Why would anyone want *that*?

By Katherine O'Riley

Disclaimer: I can't steal Paramount's characters. But, on the other hand, they're more then welcome to steal my story, if they want to make it into a Voyager movie.

Archiving: Fine with me. Just don't steal my story and put it under your name. Plagurism will get you thrown in the brig. Please LMK where you put it so I can tell my friends.

Rating: G

Time: Middle of season 5

=/\=

It was the middle of the night aboard the Voyager. Since gamma shift was on, only a small amount of Voyager's population was working. The mess hall was closed for the night. So no one was on deck two to see the pair of figures enter the mess hall. No one saw them leaving either, this time each carrying a box. No one was around to suspect anything…

=/\=

Joe Carey was watching over Engineering. The warp drive had been down, so they were restarting it. He gave the computer the command to do it.

The warp core hummed to life. It didn't go perfectly though. It changed from its normal blue-purple to an angry green. Carey quickly glanced at the panel, but before he could see anything, the core went back to normal.

He scratched his head. "What the…"

=/\=

"I hate leola root."

"Me too. Maybe Talaxian taste buds are weird enough to like it."

"Maybe it's just Neelix."

"Maybe."

B'Elanna Torres and Harry Kim were trying to gag down the leola root loaf that Neelix had made. It was so bad, that there were only a few people in the mess hall – almost everyone else used replicator rations.

But, they had lost a bet with Tom that Ensign Kerns would ask Ensign Leth for a date. Of course, he didn't. Not until the deadline passed.

"Wouldn't it be great if leola root just disappeared?" Harry said wistfully.

"You're telling me, Starfleet." B'Elanna swallowed half her drink in a effort to get a bite down. "Wait a second…"

"What, Maquis?"

"What if it *did* disappear?"

"How would that happen?"

B'Elanna leaned over and whispered her plan to Harry…

=/\=

"Mr. Vulcan!"

Tuvok stopped in the middle of the corridor, but didn't turn around. He heard a huffing and puffing behind him, which lessened as it approached.

"Mr. Neelix," he asked, "what, may I ask, is the problem?"

Neelix looked horrified. "It's terrible! It's horrible! I can't believe anyone would DO such a thing!" he babbled.

Tuvok gave a slight sigh. "Do what, Mr. Neelix?"

"Someone took my entire supply of leola root! Even from the hypodronics bay! They even took everything with any leftover leola root in it!"

Tuvok raised an eyebrow. "Interesting."

"You have to get it all back! Please, Mr. Vulcan!" Neelix pleaded.

Tuvok cocked his head. "Mr. Neelix, as chief security officer aboard this ship, I will attempt to recover the leola root. I will work on the job as soon as possible."

"Thank you Mr. Vulcan! I need to get back to the mess hall. I was planning to make leola root stew for lunch." Neelix frowned. "I'll need to find something else." He hurried off down the corridor.

Even if he wasn't willing to admit it, Tuvok wasn't wanting to find the leola root. Even he didn't like it.

=/\=

"You are certain you have no idea who did it?"

Tom Paris sighed. "I'm telling you, Tuvok, I didn't do it!"

Tuvok raised an eyebrow. "You are a reasonable suspect. You have professed your dislike of leola root multiple times."

"Yeah, but so has Captain Janeway, B'Elanna, Harry, Chakotay, even Seven! Not to mention practically every other crew member! So why are you interrogating me? Because I was in prison once?" he demanded.

Tuvok's other eyebrow went up. "I am questioning you because you have pulled similar tricks before."

"So I programmed the replicator to give the captain blueberry pancakes instead of coffee. It was April Fools Day! How was I to know she'd freak out like that?"

Tuvok sighed. "You are dismissed."

Paris bolted out like a rabbit being chased by a predator.

Tuvok tapped his comm badge. "Ensign Kim, please report to my office."

A few minutes later, Harry Kim walked in. Tuvok started questioning him. Harry shifted nervously in his chair.

"Ensign Kim, is something wrong?" Tuvok asked.

"No. Are you done yet?" Harry said.

"As a matter of fact, I am almost done. I have one final question. Is it true that you and Lt. Torres were overheard complaining about the leola root yesterday?"

"Yeah, we were."

"Thank you. You are dismissed."

=/\=

"Tuvok, how can you even suspect me?" Janeway asked.

"I will admit, it is a slim possibility, but a possibility nonetheless. You do have a strong dislike for Neelix's leola root coffee substitutes."

"Tuvok, I'm the captain of Voyager. How would that look if I turned out to be the one who did it?" She thought for a minute. "Actually, I probably would be a hero to everyone but Neelix."

"It does seem that the crew is extremely pleased at the turn of events." Tuvok said.

Janeway shook her head and stood up. "Tuvok, surely you know me well enough to know I didn't do it."

"I will not disturb you about this anymore." Tuvok said. He stood up and cocked his head in the direction of the door, a subtle signal to let her know he wanted to leave.

Janeway saw it. "Dismissed."

=/\=

"Me?"

"Yes Commander. You are a logical suspect."

Chakotay laughed. "Tuvok, anyone on this ship is a logical suspect."

"You have a point. However, I must investigate all possibilities."

"So you plan on interrogating everyone?"

"If that is needed."

Chakotay shook his head. "Good luck."

=/\=

Seven turned from the monitor. "That would not be a wise action."

"I did not say it was wise. However, it is my duty to pursue the possibility. Were you in the mess hall at the time?"

"No. I was regenerating in my alcove."

"You know nothing about it?"

"Sir, I am a illogical choice for a suspect." Seven pointed out.

"I am afraid that no one is a illogical choice."

"If you will excuse me, I must continue my duties." Seven turned back to the console.

Tuvok left.

=/\=

"What do you mean, did I do it?"

"I meant exactly that, Lieutenant."

"Tuvok, I have better things to do then to steal the leola root. Or talk to you." B'Elanna moved from the console she was working on to the one next to it.

"You still have not answered my question directly."

"What do you think?" B'Elanna checked the time. "Good. I'm off duty. Carey, take over. Tuvok, I'll see you later." She bolted out of Engineering.

=/\=

"Captain, I believe I know who did it."

"Good. Tell them to report to my ready room."

=/\=

"Why does she want us?"

"I have no idea. Do you think she knows?"

"Maybe…"

=/\=

"Did you two do it?" Janeway looked at Harry and B'Elanna.

"Yes ma'am." "Yes Captain." They mumbled. They were both looking at the floor.

"We just got sick of leola root." B'Elanna explained.

"What did you do with it?" Janeway asked.

"Well, since the warp core was down, we threw it in there. B'Elanna said the antimatter would vaporize it and it wouldn't hurt the engines." Harry explained.

"Harry!" B'Elanna hissed.

Janeway tried to keep the grin off her face, but didn't succeed. When she started laughing, they looked at her.

"Very ingenious. But," she sobered, "you shouldn't have done that. You will both be getting punished. You'll have to help Neelix in the kitchen for the next month. Once you're through with your shifts."

"We have to work in the mess hall?" B'Elanna's nose wrinkled.

"Yes, you do."

"Oh well." Harry shrugged. "At least there's no more leola root."

"Neelix to Captain Janeway!"

"Go ahead, Neelix."

"I've made a terrific discovery, Captain! I was rummaging in the back of a cabinet looking for a pot, and I found a piece of leola root! We can plant it and grow it again! It grows so fast I should be able to use it in just a couple weeks."

Harry and B'Elanna looked at each other and groaned.