More salacious comic capers from your resident single guy (who's clearly
been single for far too long). This is a sequel to "The First of Many".
Cheesy knob gags abound. (See what I mean!) The fact that I considered the
appalling pun "War and Penis" as a title should give you an idea of what to
expect. You have been warned. Please feel free to flame me for the equally
bad pun on the name of a certain little mop-haired Russian. ;-)

Actually, I exagerate... a little. There's a touch of romance and angst in
there too, so it's not all school-boy humour... only 99% of it...

***WARNING*** This is rated R for sexual content, including *implied*
cunnilingus, so if you're of a delicate disposition, or too young to know
what the word means then you should probably avoid this story. ***END OF
WARNING***

Hope you enjoy. Feedback welcome. :-)

************

TITLE: It Happens to the Best
AUTHOR: Damon Jones
RATING: R
SUMMARY: A sequel to "The First of Many" in which Seven's 'lessons' continue
and Tom gets a taste of his own medicine.

************

Holodeck two: a large, wood-panelled room bathed in the flicker of lambent
light from a fire-place; against one finely-burnished wall, a grand, oak
table... needlessly aristocratic for its half-eaten and abandoned meal;
against the other, a sumptuous four-poster bed... currently unoccupied; in
front of the fire a dark, luxurious rug; on the rug two naked figures... one
flushed and perspiring, the other holographically dry.

"I'm sorry," said the Doctor in consternation as he sat up, "This has never
happened before."

"There is no need to apologise. I believe that it is not an uncommon
affliction among human males."

"You don't understand, Seven. I programmed my capabilities myself -- and I
wasn't aiming for authenticity."

Sitting up beside him she placed a comforting hand on his arm. "Is
something distracting you? If you have a problem I can help you with..."

He smiled at her fondly, momentarily entranced by the orange scintillation
of her implants as they reflected the light of the fire. "No," he said at
last. "The crew are in perfect health and... I've never been happier."

"Nor have I," she replied softly. After a moment, though, her expression
became wry as she glanced around the room. "Perhaps you are distracted by
the unnecessary ostentation of our surroundings."

"Perhaps," he said with an indulgent grin, "But I think it more likely that
there's a problem with the relevant subroutine."

"I will assist you in correcting the error. We could also add some further
enhancements to your program."

He drew himself up in mock-indignation. "And just what do you mean by
that?"

She waited a moment, a teasing expression on her face, before replying. "I
was merely referring to physical manifestations of arousal such as vascular
congestion of the face, perspiration..." She raised a hand and placed it on
his chest. "I would like to feel your heart beating."

He felt a momentary sadness and wondered whether he, as a hologram, could
ever really win her love, but when she leaned forward and lightly brushed
his lips with hers the feeling passed. "I'm sure that can be arranged." He
started to rise to his feet, but she restrained him.

"We still have twenty-nine minutes for use of the holodeck."

He saw the light of rekindled desire in her eyes as she lay back on the rug.

"Given the circumstances, Doctor, I suggest a return to our former
activity."

"That can also be arranged," he said, positioning himself between her parted
legs. As he dipped his head towards the sweet fruit of her sex he paused
and grinned up at her. "But I hope none of your enhancements include adding
an involuntary response to my respiratory subroutine, as that might impair
my ability regarding said activity." Her hands clutching at his head and
forcing it down, though, told him that the time for levity had passed.

************

Three weeks later, the Doctor went about his work in Sickbay with an air of
distraction. On six separate occasions a certain subroutine had failed in
its task. Each time he and Seven had investigated and found the same
algorithmic degradation that they'd discovered the first time; they would
repair the damaged code, and for a day or two everything would work
correctly; and then it would happen again. At first he'd been worried that
his program was becoming unstable, but the degradation had fortunately been
confined to that one subroutine and had shown no signs of spreading further.
His relief at the specific nature of the problem had quickly worn off
though, to be replaced with anxiety and frustration. Seven never complained
about his curtailed abilities, but he began to fear that she would grow
tired of their liaison and start looking for another, more capable mate.
He'd tried several times to approach the subject obliquely, but while her
responses had been reassuring, he was afraid to openly discuss his concerns,
and so remained in doubt. And bound up inextricably with these problems was
the nature of her feelings towards him and his inability to ascertain
exactly how she regarded him. Was he still just her friend? Were their
couplings (complete or otherwise) merely a pleasurable diversion, or did
they have deeper, emotional significance for her? Certainly she became
emotional on occasion, sometimes verging on tears at the height of her
ecstasy, but afterwards she would seem embarrassed and reticent, and he was
unsure what to make of this. Ultimately, his own inexperience was showing,
and he finally realised the irony that he, of all the crew, should have
assumed the role of mentor in Seven's social development. He supposed that,
considering the circumstances, he ought to reveal his deeper feelings for
her, but the prospect of upsetting the balance of their relationship was a
strong deterrent, and he was beginning to regret that he'd been the one
Seven had chosen as her first sexual partner. Of course, if she'd chosen
anyone else he'd have been suffering the misery of jealousy right now.

He was still pondering these matters when Ensign Paris entered Sickbay.

"Okay, Doc, you've got me for the rest of the day."

"You're late," he snapped peevishly, only just realising this.

"Aw, come on, Doc. What's a couple of minutes between friends?"

Giving him an angry glare, he headed for his office to retrieve his mobile
emitter.

"More lessons with Seven?"

He paused, detecting a hint of mockery in Paris's voice, and turned to face
him.

"I guess you've really been teaching her a lot lately."

"And just what, exactly, do you mean by that, Mr. Paris?"

"Oh, nothing. Just that you've been seeing an awful lot of her recently."
There was no mistaking the mockery now.

"You know," he said, his shoulders sagging.

"Ha! Only me and the rest of the crew."

"You mean we're the subject of idle gossip?" He felt a growing horror and
wondered how Seven would react to this.

"Don't worry, Doc, it'll die down. Actually I'm surprised the Captain
hasn't pulled you both in for a lecture on Starfleet etiquette."

"But... how? We've refrained from making the sort of public displays that
you and B'Elanna indulge in."

Paris ignored the bait and assumed an expression of affected concentration.
"Well, let's see... One -- a certain ex-Borg is observed on several
occasions arriving late for duty-shifts in a state that witnesses describe
as dishevelled and glowing." He began to pace up-and-down Sickbay as he got
into his role. "Two -- the Emergency Medical Hologram and Seven of Nine are
frequently spotted entering holodecks in a furtive manner and emerging later
-- sometimes *much* later -- looking flushed and satisfied. Three -- the
suspects are often seen exchanging secretive smiles and..."

"All right, Mr. Paris, you've made your point." He sighed and looked
plaintively at the other man. "We're that obvious then?"

"'Fraid so, Doc."

"Mmm... that would explain Crewman Cherkov's cryptic remarks yesterday," he
muttered.

"So, how's it going with Seven anyway?"

He struggled with himself for a moment before the need for advice won out.
"Quite well, mostly... but I'm having... problems."

"Problems?"

"Yes... sometimes I have difficulty... rising to the occasion."

"Ah, I see," Paris said, visibly struggling to refrain from smirking. "Don't
worry about it, Doc, it happens to the best of us."

"You've had experience of this?"

"Well, there have to be some exceptions to the rule," Paris replied smugly.

"Of course," he said, rolling his eyes. "The problem is I should be one of
those exceptions. We've tried to find out why it's happening, but without
success so far. I'm worried that Seven will... lose interest."

"Maybe you should get B'Elanna to take a look at your program."

"Seven suggested the same thing, but I'd rather no one else knew about
this." He was already regretting bringing the subject up. "You mustn't
breathe a word..."

"Relax, Doc," Paris said, clapping him on the shoulder, "My lips are
sealed."

The Ensign's forced sincerity did nothing to reassure him.

"And don't worry about Seven. I'm sure she won't be put off by a little
thing like this... at least, not yet."

"Thank you, Mr. Paris," he said sarcastically. "You're an unending source
of comfort, as ever."

************

Holodeck one: a wide beach of fine sand, stained red with the light of a
setting sun; lapping at the shore a languorous sea, flashes of
phosphorescence becoming visible just beneath its surface in response to the
approaching dusk; a warm breeze whispering softly through the tall grass
that borders the beach, keeping it in a constant motion that mirrors that of
the sea; two figures walking slowly, arm-in-arm along the beach.

"Well, Seven, what do you think?"

"About what?"

"About this program," he said, a hint of exasperation in his voice. "I
spent a lot of time getting the mood just right."

"And what mood is that?"

"Seven!" He was beginning to feel frustrated, but then he noticed the
humour in her eyes. "Very amusing."

"This simulation is..." She paused, suddenly seeming disturbed, and looked
away, "Not unappealing."

They continued in silence for a while, and he pondered her reaction. Was
she growing tired of this new aspect of their relationship? Or was her
unease the result of other, quite different emotions stirring within her?
Could he dare to hope that she was falling in love with him? He considered
bringing up the matter of their changed relationship, but once again found
his courage lacking; besides, he wasn't even sure it was the right thing to
do now -- he didn't want to risk frightening her away.

Sometime later he knelt before her, naked and standing proud (somewhat to
his relief). Looking into her eyes, he could see now that there was more
there than mere lust. As he leaned forward she whispered his name, and he
found himself on the point of saying the words that he'd feared would be
meaningless to her. Then her saw her face register astonishment and he
followed her gaze downwards. What he saw made him gasp in horror. They
watched in silence as his once proud member and its two, full attendants
slowly diminished in size, condition and proportions remaining intact, but
shrinking relentlessly until, with a quiet popping noise, the now tiny
organs suddenly disappeared altogether, leaving nothing but a barren thatch
of hair. Seconds later there was another pop and three red balloons
appeared in place of the missing organs and began to sway gently in the
breeze.

They looked at each other speechlessly for some time before Seven at last
found her voice.

"That was not the result of algorithmic degradation."

"Someone's been altering my program." He began to feel a rising anger.
"All this time..."

Seven got to her feet and began to dress. "We may be able to trace the
origin of the alterations, if we hurry."

But he already suspected who was behind this.

He watched Seven's fingers fly over the computer console as she informed him
of her progress.

"They are trying to place evidence to implicate Neelix."

An icon vacated its place on one side of the screen and crossed to the other
to insinuate itself into the Talaxian's personal database.

"I am attempting to locate the computer station being used... it is
difficult, they are highly skilled."

"That doesn't sound like Mr. Paris," he said dubiously.

"Perhaps you were mistaken in your suspicions," she replied, all the while
working to hunt down the perpetrator of the crime upon his person before
they managed to cover their tracks.

"But who else would it be?"

Seconds later she had the answer.

"Deck nine... section twelve..."

"B'Elanna!"

"Yes, the source of the alterations is Lieutenant Torres's quarters." She
stopped her work and turned to him. "However, I believe that the security
code used belongs to Ensign Paris."

"Both of them! Working together." He looked at her grimly. "This means
war."

She returned his look, and he realised that she was just as angry as he.
"Normally I would consider an act of revenge pointless and juvenile,
however, in this case, if you require my assistance..."

"Mmm..." He thought for a moment and then grinned evilly. "I think Mr.
Paris should get a taste of his own medicine."

"Doctor?"

"A clever combination of an aphrodisiac and an erectile inhibitor ought to
do the trick."

"How will you administer them?"

"That's where you come in. Can you program the food-replicator system to
add the correct quantities whenever he requests anything?"

"Of course; but what about Lieutenant Torres?"

"Believe me, with her Klingon libido, this is going to be just as hard on
her as it is on him."

"And how long should we... exact this revenge for?"

"Oh, a week or two," he replied airily, "Or maybe a month."

"In the meantime, I suggest we add some security measures to your program."

"Good idea, Sev... No -- wait. If we do that, they might get suspicious."
He frowned anxiously. "Do you think you can put up with this for another
few weeks?"

Her expression softened and she placed her hands on his shoulders, saying
simply, "Yes," before kissing him.

************

A few weeks later the Doctor went about his work in Sickbay with an air of
satisfaction. The tampering with his program had steadily decreased in
frequency, and the past week he'd been operating at peak efficiency. He
suspected that Tom and B'Elanna had more on their minds than childish
pranks. Humming loudly he left his office and entered the Biolab to tend to
some delicate cell cultures. He was in full-blooded song when he heard
Ensign Paris addressing him loudly.

"Sorry I'm late, Doc."

He turned and grinned cheerfully, noting with satisfaction Paris's red-eyed,
distracted look. "Not to worry, Ensign. What's a few minutes between
friends?"

Passing him, he entered his office to retrieve his mobile emitter and the
PADD he'd prepared earlier.

"You're not staying?"

"No. I'm going to join Seven in Astrometrics for the last half-hour of her
shift, and then we have a date with a holodeck." He handed him the PADD.
"I've prepared a list of tasks I'd like you to complete." Attaching his
emitter, he activated it and headed from his office with Paris trailing
miserably behind him.

"Wait, I need to talk to you."

He stopped and turned, affecting a look of concern. "Is something troubling
you?"

"Yeah, it's..." He laughed nervously. "I have a medical problem, I guess."

"Oh?"

"It must be contagious." He laughed again and shifted awkwardly from
foot-to-foot.

"Ensign, I haven't got all day."

"Well, I'm... I'm having difficulty myself... rising to the occasion that
is."

"Ah. To my knowledge, the condition isn't contagious, and even if it was, I
doubt you could catch it from a hologram." He turned away but Paris
restrained him, and a note of desperation entered his voice.

"Wait! Can't you do anything for me?"

"I'm off-duty. See me tomorrow and I'll see what I can do."

He made his way across the room with Paris still trailing him.

"But Doc, you can't just leave me like this."

In the open doorway he stopped and turned to look at him once more. "Don't
worry, Mr. Paris," he grinned and clapped him on the shoulder, "It happens
to the best of us."

And so saying, he exited Sickbay and left the young man to sigh miserably
and contemplate the extensive list of tasks he'd been assigned.

THE END?