Conspiracy

By Kate O'Riley

Codes: P/T, ?/?

Time: Between "Drive" and "Lineage"

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: Characters are Paramount's, story's mine. Blah blah blah.

Archiving: Feel free. Just let me know.



It was March 31 on Voyager. One of the most dreaded days of the year for the senior staff. Surpassed only by April 1. Because it was on that day, and that day only, that one of their most dreaded enemies appeared.

Tom Paris.

No one was immune to his pranks. Not even Captain Janeway. Every year, every single year, he'd done something to her coffee. She could count on April 1 being a day where she could not have any coffee, due to it being ruined some way. All by Mr. Innocent, Tom Paris himself.

Which was why, on this day, Captain Janeway called a emergency staff meeting. Everyone but Tom was there. Getting to have a meeting without Tom there was trick number 1; Janeway finally called it when he should have been sleeping. Trick 2 was getting B'Elanna there. They'd gotten Carey to call her for an emergency in Engineering, then told her about it. So Tom slept on in his quarters, unaware that a few decks above, the senior staff was talking about him.

"We have to do something about this." Janeway told the staff. "We can't let him continue."

"Maybe we could put him in the brig?" Neelix suggested.

"You are not going to put my husband in the brig for even a day without a good reason!" B'Elanna said.

Janeway shook her head. "I don't think that would be a good idea."

"Maybe we should try getting him to work a double shift?" Harry suggested.

"He'd still have time to do some before his shift. Besides, what would we do to get him to work a double shift?" Chakotay said.

Suddenly, B'Elanna's eyes lighted up. "Who said we have to prevent him from playing pranks?"

"What do you mean?" Janeway asked.

"It's no good to try to prevent him. He's probably got some in the computer system. He's been planning for weeks. He's told me so." B'Elanna leaned forward. "But what if, instead of trying to prevent him, we try getting revenge…"

As she started to tell her plan, Janeway resigned herself to another April Fool's without coffee…

=/\=

As soon as Tom woke up, he was plotting.

He'd reset Harry's alarm to wake him half an hour late. And Chakotay's. And Tuvok's. Then, he decided it was best to set his own alarm late as well. Yeah, they'd know it was him who did it, but if he was late, they couldn't finger him for sure.

Then he programmed the replicators to replicate whatever was asked for five requests ago. For instance, Ensign A asks for blueberry pancakes. Ensign E gets them.

The night before, he'd cut the lower two inches off of B'Elanna's uniform pants. Then he'd hidden every other pair she owned in the nearest Jefferies tube. She'd make him pay tonight, but it'd be worth it. And since her engineering shift started an hour later, he'd be safe on the bridge by the time she found out. As long as he didn't leave Deck 1, he was safe.

The captain's coffee would be hot chocolate instead. She also had a whopee cushion under her command chair. Commander Chakotay would discover "ye old can of worms", in the 24th century version. When he picked up one of the many padds on his desk, and pushed a button, the screen would pop open and a sign reading "April Fool!" would pop up.

At 1134, Harry's sensors would go nuts. At 1135, so would Tuvok's. At 1136, the command consoles, and helm.

Tom chuckled as he pulled on his uniform jacket. He was completely oblivious to the sign B'Elanna had gotten a crewmember to sew on back saying "Pinch Me".

Although he did wonder why people pinched him.

All the pranks went off without a hitch. He was only worried when B'Elanna didn't storm onto the bridge before her shift started, demanding to know why her pants were shortened. He hadn't put the wrong pair with her uniform, had he?

He hadn't. He found out when she came up to check something on the bridge. He didn't notice Janeway raising an eyebrow at her pants, or B'Elanna's nod in his direction, or the conspiring wink that was exchanged.

Janeway complained that *someone* had done something to her coffee, but when Paris had his back turned, she shared a grin with Chakotay.

At 1134, Harry said his sensors were going nuts, then Tuvok, then Chakotay. Right on time.

He didn't notice that Harry was on the verge of laughing.

Chakotay went to his office. He came back a while later with a bruise on his forehead. Said a sign in a padd had hit him.

Oops. Tom didn't mean for it to have that much force.

In fact, it totally escaped his notice that everyone was laughing at him behind his back.

He had no clue what was going on…

=/\=

Tom was feeling pretty pleased with himself as he walked down the corridor. Things had gone smoothly. They were almost too smooth.

He slowed down as he approached his quarters. B'Elanna should be in there. He'd stayed for a while in the holodeck, but had finally been forced to come out.

He passed Sam Wildman and said hi to her. He didn't see her quietly say something into her comm badge after he passed.

But when he was a few feet away from his quarters, he froze. He had heard something.

"…what will Tom say?"

"He doesn't need to know."

"You think?"

"Of course."

"It's a small ship. Word gets around."

"Maquis, he won't find out, will he? This is between you and me."

Tom strained his ears to listen to Harry and B'Elanna. He heard…no. It couldn't be.

That sounded like kissing.

He stood there, stunned. He and B'Elanna had been married such a short time. How could she be doing this to him? Even worse, how could Harry, his best friend other then B'Elanna, be doing this to him?

Trembling with anger, he walked into his quarters, ready to wreck his wrath on the pair.

Only to confront…the entire senior staff.

"Hello Tom. April Fool." B'Elanna said, grinning.

"This was, as you call it, a prank." Seven informed him.

"As we call it, sweet revenge." Janeway said.

Tom stood there gaping. "B-but I heard…" he sputtered.

"We know what you heard. Didn't it seem a bit loud though?" B'Elanna asked as she held up a tricorder. It'd been set to act like a microphone.

"And don't worry. B'Elanna's safe from me. All the kissing was a recording." Harry said.

"But why?" Tom asked.

"All the ruined coffee." Janeway said.

"The whopee cushions." Chakotay added.

"The sensor readings." Harry said.

"The hidden belongings. By the way, where are all my pants?" B'Elanna asked.

"The misplaced hyposprays." The Doctor.

"And every other prank you've pulled." Janeway finished.

B'Elanna walked over and gave him a hug. "Tom, I confess. It was my idea. We set it up to get our revenge on you. Consider it gotten."

Tom gave a weak smile. "I guess I have been a bit bad, huh?"

"Oh yeah." B'Elanna said.

"Can you tell me one more thing?" Tom said.

"Sure. Ask away." Chakotay said.

"Why does everyone keep pinching me?"