and grabbed the mug. Very slowly she drew it nearer. Fascinated and horrified B'Elanna watched her. She saw Janeway's eyes fixed on the content of the mug, her left hand gripped tight around the mug, her knuckles white.
"You shouldn't do that," the Chief Engineer said.
"Relax, B'Elanna. I'll just smell the scent. What harm could it do?"
"Please don't. This is a small ship, the Doctor will find out."
But Janeway didn't look as if she would still listen to B'Elanna. She took the cup and lifted it to inhale the aromas of the coffee. She closed her eyes lifting the cup a bit more.
"No! I can't allow this!" Suddenly Tom was back. He was holding a plate with pancakes, but before he put it down, he grabbed his coffee mug and snatched it away from Captain Janeway's hand. He and Janeway stared at each other and B'Elanna was staring at the bizarre scene in front of her. Then the three looked at the coffee that was spilled over while Tom had grabbed his mug. Janeway bent forward and for a moment Tom and B'Elanna feared their Captain would loose her remaining dignity in front of half of today's alpha shift and suck up the coffee slop from the table. Fortunately she did not. She looked down at the back of her left hand, which was moistened with still warm coffee.
"If you do this now, you'll only be more infatuated with this stuff." B'Elanna whispered adjuratory, leaning closer.
"As the Doctor's assistant I order you not do this." Tom added.
Janeway abstained from licking the coffee off of her hand. Instead she wiped it with her other hand. She shot another death glare at Tom and B'Elanna and left the table and the mess hall. The couple exchanged glances.
"C'mon, Harry, hurry to replicate you something, you're not the only one who's hungry." Tom said to his friend.
"I can't decide. Vegetable soup or chow main?" Harry marched up and down in front of the replicator.
"What about coffee, Harry?" A voice said. Both officers turned around to face Kathryn Janeway who stood at a distance. Slowly with sleek swaggering steps she walked towards them.
"Captain, please. It's not right and you know it." Tom said.
Janeway crossed her arms over her chest. "The first one who replicates me coffee keeps his rank." She said in a disturbing calm voice.
Tom laughed hysterically and Harry gulped.
"Look I survived that you reduced me to the rank of Ensign once, I will survive it a second time," Tom stated.
"And I am already Ensign," Harry added. "Anyway I don't think you would do such a thing just because we refuse to order you coffee."
"What makes you so sure, Harry?"
Harry looked uneasy.
"Due to all respect, Ma'am, we can't do this." Tom said uptight.
"This will have consequences gentlemen." Janeway snarled and gave them a white-glowing intimidating glare before she turned around and walked away. Tom sighed inwardly. It was already his third today.
To be continued…soon…
Well, what do you think so far? Too much? Too lame? I'm not sure this time and would appreciate honest feedback.