Disclaimer: Star Trek: VoyagerTŠ is the registered trademark and sole property of Paramount Pictures. This story is non-commercial and for enjoyment only. No copyright infringement is intended.



EMAIL: jrossca@sympatico.ca


SUMMARY: A maiden in distress, a (k)night full of rescue...   A Usual Suspects Fic.


This is for Tammy who challenged me to another Usual Suspects fic with specific guidelines.

And for Wanda who worked for years in the repo section of the Collection Department of a large financial institution. She's regaled us for hours with hilarious tales of "popping" cars, boats, and various other items that had to be repossessed. But she never popped anything like this!


Pop Stars

"She didn't."

"Yes, sir, she did."

"She couldn't. She's only been down there for twenty minutes."

"Apparently, sir, she could. And did."

Chakotay sat stunned in the big chair, looking blankly at Harry Kim. Harry himself stood looking at his monitor in quiet amazement, as if he couldn't quite believe what he saw either. Finally Chakotay gave the order.

"All right, Ensign, put them on screen."

A dignified but very red-faced gentleman, flanked on either side by two similarly flushed companions, appeared on the main viewer. Chakotay recognized them all as the genial welcoming committee for Tolga, a planet with which Voyager's trade negotiations were currently underway. Captain Janeway was even now in the capital city with Commander Tuvok and Ambassador Neelix finalizing the details of all the different trades. Everything had been going splendidly until Harry had received this hail.

"Ah, Commander Chakotay, greetings." Gartz, the Prime Minister, looked both flustered and upset. "Thank you for your time. I...I have some unfortunate news for you, I'm afraid."

"So I've been told, Mr Gartz. Would you please give me the details, all I seem to know is that our captain has done or said something that has resulted in her being put under house arrest. You must understand, sir, that this is not acceptable to the Federation. I want her back."

The Prime Minister looked even more distraught. "Of course you do, but I'm afraid I have no influence with that, Commander. Unfortunately, the authorities had a representative on our negotiating team and they have already determined her fate. I'm afraid it appears that she will have to stay for the full duration."

"The full duration of what? You still haven't told me her crime or her sentence. And I warn you, no matter what they are I want her back."

"Please be reasonable, Commander! I have all the information that you will need to deal with the proper authorities and I simply cannot snap my fingers and send her back to Voyager. And, by her own lips your captain has admitted that your directives require you to recognize local laws in regards to behaviour."

Chakotay sighed. "Mr Gartz, what did she do?"

"Well, nothing. Technically."

"Then what did she say?"

"Again, nothing - directly. It was a matter of Mr Mincl overhearing something said by Mr Neelix." Mr Mincl, the gentlemen on Gartz's right, suddenly began to nod and leaned towards the viewscreen. His face was getting redder; Chakotay could not immediately decide why.

"That's right, Commander. I did overhear Mr Neelix and when I repeated what I'd heard, Captain Janeway was taken under house arrest. Just like that! I had no idea it would happen to an alien. And now we've been told that she will remain under house arrest for the regulation three weeks. I'm so very sorry!"

"The crime, gentlemen, and the sentence? Please."

The three men looked at each other and suddenly Chakotay realized the source of their heightened colour. It wasn't from fever or exertion or even fury. These men were embarrassed.

"Mr Neelix, uh, remarked that, well. Well, it was suggested that your captain is an unmarried woman, Commander."

Chakotay found himself dumbfounded for the second time in mere minutes. "Yes, she's unmarried. What in the world does that have to do with our negotiations?"

The three Tolgans could see the blank looks on all the faces on the bridge. Gartz asked, "You mean, you weren't trying to hide this fact from us?"

"Why would we even consider the issue, let alone hide it from you?" Slowly the commander put two and two together, and he didn't like the answer. "Are you suggesting that an unmarried woman is restricted or somehow controlled in how she lives her life on your planet? And that the captain of our starship has broken some cultural taboo in daring to negotiate a trade agreement between our two peoples?" Chakotay was generally a tolerant man, but he had a temper and it was starting to rear its head. "Mr Gartz, I want her back. Now."

The Prime Minister put his hand to his head. "I'm so sorry, Commander, we had no idea that your civilization was so liberal with its maidens. And, frankly, sir, we disclosed to you that our people have a subtle telepathic-empathic ability and not one of us perceived any indication that Captain Janeway was anything but your mate. Between all of our people here who communicated with all of your representatives on Voyager, it seemed clear that the two of you were bonded."

It was Chakotay's turn to blush as every bridge officer turned their eyes on him and grinned. "I really don't know what you're talking about, Mr Gartz, but all I can do is tell you again - I want her back. Now."

"Commander Tuvok and Ambassador Neelix are about to beam back to your ship with all the details, Commander Chakotay. If you don't mind, we'd prefer not to discuss it in front of so many spectators. If, however, you have any questions after reviewing the information, please don't hesitate to contact me - personally and privately. We.we really must go now."

The main viewscreen went blank.




"Indeed, Commander. According to the Tolgan custom, Captain Janeway must undergo a cleansing ritual for three weeks in order to re-acquire her maidenly purity."

A snort was heard from across the table.

"Do you have something to say, Mr Paris?" demanded Chakotay.

Mr Paris shook his head vigourously. Chakotay turned back to Tuvok.

"Why are they so unyielding with this? Don't they understand that we find this ritual objectionable and that we'll happily take her back in her sullied state? I certainly tried to get it across to that negotiating ninny, but he was so embarrassed he almost swooned at the idea. "

A muffled noise from the same direction, joined by a tiny snicker from Harry's seat. Chakotay shot daggers at the two men and came back to Tuvok for his answer.

"They understand, Commander, they just don't care about our opinions. This cleansing is required by their ancient customs and they are determined to carry it out."

"Irrelevant." All eyes turned to Seven of Nine. "This ritual, I find it irrelevant. How does bathing a person restore one's virginity? These Tolgans are not logical." There was a brief silence.

Chakotay's mouth screwed up and he ran his hand through his hair. "I haven't quite got my brain around that concept yet, either. All I know is..."

"You want her back." they all chorused.

He glared at them. "Yes, I do. And I don't particularly want to wait three weeks for that to happen. Does anyone here have a problem with that?"

"Commander, the Prime Directive clearly..." Tuvok's voice faded away when Chakotay turned to face the tactical officer. He sighed. "No Commander, it seems I do not have a problem with that. I, too, find it unacceptable to wait three weeks to have our captain back on board Voyager."

"Chakotay, are you planning a pop?" Tom's eyes glistened in anticipation.

"I am, Paris. I am planning to pop our captain from that bunch of Tolgan targs - and you can take that smirk off your face right now. If anyone here doesn't like the idea, I suggest they leave now."

"We're going to spring the captain?" smiled B'Elanna. "Now you're talking, Chakotay. I'm in!"

Neelix nodded and then opened his mouth. Before a word came out Chakotay shut him down. "Neelix, I may never know what you said down there, but by all the spirits you keep your mouth shut around me right now. Just stick a leola root in it. I don't want to hear so much as a peep out of you." Neelix's mouth snapped shut.

"I've always wanted to participate in a covert action," beamed the doctor. "I should be able to assist in this operation magnificently, Commander."

Chakotay looked at the EMH doubtfully. "Right." He turned to Harry and Seven. "How about you two? Are you in or are you out?"

"Definitely in, sir," replied Harry. "I wouldn't miss this for the world."

"I agree, Commander. I think I will find this an interesting lesson in human interaction."

The commander looked around at his gang. "Good, then let's get planning."



It took a lot of smooth talk for Chakotay to finally learn where Kathryn was being held and, as soon as that information was gathered, he was promptly informed that a force field had been erected to stop any attempt at transporting her back to the ship. The Tolgans may have been cultural baboons, but they certainly were astute ones. So, on to Plan B where the Voyager gang would have to fight fire with fire.

They decided on using a shuttle and the Delta Flyer. While Chakotay had no desire to involve lower ranks in his most unorthodox scheme, he also had no desire for Voyager to be led back to the Alpha Quadrant by a lieutenant from Maintenance. Having two vehicles available for their escape lessened the odds of that and, by the unanimous decision of Chakotay's associates, it was decided that Tuvok and Tom would pilot the crafts. He let that go this time.

Harry's survey of the local area produced the perfect place for landing. Behind the main Administration building where the captain was being held was a used craft lot. The furthest back corner of that retail outlet was actually the closest to the Administration building, and it was agreed that the proprietor would never notice two extra items nestled there in the middle of the night. After all, they didn't plan on staying long.

The two ships landed in perfect position. Tuvok and Tom had maintained dispersal fields to deflect any detection of their shuttles from the planet. They had also been programmed for silent running with a total black out and, as far as any scans could tell, their arrival went completely unnoticed. Another quick sweep of scans indicated that they could be beamed from the shuttles to within 50 feet of the Administration Building and Tuvok chose a gazebo surrounded by flowering shrubs and trees as their transport site. He hailed Chakotay from the second shuttle.

"Commander, all appears to be in order. Would you like our team to beam to the Flyer now for final instructions?"

"Yes, Tuvok, come on over."

The entire ensemble huddled in the back portion of the Flyer. They were all dressed in black and had small packs to carry their assorted paraphernalia. Burglary tools, Harry called them but Chakotay had a problem with that. How, he asked, could retrieving something that is your own be considered a burglary? This was merely repossession. Everyone decided wisely that the commander's attempt at logic was best left alone at this time. Except for Neelix of course. He was more than willing to debate the issue but Tom's hand slapped firmly against his mouth brought him to his senses.

Chakotay began by pointing to a screen displaying the grounds. "Tuvok, Harry, and Neelix, you're our first strike. Proceed from the gazebo to this side door and gain access to the building. If you run into any guards, deal with them. In addition to your phasers, the doctor is giving you each a hypospray. One way or another you should be able to render them unconscious without too many lasting effects. Be sure to hide the bodies."

The doctor pulled out three hyposprays and handed them to the first wave. Harry and Neelix added to them their small packs but Tuvok refused at first.

"Thank you, Doctor, but I will not need that. I shall apply the Vulcan neck pinch if my phaser is inappropriate."

"I made these hypos up specifically for the Tolgan physiology, Commander Tuvok. If you're in a pinching mood that's fine with me, but having this available isn't going to ruin your fun. Who knows how long they'll stay unconscious from your little love tap? Take it," ordered the doctor. Tuvok slipped it into his pack looking for all the world as if he'd like to see if it would work on holograms.

"You've been allotted 15 minutes to clear the way for the next team, Tuvok. B'Elanna, Seven, and the doctor will be arriving at that door and they'll need a clear path if they have to spring into action. By then you'll know if our tricorders will work within their force field and, if not, they will initiate their plan."

"That's where I come in," said the doctor smugly. "If our scans don't work I will be able to find her."

"Yes, Doctor, but I'm still hoping that they will work. That will make this mission a lot cleaner, not to mention avoiding the need to invade our captain's privacy."

"Then I wouldn't bet any rations on it, Commander," stated Tom dolefully. "It never really works that way for us, does it?"

Chakotay sighed. "No, but you can't blame me for hoping. I could just throttle that Gartz for not intervening on our behalf with the Tolgan authorities. And I still can't believe he was put under a doctor's care just as a result from our last exchange."

"That was some exchange, Chakotay," smiled B'Elanna. "I appreciate your spearheading the rights of all unmarried women in this sector, but you would have reduced a Cardassian to tears let alone these witless Tolgans."

"Nonsense. It was a diplomatic exchange between two friendly worlds. Now let's continue."

They all put their attention back to the screen, and Chakotay continued.

"Okay, we have B'Elanna, Seven, and the doctor through the side door. By then Tom and I will be in the gazebo keeping an eye on the grounds. Once you've located the captain Harry, Seven, and the doctor will return to the gazebo. We'll brief each other, Tom and I will enter the building, Harry and Seven will return to the shuttles to get ready for a quick takeoff and the doctor will stay in the gazebo in case of an emergency. Tuvok, B'Elanna, and Neelix will cover Tom and I inside. Everyone understand?"

The all nodded their understanding.

"Then let's go."



Three hooded and caped figures scurried down a corridor of the Women's Wing in the main Administration building. B'Elanna, Seven and the EMH were dressed as cleansing attendants, or at least as much like them as the Tolgan's data banks would reveal. B'Elanna was in front and was the first to see the signal from a door that was only barely ajar. They all piled into the tiny utility closet to confer with Tuvok, Harry, and Neelix.

"Shove over, Harry," B'Elanna complained. "I can't breathe."

"I'm over here," gasped Harry from across the tiny room.

"Then who is this?" she demanded with a kick of her boot.

There was a little yelp. "Lieutenant, would you please stop kicking me - it's not like I can move anywhere!" squeaked Neelix.

"Mr Kim, I would appreciate it if you would remove your hand from my chest. It is...disturbing."

"Sorry, Seven," apologised Mr Kim, although every person there suspected a grin was behind that voice.

"For once I would be pleased to have someone shut down my programme. Who is closet to my emitter?" complained the doctor.

"I'm afraid, Doctor, that you may be needed," came the voice of authority. "You were not brought along on this mission to spend it in somebody's pocket. And Seven, I would prefer that you point those things in another direction."

"Things, Mr Tuvok? I do not understand."

An expectant silence settled over the room. "Things, Seven - in the pack you are wearing. Whatever they are, they're jabbing very close to my ribs."

"Damn, that was a good save, Tuvok."

"I have no idea what you are talking about, Mr Kim."

"If you say so."

"Commander Tuvok, what is wrapped around our feet?" sniffed the doctor.

"Unconscious guards, Doctor. Please do not turn on your healing proclivities."

"No fear of that," he replied, daintily trying to feel unsuccessfully for clear floor space.

"That one around you is mine, Doctor!" exclaimed Neelix proudly. Everyone felt Tuvok stiffen in his corner.

"You labeled them, Neelix?" asked B'Elanna. She'd been in more confrontations than she could remember but she never thought of labeling her victims. Maybe next time, she thought.

"It was amazing, B'Elanna! You should have been here! Mr Tuvok was contending with one guard and then all of a sudden there was another! Big bruiser, too! He came at me like a charging elephant..."

"Mr Neelix..."

"Just a second, Mr Tuvok! Then, without hypospray or phaser, I felled him!"

"Mr Neelix..."

"Just a second, Mr Tuvok! And guess how, Doc!"

"With your breath?" guessed the EMH.

"Very funny for a piece of light, Doctor! NO! What do you think, Seven?!"

"Mr Neelix..."

"Just a second, Mr Tuvok! Take a guess, Seven!"

"I could not guess in a millennium, Mr Neelix. If you did not do it by plunging a leola root into his heart then I am completely mystified."

"How did you do it, Neelix?" urged B'Elanna.

There was a charged silence and then the ambassador crowed triumphantly, "With a Vulcan neck pinch!"

A groan was heard.

"Tuvok, you okay over there?" asked Harry.

"I am fine, Mr Kim. Why do you ask?"

"You groaned, Tuvok."

"I am sure that I did not."

"Yes, you did!" chorused the utility room.

"He's jealous," said Neelix.

"Mr Neelix, I assure you that I am not jealous. I feel no emotion in regards to your new found talent."

"He's definitely jealous," rejoined Neelix. "When that guard hit the floor you should have seen his face. I wish I'd brought my holoimager."

"But Neelix, no one but Vulcans can do the Vulcan neck pinch. Every species has tried and it just can't be done!"

"Tell that to the guy you're standing on, Doctor. And, if I can't do the Vulcan neck pinch then I can do the Talaxian neck pinch. Who would have thought?"

Another groan was heard.


"No, Miss Torres, this time it's definitely not me. I suggest we start feeling around for an awakening guard."

Everyone started to bend down and a resounding thunk was heard.

"Oww, my head!" cried Harry.

Similar exclamations were being repeated over his cry. Another groan was heard.

"Mr Tuvok! It's this man wrapped around my ankles! Do something!"

"I suggest you utilize a hypospray, Doctor. Surely you have one."


There was a silence that was suddenly broken by another groan, and this time it was much louder.

"Kahless, Doctor! Take this, it's the one you issued me. And use it fast, that p'taq is waking up!"

A small hiss was heard followed by a gentle thump on the floor.

"That was your guard, Mr Neelix," said Tuvok.

"Yes, Mr Vulcan, it was."

"It would appear that the Talaxian neck pinch is not as effective as the Vulcan neck pinch."

"Well, there's one way to find out for sure."

"How is that, Mr Neelix?"

"Just bend down here you sanctimonious, pointed-eared.."

"ENOUGH!" cried Harry. "Chakotay is going to be here any moment and I for one do not want to be wedged between all you idiots when he arrives!"

"Mr Kim has a point," stated Seven. "The commander would not be amused."

"I concur," agreed Tuvok. "Can anyone open the door?"

There was a general shuffle and suddenly a tiny crack of light streamed into the tiny room.

"Excellent. Miss Torres and Seven, please scan to find the captain."

Another shuffle.

"The door swings inward, Commander Tuvok," announced Seven unnecessarily.

"Who is closest to the opening?"

"I am, Commander."

"Can you not turn sideways and slip out, Seven? I have never noticed you to be a large individual."

"I have endeavoured to do just that, Commander, and I'm not having any success. Some...things...are hindering me. Perhaps if you all would lift the guards and hold them erect and out of the door's path."

More head thunks and Tuvok finally sighed, "Please, just the men. Ladies, do not add to the confusion and Doctor, keep that hypospray handy."

Gradually the shaft of light grew wider and then suddenly the door swung in with a great force. Harry yelped and clutched at his bleeding nose.

"What the hell is going on in here?" spit Commander Chakotay. "We finally decided that you must have all been captured and then we find you in a broom closet? Tuvok!?"

"I must apologise, Commander. Without being able to scan from outside this building, I could not find a more suitable hiding space. This is what we found."

"Wonderful. Well, there's been nothing to stop you in the last 15 minutes from scanning in here, so where's the captain?"

"I have her!" exclaimed B'Elanna and she thrust her tricorder into Chakotay's hands. "There are her co-ordinates!"

Chakotay studied the data and then passed the tricorder over to Tom. "Excellent," he said. "This means we don't need you ladies to impersonate attendants and Doctor, it would appear that you will not have to change your programme to assume Captain Janeway's identity."

"Oh," said the obviously disappointed EMH. "And I was looking forward to being captured and taken back to my room. Oh well, I'll just have to be the captain another time."

Chakotay stared at the hologram with narrow eyes. "Never, Doctor. You will never assume Captain Janeway's physical features when I'm near you. Do you understand me?"

The EMH squirmed. "Well yes, Commander, I do believe I do. And you have my complete assurance that it will never happen. My god," he considered, "Never!"

"Commander," Neelix began in trepidation.

Tuvok groaned.

Chakotay looked at Tuvok in surprise then turned his attention to Neelix. "What is it, Neelix?"

"I just thought you should know. I can perform the Vulcan neck pinch! See that guard rolled up in the corner over there? I did that!"

Chakotay stared at the comatose guard and then looked at Tuvok with a raised eyebrow. Tuvok returned the gesture.

"It would appear, Commander, that a Talaxian can perform a somewhat weaker version of the Vulcan neck pinch."

Chakotay whirled around to face the beaming ambassador. "Really? Well, that's certainly interesting, Neelix. Did you just find that out here?"

"Yes, sir, that I did! You see this part of my shoulder? Well, just a small pinch right there and..."

Neelix's body dropped to the floor. Everyone looked down at him.

"Mr Kim, if you're through with your nose would you please drag Mr Neelix back into the closet. At least we know that the effects of the Talaxian neck pinch are much shorter in duration than the Vulcan version."

"Yeb sir, Commanda Tubok." Harry bent down and grabbed Neelix's ankles. The little Talaxian was dragged out of sight.

"Oh, and Harry, top up those guards with your hypospray, please. As much as I hate hearing myself say it, I don't want them to take their anger out on our cook."

"Yeb sir, Commanda Chakobay." The faint sound of hissing was heard.



Chakotay quickly got things organized. Harry, Seven, and the Doctor were dismissed - Harry and Seven back to the shuttles to prepare for their hasty departure, and the doctor to the gazebo ready to attend to any emergency from either direction.

Tuvok and B'Elanna were stationed between the captain's prison room and the side door exit. B'Elanna accompanied Chakotay and Tom part way and then found a hiding spot that gave her a clear but sheltered view of anyone approaching. Tuvok remained on duty near the side exit and waited. Neelix was still stationed in the utility closet with a smile on his face.

Chakotay and Tom silently crept along corridors until they reached their target. No one was about and Tom proceeded to pick the lock.

Slowly he opened the door and Chakotay slipped into the room. Tom entered right behind him and stayed by the door, phaser in hand. His attention was centred on the corridor and the noises in it that might mean trouble and then his nose went up.

"My gawd, what it that smell?!" he whispered.

Chakotay gagged. "I have no idea. Spirits, it smells like a Bolian brothel!"

"Oh really, Commander?" a husky voice responded. "Why don't you explain to us how you know that?"

He spun around. "Captain! Where are you?"

A small head slowly rose until flashing eyes could be seen over the far side of the bed

"Kathryn? Are you okay?" he asked anxiously as he started towards the bed.

"No, I'm not okay!" she hissed holding her hand up to stop him. She blushed. "They won't let me wear any clothes."

Tom turned, smiling delightedly into the room. Even as his mouth opened Chakotay's face was glaring at him and he quickly turned back to his guard duties.

Suddenly there was a white flash towards Chakotay as Kathryn flung herself into his arms. He grabbed her tightly against himself and turned his back to Tom, hiding the captain completely from his view.

"Kathryn, what have they been doing to you? I...we've been worried sick." His voice was as gentle as his hands that rubbed her back.

"Oh, Chakotay, it's been a nightmare! I'm not allowed any clothes at all - I used a sheet the first day and since then they strip the bed down to the mattress each morning. Five baths a day! I never thought I'd hear myself say that I was sick of having baths but I don't like having three attendants giving them to me. They won't even let me towel myself off. And all the time they're chanting over me I can only think of you and Voyager."

Chakotay was finding it difficult to focus on Voyager as her explanation went on. "We're here, Kathryn. And we're going to take you home now." Her hair smelled wonderful. He stretched out his fingers and ran them up her spine.

She sighed into his chest. "You came. I really didn't expect you to, I knew it would be against the Prime Directive, but," she looked up at him, "you came." Her hands slid up his chest until they reached his shoulders and then carried on up his neck to tangle in his hair. "I'm so glad you're here."

In any other circumstance, with anyone other than Tom Paris in the room with them, Chakotay might have admitted to a little happiness himself. He swayed a bit from the feel of her hands in his hair and then sternly brought himself back to the order of business. He slowly drew away and grabbed the band of his black turtleneck. With one swift movement it was over his head and he held it out to her.

"Here, Kathryn, put this on. You must be freezing." He opened it up to help slip it over her head but she was faster. Once again she was pressed against him, but this time she had ducked within the circle made by his arms and the sweater. Her arms wound around his bare back and her cheek was pressed against him, her hot breath tickling his neck. He tried to concentrate on that sensation, but he found her soft breasts crushing into him distracting, not to mention the experience of her hips rotating against him. He was rapidly losing his mind.

"Kathryn, what are you doing?" he whispered in her ear, his hands involuntarily dropping his turtleneck and travelling down to hold her hips. Again his fingers spread and he was holding her tightly against himself before he even knew it.

She didn't answer. She had turned her face into his bare chest and was kissing him, slowly, deliberately and surely heading for a nipple. Her tongue found it and flicked against its small, hardened tip and he gasped.

"Three days, Chakotay, three days I've been locked in this room thinking about you. They don't care.I tried to tell them what their perfumes and bath oils did to me, but apparently it's a human thing, they feel nothing. I've been cleansed so much that now I just want to be dirty with you.you don't mind, do you?"

Her hands pulled his head down and he did not resist her waiting mouth. Their kiss was insistent, as if they had to own the other's mouth or die trying. He loved the sounds she made at the back of her throat, and he was just about to explore that area when he heard a groan. This one was masculine, and it wasn't his. He jumped back.

"Spirits! What are we doing?" He turned around to Tom, carefully shielding Kathryn. Tom was leaning into the wall, gently hitting his forehead against it. He groaned again.

"Chakotay, please. I want to check on B'Elanna, make sure she's all right. Let me go find her!"

Kathryn's hand came around to grip Chakotay's bicep, her other hand slid down to his butt. "Let him go, Chakotay, he has to see B'Elanna," she whispered urgently. "Let him go."

He jumped back around when her hand squeezed his butt. Hard.

"What's going on here?" he asked breathlessly. "You're acting so strangely and I...I...spirits Kathryn, you smell so good..." His face dropped down to hers and his eyes started to close. "I just want to know one..." Her mouth found his and he knew what to do with it. He really had no desire to stop until he heard a strangled screech. His head rocked back towards Tom.

"I can't stand it! I've got to find B'Elanna! Chakotay, I'll be right back!" And with that Tom flung open the door and dashed out into the corridor. In Chakotay's foggy head he managed to observe that the lieutenant hadn't even double-checked for trouble. Something was definitely wrong here.

He turned back to Kathryn. Her hands were now dipped into his waistband and travelling lower fast. Thumbs had already flicked the fastener open and in less than a few seconds he would find himself totally without control and at the mercy of the loving attention of his captain. He had to do something fast.

Not fast enough. She made contact and cradled him as his gasping groan sounded and his knees began to buckle. Against every instinct in his body he managed to grab her wrists and bring them up against his heaving chest. She seemed weakened but her breath was still shallow and rapid and her eyes looked as aroused as ever.

"Kathryn! Captain! What in the HELL is going on here?" he managed to get out.

The eyes were wild. "I told you Chakotay! Those bath oils and perfumes...there's something in them to make you feel very...romantic. It doesn't affect the Tolgans at all and they think I'm just making up a story to get home. But Chakotay," she pressed her lips against his chest again, "I'm not making it up." She pressed against him again causing another groan to fall from his lips. "I'm really glad to see you, Chakotay."

His entire being was distracted. "Yeah, me too, Kathryn. Captain, do you realize that you're totally naked here? And that I'm half-naked?? And you're pressing yourself against me and, oh shit."

As his mouth claimed hers he grabbed her hips and then slid his large hands up her body. She was so soft and beautiful and she smelled so wonderful and those blue eyes were definitely passionate and now his hands were cupping her breasts and they were just the right size and she wanted him she finally wanted him after his waiting over six years and he really didn't care if that bed had sheets on or not he was going to pick her up and carry her there and...

"Commander. I see you've found the Captain."

Chakotay whirled around to face that voice. That voice that managed to interrupt him each and every - he was going to kill that Vulcan! Her arms snaked around from behind him and held him back. She peeked around him just as his unfastened trousers dropped to the floor.

"Hi Tuvok."

"Captain. It's good to see you."

She giggled. "All of me?"

His eyes seemed glued to the pile around Chakotay's ankles. "Indeed, Captain. And much of the commander."

Chakotay emitted a desperate sound and reached down for his pants. Kathryn stayed plastered to his back like a turtle's shell, and was pulled off her feet as he first grabbed and then yanked them back up. When they stood straight again she tried hard to thwart his attempts at fastening them and he finally smacked her hands.

"Don't you feel it, Tuvok?" She giggled again at her second officer.

His reply was cut off as Chakotay swung around and grabbed Kathryn's arms. "Oils? We're feeling like this because of the ritual bath oils and perfumes? Is that what you said to me?"

She nodded. "Yes. Ironic, isn't it?"

He groaned. "I wonder if the effects will be gone by the time Paris finds B'Elanna?"

Tuvok's ears perked up. "What do you mean, Commander?"

"Tom was standing guard at the door. He got the full dose of this infected air and went charging after B'Elanna like a raging bull."

"Indeed. Well, that explains it. Don't worry, Commander; Mr Neelix took care of Mr Paris and he and Miss Torres should have been able to carry him back to the rendezvous point by now. I suggest we join them and get beamed back to the shuttles."

Tuvok stood guard as Chakotay finally got his black turtleneck over Kathryn's head. She fought with him a bit with the sleeves but finally she had it on. The sleeves dangled long past her hands and the band was around her thighs. After the past three days on Tolgan she felt almost suffocated.

"Tuvok, get Captain Janeway out of here, I'll be two minutes behind you pulling up the rear. If you have to drop a guard, just leave him or her there - I'll mop up after you. Your primary goal is to get the captain safely to the Delta Flyer."

"Understood, Commander. Captain Janeway, please come with me now." He paused. "Please let go of the commander, Captain, it's time for us to leave. Captain..."

Chakotay reluctantly pushed Kathryn towards Tuvok, who took one look at her arms stretched to her first officer and proceeded to swing her over his shoulder. The sight of Kathryn's bare behind almost dropped the commander where he stood, but before he could even blink they were gone. He gave himself a shake and returned to action.



The trip home went without diplomatic incident. The smaller shuttle dashed through space with Tuvok at the helm and Neelix, Seven and the Doctor comparing notes. Tuvok decided along the way that one more reference to any neck pinch of any kind would warrant an official spacing, but just as he heard that reference Voyager's ops officer hailed them. They were cleared for docking and not a moment too soon. Neelix disembarked with a swagger and Seven and the Doctor glided out with their cloaks swirling behind them. The doctor felt like the romantic hero in a holonovel, Seven felt like talking to Harry.

Tom guided the Delta Flyer home with Harry and B'Elanna manning the co-pilot and tactical stations. Thanks to Neelix Tom still had quite the headache, but no one was going to pilot his Flyer while he was still alive and present. None of them brought up the absence of their command team but they all managed to keep their ears open for any sound of them. Those sounds were barely audible but had both a softness and an urgency that made Tom and B'Elanna bite their lips and glance sideways at each other while Harry's mind turned to Seven and...things.

They all cocked their heads.

"Kathryn, hold up your arms for me, please." Chakotay wasn't really up to this. Beside him was a new uniform in Kathryn's size and the last thing he wanted to do was get her dressed. His mind kept flashing images of him dragging her down to the floor to finish what they'd started back at her room, and he much preferred that alternative.

"You want your turtleneck back, Chakotay? What will you give me for it?" Her voice was low and sultry.

"Your very own made to measure turtleneck, Kathryn. Look, here's a whole uniform for you to get into before we get to Voyager." He held up the small gray shirt.

"I'm happy the way I am. C'mere Chak, I've got something for you." She twined her arms around his neck and pulled him towards her. For an average sized woman she had surprising strength; either that or for a large man he had tremendous weakness. Her lips pressed against his and suddenly molten lava was coursing through his body. Throwing duty to the wind he pulled her against himself and let his arms wrap around her under his turtleneck. Her satin skin tingled his fingertips and he felt himself walking her back against the bulkhead without any direction from his brain. Their mouths opened eagerly to each other's.

She twisted her pelvis into him and suddenly his knee was separating her legs and his hands were hoisting her up. Her legs naturally curled around him and, steadying her against the wall, his hands found the fastener to his pants.  One little pull...

"Chakotay," B'Elanna spoke softly but with enough edge to penetrate his mind. He backed up enough for Kathryn to slide off him and then pushed up against her again to keep her from sliding all the way down to the floor.

"What is it, Be?" he asked huskily, his mouth on Kathryn's neck. She moaned and gave him better access.

"Voyager is ready for us to dock. We just wanted to make sure you and the captain were okay."

He shuddered a little. "No, we're not okay Be, but with us I guess that's just situation normal. How much time do we have?"

"Maybe five or ten minutes. Here, why don't you go help Tom and Harry and I'll get the captain fixed up. I don't think you're doing a very good job of it, Chak."

"Depends on how you define 'fixed up' Be, but okay. Do your best, I can't even think around her." He took a huge gulp of air and walked towards the cabin. Both gentlemen there politely averted their eyes to his obvious condition.

"We're almost home, Chakotay," said Tom after a few minutes. "You did it."

"We did it, Tom, unless there's trouble and then it's all mine. But, thank you both for your efforts."

They were interrupted by the ladies joining them. Kathryn was wearing her uniform but would hardly pass inspection. She leaned over Chakotay's chair and started to nibble on his ear. He groaned.

Harry stood up. "Here Cabdan, take my sead."

"What's wrong with Harry?" she whispered in Chakotay's ear.

"Broken nose," replied Chakotay tersely.

"Sounds very sexy..."

"Don't even think it, Kathryn."

"But I love your nose, Chakotay. It looks like it's been broken, too."

"Maybe. Possibly. What are you doing, Kathryn?"

Her hand slid off his face and down his chest. "Feeling your nose; do you have any idea how often I've wanted to do this?"

"Spirits, save me. Please!"

B'Elanna gently piloted Kathryn to Harry's vacant seat. The shuttle bay doors opened and Tom brought the Flyer to a graceful landing. The doors closed behind them and they all looked at each other. Slowly the smiles spread across their faces.



"Put them onscreen, Harry."

"Yes, ma'am," he replied and the viewscreen changed from the planet view to the welcoming committee of Tolga. They were still red in the face and Chakotay began to wonder if it was just their natural state.

Captain Janeway nodded. "Mr Gartz."

"Captain Janeway! This is outrageous!"

"Whatever are you talking about, Mr Gartz?"

His pointed finger jabbed at her on the screen. "Your own laws required you to finish your sentence on our planet, Captain! And yet your thugs broke into our building and spirited you away! What do you have to say for yourself?"

She slowly stood up and stepped towards the screen. The three men noticeably drew back. Her hands went to her hips. "Do you really want to know what I have to say, Mr Gartz? About confining me to a room that contained properties that put me under the influence? That would, by your own definition, negate the very reason for me being there? About a conversation with my First Officer that went beyond the limits of diplomatic tolerance? About your part of our trade agreement that you have totally ignored? Tell me, Mr Gartz, do you really want to know what I have to say?"

The three men shuffled and their colour brightened considerably. "Captain, perhaps we should be speaking with Commander Chakotay about this matter."

Janeway saw Chakotay shaking his head in disbelief from the corners of her eyes. She was beginning to really enjoy this. She bent back a little, rocking on her heals, and turned her head to look at her first officer.


He looked up at her. "Yes, Captain?"

"Would you like to speak with these gentlemen?"

"Not today, Captain, I've already had the pleasure. Besides, I told them I wanted you back."

She turned back to the viewscreen and shrugged. "Looks like you're just going to have to deal with the boss, gentlemen." She leaned towards them. "You've had our goods in payment for four days now and we'll expect your goods in return in one half hour. If you make it in twenty minutes I might be persuaded to forget the kidnaping of a captain of the Federation and let you off easy. Otherwise..." She let their imaginations supply the end of that sentence.


"Twenty minutes, Gartz, or thirty with consequences. Do I make myself clear?"

The three men looked at one another. Slowly Gartz turned back to her. "Understood, Captain. And, our apologies for any misunderstandings."

She glared at them and then repeated. "Twenty minutes, Mr Gartz. Janeway out." The screen went dark.

She swung around. "Harry, put the countdown on the screen. Tuvok, target something useful to them but relatively easy to replace with no injuries. Chakotay, my ready room. Now."

The three men snapped to attention.



The doors of the ready room slid shut. Chakotay stood by them, just barely in the room. His body was stiff, his hands clasped behind his back, and his face expressionless. Janeway watched him.

"Something wrong, Commander?"

"No ma'am."

She leaned back against her desk. "I think that might be the first time you've ever called me 'ma'am.' It's always been 'captain' before now. What's up?"

"Nothing, Captain."

She pushed herself from the desk and slowly started towards him. He watched the sway of her hips for a moment then resolutely looked past her shoulder. Then he cleared his throat and she smiled at his groin.

"Oh, I think you're wrong, Chakotay. I think something is definitely up."

He slid his eyes down to hers. "About what happened on the planet and the Flyer..."


"I formally apologise, Captain. I don't know what got into me."

"Oh, I think we both know what got into you, Chakotay. The question is, do you still have it?"

He continued to look at her, then realised that her gaze rested on his lips. He opened them to speak and then quickly stopped, and watched her eyes dilate even further. He licked them softly and saw her flinch.

"Have what, Captain?"

"The inclination, Commander," she whispered.

There was a lengthy pause. Chakotay made up his mind.

"My quarters, 1900 hours. And I don't want to see a uniform on you."

"Are you asking me to come naked, Commander?"

"That's acceptable. You're going to end up that way."

Her eyebrow raised and she bit back a smile. "Oh? That confident, are you?"

This time his head came down until his mouth was against her ear. "Oh yes, Captain, I'm that confidant. It's going to happen, Kathryn, whether it's good for Voyager or not. And you know it."

She smiled up at him. "Took you long enough."

He couldn't help it. His arm lashed out and wrapped around her, pulling her against him. In one fluid movement their mouths were together and her taste drove everything out of his mind. His other hand plowed into her hair and his right foot came around to the back of her left ankle. Just as he was literally about to take her legs out from under her, the door chime sounded. They both sprang back and gulped for air, Chakotay bending over and Janeway holding her forearm against her stomach. The chime rang again.

"Enter," gasped the captain.

Tuvok entered. "Captain, the twenty minutes are up."

"Thank you, Commander. Have we heard from Gartz?"

"Their goods are being transported to Voyager even as we speak, Captain. As soon as Lieutenant Torres confirms the inventory we are ready to leave orbit."

"Thank you, Tuvok. Please have Mr Paris plot a course for home and, when the inventory is confirmed, proceed at Warp 4."

"Yes, Captain. Do you have any further instructions for the evening?"

"I beg your pardon, Tuvok?"

"Standing orders, Captain. Is there anything you would like done this evening?"

"No, not at this time. But Tuvok, why are you asking me this? My shift doesn't end for over three hours."

"I thought it prudent to be prepared, Captain. And you should retire early, if you don't mind my saying so. You've have an arduous three days and I think the Commander would agree with me."

Kathryn and Chakotay exchanged glances, then he turned back to the expressionless Vulcan.

"I think you're correct, Tuvok. The captain needs one night of uninterrupted bedrest. If you can take the bridge I'll make sure she gets it."

"Excellent, Commander, I leave our captain in your capable hands. Perhaps a full day off would be even more preferable. A most arduous experience, indeed." He turned to Janeway. "I will see you the day after tomorrow then, Captain. And Commander. Pleasant dreams." And he was gone.

Kathryn looked at Chakotay. "When did this boys' club officially form?"

Chakotay was still looking at the door. "I don't know, but I think a closet might have something to do with it. That, and his amazing sense of smell."

"Excuse me, did you say smell? What would that have to do with anything?"

"He probably smelled it on me."

She started to look uncomfortable and looked towards the door. "What do you mean, Chakotay?" she asked uneasily.

He quickly looked at her and smiled. "No, nothing like that, Kathryn. It's the oils, they're probably still on my hands a little bit."

She raised an eyebrow. "Oils, Chakotay?"

"Of course. You didn't think I'd just leave all those bottles behind, did you? What did you think I was doing after Tuvok hauled you off?"

"I was too delicate to even imagine what you'd be doing. Besides, the blood was rushing to my head."

"Well, it's not rushing to my head, Kathryn, not by a long shot. Let's get out of here."

He didn't have to say it twice.


The End

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