Ok, insert standard Disclaimer here. Paramount owns 'em... blah blah blah. You know the usual song and dance.

Christmas Cheer

By Dana Quell

"Captain, may I speak with you a moment?" Commander Chakotay asked as he jogged to catch up with her on her rounds of the ship.

SHe slowed to allow him to catch up. "Of course," Janeway replied, nodding her head. "About what?"

"I wanted to know if you were coming to the Christmas Eve party that Neelix was throwing."

"Neelix is throwing a Christmas Eve party?" Her brow furrowed in thought. "Has he been digging through the Federation's religious database again?"

"I guess so. It doesn't matter, because knowing Neelix, he probably just wanted an excuse to throw another party," Chakotay replied. "But you still didn't answer my question. Are you going?"

"I suppose I must make an appearance. When is it?" Janeway asked.

"Tonight, nineteen hundred hours. So are you going?" he asked insistently.

Janeway sighed. "Nineteen hundred hours? I'm on the bridge. Sorry," she smirked.

He smirked back. "I already took care of that slight problem. You have to go, because Tuvok has already agreed to cover your shift."

Janeway groaned. "I suppose it wasn't hard pursuading him not to go."

"No, it wasn't. And you're going. Or do I have to sic the Doc on you?"

Janeway threw up her hands. "All right, all right, I'll go. Geez, you have a man get you out of duty for a couple of hours and he decides that you won't go to a Christmas party. I'm assuming you'll be there as well."

Chakotay nodded. "Of course. With you."

"Most certainly," Janeway replied. "But now that that's settled, we have to get down to business. I wanted to speak with you about your report. Come on, we can talk in my ready room."

"Yes, ma'am," Chakotay replied in mock salute.


B'Elanna glanced up from her console on the bridge as the two commanding officers walked past into the captain's ready room. Once the doors closed shut, B'Elanna hissed to Tom.

"They're in there. Quick, help me with this," she said as Tom ran from the helm to her side. She bent, and started to pull at the metal casings beneath the console.

"It's a good thing that Tuvok isn't on duty right now. Imagine what he'd say," Tom said as he helped B'Elanna pull it off.

"He wouldn't say anything to us, except maybe to warn us. Then he'd call the captain."

"Oh," Tom said. The casing came loose, and B'Elanna went to work. Tom kept a lookout on the door of the ready room, poised and ready to warn B'Elanna that the doors were opening. Just then the turbolift stopped, and Ensign Harry Kim walked out.

"Hey, what are you two doing?" he asked, puzzled. This wasn't like Tom or B'Elanna to be doing something this weird on the bridge. Usually they waited until they were in their own quarters to do this.

Tom glanced up at Harry. "Oh, you know, the usual. Trying to get the captain and Chakotay to admit their hidden feelings to each other."

Harry was still puzzled. "And how would you be accomplishing that by taking the bridge apart?"

"Harry, do we have to explain everything to you?" B'Elanna snapped from inside the console. "I'm sealing the doors to the captain's ready room shut. None of the command codes that Janeway or Chakotay know will be able to open it. And they'll spend a few hours together, get to talking about things other than the ship and it's crew, and then they'll admit their feelings toward each other which they obviously have."

"Oh, I get it now. But what are you going to tell the captain when she asks why the doors to her ready room aren't opening?" Harry asked back.

B'Elanna paused. "I can't think of everything. Not right now, anyway. I'll think when it comes to that."

"All right. But why didn't you tell me before about this Tom?"

Tom thought for a second. "I don't know. Maybe because I thought you had your hands full with Seven."

Harry blushed, then silenced went to his post at Operations.

"I've got it! There, the doors are sealed," B'Elanna shouted, replacing the casing.

Tom placed his hand over her mouth trying to get her to keep quiet. "Shh! They might hear you!" he hissed at her.

B'Elanna took his hand away. "Oh, right," she giggled back.

"This is going to be good," Tom and B'Elanna said at the exact same time.


"I don't care! This report is not satisfactory! Come up with a better solution, and then redo the report."

It was two hours, and many harsh words, later, and Janeway and Chakotay still hadn't seen eye to eye on the controversial report.

"I think this solution is perfect. Maybe with this solution, it will be permanent, and the problem will be obliterated!" Chakotay shouted back.

"Find another way, Chakotay! Or maybe I'll just find another first mate who knows how to solve problems without resorting to violent Maquis tactics."

Chakotay's eyes grew wide. He had realized that she was angry, but she had just crossed the line. She had just stooped to a new low.

"Fine, Kathryn, you do that. But what will you do with me? Throw me in the nice, neat Starfleet brig for the rest of the journey?" he retorted sharply.

Her blue eyes grew darker with anger. "Maybe I will! Believe me Chakotay, it's looking very tempting right now."

"And you know a lot about temptation! You give in to it every so often."

"You probably know more than I do. Or don't you remember Seska?"

Chakotay's eyes narrowed. That was stooping even lower than before. "I remember. And as far as I'm concerned, this conversation is over. And you can show up at the party tonight alone for all I care. Goodbye, Kathryn," he yelled over his shoulder, and walked to the door.

Or maybe walked into the door would be more accurate. He walked, and, so used to the doors opening automatically, rammed right into it.

His nose ached, but his hand went to his commbadge. "Chakotay to B'Elanna. Why isn't the door to the captain's ready room opening?"

There was a pause. {It's not opening? I wasn't aware of a problem with it,} came the reply.

"Well there is," Chakotay growled. "Fix it, and soon," he ordered.

{Uh, yes sir. I'll contact you as soon as I find out the problem.}

"Good. Chakotay out." He turned to face the captain. "Looks like I"m stuck here for a while. I'll just be sitting here against the door. You won't even notice me. I'll be out of your way."

"That's fine with me," Janeway replied, her voice like a cold steel edged blade.


B'Elanna worked on an excuse in the time she had before she had to contact Chakotay. Finally she came up with one she thought was believable.

She tried it out on Tom. "Okay, how does this sound? The door won't open because the computer has experienced a virus which has only affected the doors so far."

Tom looked at B'Elanna from the helm. "They'll never believe that. Janeway will wonder why it hasn't affected life support, or even helm control, or the engines."

"I'll tell her because the doors won't open, we caught it in time for us to stop the spread to life support and other vital areas."

"They'll also wonder why they can't just be transported out of there," Tom pointed out.

"The virus will have affected the transporters and scanners slightly as well."

Tom shrugged. "Sounds like you've got everything covered. Go for it."

B'Elanna tapped her commbadge. "B'Elanna to Chakotay," she said.

The reply was quick. {Chakotay here. Have you got whatever the hell's the matter fixed yet?}

B'Elanna flinched at his tone. She had never heard this tone in his voice except when he was worried about something important. "Uh, no. We've only found the problem and stopped it's spread so far. We were lucky this happened."

{Is that what you call it? Luck?} Chakotay's reply came through the channels harsh and unfeeling.

"Uh, I guess. It was a virus that caused the doors to lock up. It also affected transporters and scanners, and it's lucky that we found it in time to stop it before it reached engineering or life support."

{Can you fix it?} the captain's voice came through the open link.

"Not for another couple of hours. We'll have to isolate the cause, and then see if we can flush it out."

{Fine. See if you can get it done within the hour.} That was the commander, and he didn't sound too happy with this turn of events. {Keep me informed. Chakotay out.}

When the comm link was severed, B'Elanna sighed audibly. "Phew. For a minute there I thought they'd see right through the story."

Tom turned from the helm. "Must be luck."

B'Elanna glared at him.


Janeway sat behind her desk, doing some paperwork that she figured she might as well start when she's not able to get onto her bridge. Chakotay sat near the door, glaring at her and wishing that he could just make his exit as quickly as possible. It was uncomfortable enough being in the same room with her after this argument.

It figures, he thought to himself. The worst argument that we have in our history together, and I can't even make a hasty exit because of some stupid virus.

He thought some more. And the stupid argument was over some stupid report which I couldn't find another solution in? This is the most unbelievable situation I've ever been in, besides being stuck here in the Delta Quadrant. It's also the stupidest.

Janeway was also thinking. She had abandoned her paperwork and was now staring into space. Kathryn, this has got to be the most ridiculous situation you've ever been in. You argue with Chakotay, and then the doors won't even open because of a virus. What a perfect situation the virus would be for some bonding between yourself and Chakotay should the situation be different. I bet he's thinking, 'What a stubborn, pig-headed woman'. He's right. I had to start the arguement, unable to accept his point of view, and then be too obstinate to apologize.

Her thoughts were interrupted by Chakotay, who had noticed that she had stopped doing the paperwork. "Something wrong, Captain?"

"No, Commander. I'm just fine, thank you for asking," she replied tersely.

"No problem," he said curtly.

She nodded, then went back to her padd.

She's obviously not going to apologize for the argument. You should, Chakotay thought. He opened his mouth to speak at the same time she opened hers.

"Go ahead, Commander. That's an order," she said, laughing a little.

He laughed back. "All right," he replied. "Kathryn, I'm sorry for what I said before. It was a little out of line, as was my report. I'm sorry."

Janeway laughed. "I was just going to apologize to you, Chakotay!"

Chakotay grinned, thrilled to hear her laughing again. "Well, you know what they say," he said.

"I know. Two-" Janeway replied, then was cut off by Chakotay who finished her sentence.

"Peas in a pod."

"I was going to say, 'Two stars in a galaxy,' but peas in a pod will work just the same," she said, crossing from behind her desk to walk to the door and helped him stand up. "Would you like something to drink? Tea, coffee, perhaps?"

He nodded as he stood. "Sure."


"B'Elanna, are they doing anything in there yet?" Tom asked her from the helm.

0B'Elanna shook her head. "Nothing yet. And you might want to be a little more quiet. Those doors aren't soundproof, you know."

Tom ducked his head. "Sorry. Why are you so snappish lately?"

"Oh, nothing," B'Elanna replied with a sigh, when in fact it was something. But it was her something until she decided when she would share the news with Tom and the rest of the crew. Maybe the Doctor was right, she thought to herself. Maybe I should tell them tonight, at the party. Maybe it would be a good time to make my little announcement.

Meanwhile, as B'Elanna was thinking about her decision, Tom was thinking about other things. In fact, he was thinking about a lot of other things. Hmm, I wonder what's going on in the captain's ready room. Are they doing what they're supposed to be doing and turning the temperature up in that little room, or are they just talking like we expect them to be doing? And is Neelix making any pizza for the party tonight? I hope so. I wonder what B'Elanna's thinking about. I'll have to ask her later what's been on her mind the last few days.

Harry watched all this with interest. He wondered what had gotten into B'Elanna, but knew enough not to ask her. Knowing her temper, she'd probably use him to string up Christmas lights in the mess hall. Harry was also wondering what a certain Delaney sister would have to say about it.

"So," B'Elanna finally said, breaking the silence. "When do you think we should let them out?"


Peals of laughter rang out from the captain's ready room. "Did you hear the one about Neelix?" Kathryn was asking her companion.

"No, what was it about? That he finally ran out of Leola root?" Chakotay asked back.

Kathryn laughed again. "No, unfortunately. But I have banned him from using Leola root in his Christmas dinners. But I did hear that Neelix was going to dress up as Santa Claus tonight for the party."

Chakotay laughed, then stopped. "I thought you hadn't heard of the party until I mentioned it." He frowned.

Kathryn's jaw dropped a bit, her lips forming an 'o'. "Well, when you were sitting at the door, and I was reading the reports, I came across something that someone must have accidentally slipped into their report. Here, I'll get it." She got up, then walked to her desk and looked through the padds until she found the one she was looking for. "Here you go."

Chakotay took it from her and scanned it. It read the following;

The Twelve Rumors of Christmas
Compiled by Anonymous

12)`A certain ex-Drone is learning to play Kadis Kott, being taught by a certain little captain's assistant.
11) There's talk of a new addition to the crew manifest.
10) The tree for the party isn't replicated; a member of the crew cut it down from an uninhabited planet against the
captain's wishes.
9) There might be an after party party in holodeck 2 after the Christmas party. Feel free to stop by and croon a few songs onstage. Maybe if we all even ask nicely, we might persuade the captain to do a rendition of the "Dying Swan".
8) The Doctor might be creating a new holographic nurse. Sorry Tom!
7) Santa Claus is due to make an appearance at this year's Christmas party. Guess who's the only one able to fill out the costume.
6) Harry might be getting more than he bargained for this Christmas from the Delaney sisters.
5) Neelix was ordered by the captain not to use Leola root in anything being served at the party. Finally!
4) Under the tree this year might be a new way home.
3) A secret ballot poll given earlier this year said that the crew would be happy to get home, but also very sad to see this Odyssey end.
2) The Commander is getting a very special Christmas gift from a certain couple of lieutenants.
1) The captain is getting a very special Christmas gift from a certain couple of lieutenants.

Chakotay glanced up. "Who do you think compiled this?" he asked, handing the padd back.

Janeway shook her head, smiling. "I don't know, but I'd take bets that it was the Doctor. After all, he is the biggest gossip on the ship."

"You're probably right. I won't bet against you." They both laughed, and realized the replicators might have accidentally gotten them drunk by replicating a little liquor in the coffee. So it was a little bit Irish.

After their laughter had died down again, Chakotay's thoughts returned to #s 1&2 on the 12 Rumors of Christmas sheet. "What do you think we're getting, and which lieutenants do you think are giving it to us?"

"I don't know." Suddenly her eyes widened, and she knew. "Oh, they are in so much trouble!"

"Who, Kathryn?" Chakotay asked. Then his eyes widened, and he knew. "They are going to be scrubbing the Mess Hall for weeks!"

Janeway's eyes twinkled, and she decided it was time to have some fun of her own. "What do you say we make them suffer a little bit, huh?" Chakotay nodded, and her hand tapped her commbadge. "Janeway to Torres."

{Torres here. I'm working, I'm working,} B'Elanna replied.

"Well, work faster, dammit! And remind me later to throw Commander Chakotay out of an airlock without an enviromental suit once I'm out!" Janeway growled, smiling. Of course, B'Elanna couldn't see the smile and had no way of knowing that their plan had backfired.

{Captain?} B'Elanna was curious, perhaps too curious.

"Just do it. Janeway out." She made sure the comm system was closed, then turned back to Chakotay. "Well, what do you think?"

"I think you were a little too convincing." His voice was tiny and far away. "You aren't really going to throw me out of an airlock, are you?"

Janeway walked over to the corner where Chakotay was huddled behind a plant. "No, no, of course not. I might throw Tom and B'Elanna out of an airlock, but not you," she crooned, trying to comfort and soothe the frightened commander.

"Oh, good." He didn't sound too convinced. Janeway smiled at him, then he smiled back. Their eyes met, their heads began to dip towards each other, and their lips grazed when-

{Captain, the doors are functional now.} B'Elanna sounded a little scared herself. She should be. When Janeway and Chakotay were through with her...

"Thank you, Lieutenant." Janeway stood and tried to hide her blushing face from Chakotay. She couldn't just pretend the near kiss never happened, could she? Well, she could try.

"I think the party's already started," she said, heading towards the doors. "I'll see you there." She ran out.

Chakotay sat in the corner, trying to make sense of what had almost happened.


"Commander, so glad you could make it!" Santa Claus shouted over the din of the party.

"Good to see you, too, Santa," Chakotay replied back. Contrary to what Chakotay had thought, Neelix made a really good Santa Claus, even if he was yellow with mottled spots.

He walked over to Tom and B'Elanna, who were sitting on the couch. "Hello. Are you two having fun?"

"Not really," Tom replied. "B'Ella's not even drinking the punch I got for her."

"That's because it's probably spiked," she replied bitterly.

"Time was you used to think it funny when I spiked drinks."

"Well, maybe things are different tonight. Maybe I don't feel like getting drunk and table dancing, ok?" B'Elanna's tone was definitely bitter.

"Ok," Tom replied, thinking it was time to back off. Chakotay agreed with him,

"Has she been like this all night?" he whispered, pulling the pilot over to the side.

Tom snorted. "Try the past couple of days."

"Whoo, I feel sorry for you. By the way, the captain's onto your little prank." With that, Chakotay walked off to leave Tom wondering about how he knew.

Just then the doors slid open and Kathryn Janeway walked in. She had changed out of her uniform into something a little more casual. Well, perhaps casual was a little too broad. The outfit she now wore looked like she had borrowed it from Seven of Nine.

She walked up to him. "Hello, Chakotay. Enjoying yourself?" she asked.

He could only nod in reply.

"Well, if you're not going to be sociable, I'll just go talk to Tom and B'Elanna about their punishments." She began to walk off again, but Chakotay grabbed her wrist.

"Kathryn, wait! B'Elanna's not very sociable tonight either. She's in a bit of a mood, and if you try to talk to her about that now, she might snap your head off."

"She wouldn't dare chew me out in public."

"I meant literally."

"Oh. I see. I'm suddenly getting the urge to go over to the punch bowl and get something to drink."

Chakotay wrinkled his nose. "I don't think you want to do that, either. Tom might've mentioned something about spiking it."

Janeway nodded. "I see. Well, thank you for saving me from stripping on the table top." Chakotay's face fell, and he began thinking maybe he shouldn't have warned her after all. Not that it would have made much of a difference with the outfit she was wearing. "Is there anyplace safe I can go?" she continued to whine.

Chakotay tilted his head and began thinking. "No, I don't think so, unless it's under the mistletoe?" he asked hopefully.

"I don't think so," she replied, shaking her head. His hopes fell like a shuttle crashing towards a planet's surface at warp nine.

"Excuse me, could I have everyone's attention?" B'Elanna called to the entire Mess Hall, tapping a spoon on a glass. "I have an announcement to make." She glanced around and, seeing that she did have everyone's attention, hoped that she was doing the right thing. "Um, I'd just like to say thank you, to all of you. You're all wonderful friends. And, um, well, I'm pregnant."

A shocked murmur went through the assembled crowd as they heard her announcement. Tom himself was so shocked that for a moment he could only stand there. Then he swept her into his arms and asked, "Mine?"

"Of course," she replied. "Who else?"

He considered this for a moment, then grinned. "I'm going to be a father," he sighed. "Will you marry me?"

She considered his offer. "Maybe," she replied mysteriously. "May-" Her words were cut off as he pressed his lips to hers.

Swept up in the romantic moment and perhaps a bit addled from the spiked punch, Chakotay grabbed Janeway and kissed her, despite the lack of mistletoe and tradition. She struggled for a moment, then eased into it.

The last thing he saw after he let her go was her fist swinging at his head. Then everything went black.


Chakotay woke up to the Doctor's singing and a major headache. He wished someone would take a phaser to his head. Then he saw an angel, and thought they already had.

Nope, never mind. Wasn't an angel, it was just Kathryn Janeway. She hovered above him, the bright lights forming a halo of false innocence around her head.

"Sorry Chakotay. Didn't mean to deck you so hard. How can I make this up to you?"

He grinned. He could think of many ways she could make it up to him, but that would have to take time. For now, he'd settle for... "Kiss me."

"Is that an order, Commander?" she teased, tossing rank in his face.

"Yes, ma'am," he replied.

"Well, then, I think I'll just have to comply." She leaned down and kissed him, slowly, softly, sweetly.

The End