Not mine; everything that matters really belongs to Paramount

"You shot a phaser in the Mess Hall?" Harry stood in front of the brig's force field with an expression somewhere between disbelief and shock as he addressed with a stunned monotone voice the sandy haired man on the other side.

"Harry, it's not like that," Tom pleaded as he paced the small brig cell.

"You brought the phaser into the Mess Hall and fired it in the kitchen." Harry watched Tom pace as he tried to process the information he was being given.

"Look," Tom stopped pacing and faced Harry, "I was trying to fix Neelix's plasma burner."

"With a phaser?" Harry's voice rose an octave as the shock moved into surprise and some anger.

"I was going to us it to replace the back up power supply in the plasma burner."

"Tom, you shot the Captain in the…" Harry leaned in toward the force field and lowered his voice as if everyone on Voyager didn't already know the news, "You shot her in the ass, Tom."

Tom ran a hand over his face and rolled his eyes. He took a moment to assemble his thoughts as he gave a big sigh and crossed his arms. "It was an accident."

Harry leaned back, crossing his arms in response, rolling his eyes in disbelief. "In the ass, Tom?"

Tom sighed again, "I had it on stun. I accidentally pushed the button. She startled me."

"So, you shot her?"

"No… I'm telling you, Harry, it wasn't like that."

"Ok then, how was it?"

"I was going to be nice and fix Neelix's plasma burner for B'Elanna because I knew she had a lot going on in Engineering. I took a look at it during dinner, and discovered that the problem was the power supply for the burner, so I fixed it, but the back up power supply Neelix had just wasn't cutting it anymore. Instead of wasting a good replicator ration, I thought that a type II phaser's power supply would be more than enough because it regenerates on its own."

"Uh-huh, go on."

"So, I went to storage and grabbed one. I figured Tuvok wouldn't mind. After all, the crew's got to eat, right?" Harry kept his arms crossed and raised an eyebrow. "Well, by the time I got back to the Mess Hall everyone was gone, and I heard some noise in the kitchen. I assumed it was Neelix messing around in there trying to concoct some new 'wonderful, must try' dish. So, I thought I'd pull a little prank and, you know, scare him."

"Were you going to shoot him in the ass?" Harry asked in a flat but semi-humored tone.

"No. Listen, I was just going to jump around the corner there in the kitchen and yell 'boo' really loud. You know, just startle him." Harry made a face. "I snuck into the kitchen expecting to see a Talaxian bent over digging through the cabinets. Instead, I popped my head in and saw the nicest rear end sticking up in the air I think I've seen in a long time."

"Tom…" Harry had a hint of warning in his voice.

"I'm serious, Harry. It was…" he raised his hands trying to demonstrate what he'd seen, "it was…" he looked at Harry who was watching him with a hint of warning in his eyes and he threw his hands up in retreat. "Forget it… anyway, I walked into the kitchen to admire. You know, a guilty pleasure now that I'm married. So, there I was standing there, admiring what was clearly a very nice female rear end sticking up in the air as this woman dug through a pantry in the lower section of the kitchen, holding a phaser in my hand like we all do with my thumb wrapped around the handle when I accidentally mumbled the word 'Nice'."

"You commented on her rear end?" Harry looked more than shocked.

"I couldn't help myself! Anyway, you can imagine my fear and shock when I heard Captain Janeway's voice filter up from that lower pantry with the words 'Thank you, Mr. Paris, but I believe you're taken.' Well, it scared the hell out of me. I mean, it really scared me, Harry. Who would have thought that was Captain Janeway up there… down there… you know what I mean. So… I jumped a little. When I jumped, my thumb must have slipped across the firing button on the phaser because, the next thing I know, the Captain is face down on the ground yelling things I've never heard her say before and calling for the EMH while the red alert klaxons are going off and security guards are rushing into the room."

Harry stood there a moment trying to decide whether he wanted to laugh or yell at his best friend. "Let me get this straight, you hit on the Captain not knowing it was her, and, when you figured out it was her, it scared you so badly you jumped, your thumb slipped, and you shot her in the ass?"

Tom looked down at the ground and turned a little red, "Well, yeah, that's basically it."

Harry laughed out loud and shook his head. "Does B'Elanna know you hit on the Captain?"

Tom turned shades of red. "Will you stop saying I hit on the Captain!"

"But you did hit on the Captain."

"I did not."

"You called her ass nice."

"I wasn't hitting on her… it was… it was a compliment. I'm a married man, Harry."

"They put you in here to protect you from B'Elanna, didn't they?"

"Let's put it this way, I feel safer in here right now than out there."

"Well, you're on both Captain Janeway's AND B'Elanna's hit list. I'd stay in there as long as they'd let me if I were you."

"Gee, thanks, Harry."

"I'm just trying to help. I need to get back to the bridge. My lunch break is just about over. Do you need anything?"

"It wouldn't matter. Janeway says I get nothing but bread and water. I heard something about me being lucky she let me have a bed to sleep in."

"Ok, I'll come see you later on tonight after the shift is over." Harry turned to leave, nodding to the security guard in charge of watching Tom.

"Thanks, Harry," Tom called from his cell, "Give my love to B'Elanna."

"Will do," Harry called as he walked out adding just as the doors closed behind him, "Just as soon as she's done shredding all your Captain Proton stuff."

"What? Wait! Harry!..."