"Well," Tom says. He doesn't look up from his boots.

"Lieutenant," Janeway says softly, slowly. Menacingly. "Turn. Around."

Paris spins on a dime.

The yellow grid of the holodeck seems stark, cold, industrial. Usually Tom feels at home in this room, but right now it seems as naked as… well, as his Captain.

"Now," Janeway says from behind him. "Where is my uniform?"

"The uh, the program was supposed to change your clothes, Ma'am," he says. "Not remove them."

"I suggest you return them to me," she says.

"I don't really know how to do that," he admits. "Captain, might I suggest an emergency beam to your quarters?"

The program had been a sort of experiment he'd designed for her birthday. Walk into the Holodeck and walk into another world. He'd wanted it to be easy for her and seamless. She'd walk in and the costume would simply materialize around her. They'd have a party, she'd get to relax and would also gush about his programming skills. It was supposed to be win-win. Instead, his costume had never appeared and hers… well… the Holodeck had gotten it half right.

"I don't want to transport, I just want my CLOTHING," she says.

"Captain, I don't think you understand," he says, starting to panic a little but it's too late. The Holodeck doors open and the senior staff, right on time for her surprise party, start to spill in.

"Turn around!" Tom says. Everyone complies but only after a few moments of hesitation. Harry turns red – B'Elanna barely suppresses her laughter.

"I will take that emergency transport now, Lieutenant, thank you," Janeway says.


The old Tom would have avoided her for as long as possible but this is a new Tom, a better Tom, so he goes right to her quarters and rings her chime.

She opens her door and looks unamused.

"I accept any and all brig time," he says.

She sighs, grits her teeth for a moment, and then hangs her head in defeat.

"Commander Chakotay explained what you were attempting to do," she says. "And while you failed to execute it rather spectacularly, I appreciate the effort. I think."

"I'm so sorry, Captain," he says. He tries not to smile.

"Yes, well, I think the brig is an overreaction, but I can't wait to give you all these extra sickbay shifts."

His face falls. She smiles.


"Happy birthday to me, Tom," she says.

"Yes, Ma'am," he says. "Happy birthday."

She hesitates for just a second before leaning in and kissing his cheek.

"Now go away before I change my mind, you adolescent."

"I will," he says. He turns to go and then turns back. "For the record, though, you looked amazing."

She shuts the door in his face, but he just catches her smile.