"WHEN IRISH EYES ARE TALAXIAN"
Due to the chaotic events from Voyager's St. Patrick's Day celebration, Captain Janeway delayed the Senior staff meeting by three hours. Much to Tom's relief. After Tuvok had relieved him from command, he managed to catch at least five hours of sleep before reporting to the ship's Conference Room. Unlike the meeting from three days ago, nearly everyone managed to remain alert. Everyone, saved for Tom and Neelix. The pair had to struggle to keep their eyes opened.
"I'm sure that everyone is looking forward to our latest subspace transmission from Starfleet," the Captain was saying. "I understand that Lieutenant Barclay has sent a special package for the entire crew."
Harry piped up, "I'm just glad that Starfleet didn't make us wait another month." Fortunately, he did not add that the last transmission had resulted in a Maquis takeover of the ship, thanks to an obsessive Bajoran vedek/former Maquis and Tuvok's telepathic abilities.
Janeway gave her youngest senior officer an indulgent smile. "So am I, Harry. Before this meeting ends, there is one last matter to discuss." Her eyes fell directly upon Tom. "Namely, the St. Patrick's Day celebration from yesterday. It did not exactly turn out as Mister Paris had planned." She shrugged.
"I wouldn't call it a complete flop, Captain," Tom drawled. A hint of a wicked smile tugged his lips. "Everyone seemed to have enjoyed him or herself. Immeasurably."
Uneasy eyes stared at the Chief Pilot. Janeway's gray ones narrowed. "Exactly, what did you mean by that, Tom?"
"What I had said, Captain." Tom assumed an innocent expression. "Right Doc? Neelix?"
The Talaxian responded with an eager nod. The EMH, on the other hand, merely uttered a grunt. Seven-of-Nine frowned at her mentor. "Is there something wrong, Doctor? You seemed a bit disgruntled."
"I'm fine, Seven!" the Doctor snapped. The ex-Borg stiffened at the former's curt tone. Which immediately softened. "I mean . . . I feel fine. Perhaps I need to go offline for a few hours. My program has been running for almost 24 hours. I'm sure that the new hologram sent by Mr. Barclay will benefit . . . from my absence."
Tom let out a silent gust of breath. He need to have a long talk with the Doctor about unrequited love.
"What actually happened?" Chakotay asked. "And we want details."
Tom glanced at Neelix. Who glanced at the Doctor. Who merely rolled his eyes and looked away. "Well?" B'Elanna added in an impatient voice. "Aren't you going to tell us?" She faced her husband, who sat next to her. "You've already told me that I was found inside one of the Jeffries tubes. Why I was there, I have no idea. And that Seven was found in the Mess Hall." Something akin to a squeak escaped the Doctor's lips. Tom glared at him.
"Doing what?" Seven demanded.
B'Elanna stared at Tom, who finally answered. "According to Neelix and the Doc, you were trying to tell jokes inside the Mess Hall. To no one in particular." Seven's face turned slightly pink.
"And what was I doing?" Chakotay asked.
Neelix spoke up. "I found you inside the Hydropondics Bay." He gave an embarrassed cough. "You were trying to find your spirit guide."
A loud snicker erupted in the Conference Room. Tom received a sharp jab in the side from his wife. He murmured a quick apology to the silent First Officer.
"Lieutenant Paris has already informed me of my activities," Tuvok coolly added.
Janeway eyed her Chief Security Officer with interest. "Has he?" She turned to Tom. "What exactly did you tell Commander Tuvok?"
"Uh, I didn't find him, Captain," Tom replied. "Neelix did."
All eyes, including Tuvok's, fell upon the Talaxian. Tuvok seemed a bit wary. "Ensign Andrews and I found Commander Tuvok," Neelix replied. "Inside Sullivan's pub. Singing something called 'Falor's Journey'."
Someone groaned. Tom glanced at Harry and smiled. The ensign received a glare from the Vulcan officer. And a smile tugged at Janeway's lips. "I remember hearing 'Falor's Journey' once. Lovely song. Even if it was 348 verses long."
"Oh yes, Captain," Neelix eagerly added. "In fact, you seemed very appreciative of Commander Tuvok's performan . . ." Tom kicked the Talaxian's shin and the latter fell quiet.
One of Janeway's brows rose questioningly. "Yes, Mister Neelix? You were about to say?"
"Uh, you liked the song very much." Neelix paused. "So did Lieutenant Nicoletti."
The look on the Captain's face seemed to indicate that she did not quite believe the cook. However, she did not pursue the matter. "Anyway," she continued, "Since Lieutenant Paris, Neelix, the Doctor and the other . . ."
"What about you, Captain?" Seven interrupted in her usual blunt manner. "Lieutenant Paris and Neelix have failed to inform us how you and Ensign Kim were affected by the Valax."
Harry added, "Well, I'd like to know."
"I'm sure you do," the Doctor said caustically. Fortunately, the other ignored him. Tom and Neelix exchanged uneasy looks. The Doctor's expression looked downright disgruntled.
Tom spoke up. "I found Harry inside the Captain's quarters."
Sharp gasps and intakes of breath filled the room. The Captain responded with an outraged, "I beg your pardon!"
"Oh, you two weren't alone," Tom quickly added, realizing the implication of his words. "Captain, you and Harry led a few others to your quarters for a uh, a party. With Valax. Along with Jenny Delaney. You even," his eyes fell upon the Doctor's forearm, "tried to borrow the Doc's holoemitter for Michael Sullivan."
Relief seeped into Janeway's eyes. And Harry's. Tom privately congratulated for his quick thinking and effective lies. Right after Tuvok had relieved him of command, Tom held an impromptu meeting with the Doctor, Neelix, Andrews and the rest of the Security detail about what they had witnessed. All pledged to never reveal what really happened.
"I want to add one more thing," Janeway said. "I plan to add commendations for Lieutenant Paris, the Doctor, Ensign Andrews and Neelix for their actions during this . . . recent upheaval."
Tom added, "I'd also recommend Ensign Ayala, Lieutenant Carey, Ensign Jenkins and several others for their help, Captain."
Janeway smiled. "Of course. Just leave me a list, Tom, and I'll see to it. All of those who were forced to work a double shift will be allotted an extra shift for off-duty time. And Mister Neelix," she smiled sweetly at the Talaxian, "not only will you get an extra shift off duty, you will also have the pleasure of spending a week cleaning plasma manifolds."
"Captain?" Neelix's orange eyes grew wide. "I don't understand."
"According to the Doctor, you failed to include synthehol in your Valax. Against Starfleet regulations." Janeway's voice hardened slightly at the last two words. "But since you did provide valuable help later on, you will only spend one week cleaning those manifolds. Not two." She gave Neelix a tart smile. "Understand?"
The Talaxian silently nodded.
"Good. Unless there is anything else to add, everyone is dismissed."
"I can't believe that Doc told the Captain about Neelix's Valax," Tom complained hours later, inside the Paris/Torres quarters. He and B'Elanna were preparing for bed. "That was a little petty of him, don't you think?"
B'Elanna heaved a large sigh and crawled into bed. "Between Harry's excitement over the Reginald Barclay hologram and your constant complaints about the Doctor, I swear I'm about to go out of my mind."
Tom joined his wife. "Harry seemed that excited, huh?"
"Aren't you?" B'Elanna gently straightened Tom's slightly mussed hair.
Confusion filled Tom for a brief moment. How could he answer that question? "I don't know," he finally answered. "A part of me is happy that Reg Barclay and Starfleet has finally found a way for us to get back to the Alpha Quadrant. At least for everyone else's sake. Yet, another part of me . . ."
"I know," B'Elanna quietly added. She pressed herself against Tom's side. "I feel the same. I guess both of us have been a lot happier, here in the Delta Quadrant these past years. And now that we're together, I believe we can be happier just about anywhere." Tom gathered his wife in his arms and gave her a tight squeeze.
Silence filled the couple's bedroom for a few minutes, as they contemplated on the day's events. Then B'Elanna broke the silence. "By the way, were you telling the truth about how you found me inside Jeffries tube 37?"
"You were thinking about that?" Tom demanded. B'Elanna gave him a pointed stare and he capitulated. "Okay. If you must know, I was telling the truth. Jarvis did find you inside the tube. And I came to get you."
B'Elanna added, "And I was just sitting there? Drunk?"
After a moment's pause, Tom confessed, "Well, no. Not exactly."
B'Elanna glanced at Tom's wary expression and cringed. "Oh no!" she exclaimed. "I must have done something awful! Like what? Acting very Klingon?"
"Actually, quite the opposite." Tom revealed that he had found her crying. Only, he failed to mention the reason for her tears. "You almost reminded me of your Human self, when we were in the Vidiian mines."
"Why was I crying?"
Tom quickly shook his head. "I haven't the foggiest idea."
Silence greeted the pilot for a few seconds. And then, "Hmmm. Why do you think the Doctor was being petty about Neelix's Valax?" When Tom refused to answer, B'Elanna's eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Tom? Was there something else you failed to inform the staff?"
Over and over again, Tom reminded himself of the pledge of secrecy he had sworn with Neelix, the Doctor, Andrews and the others. Until he felt a small warm hand underneath his gray T-shirt. Hands that slid through his chest hairs in an intimate manner. His resolve to maintain secrecy immediately vanished without a trace and Tom revealed what he and the Doctor had stumbled across, inside Harry Kim's quarters.
"Oh my God!" B'Elanna cried out in disbelief. She automatically grabbed a handful of chest hair. "Are you serious?"
Pain shot throughout Tom's chest, as B'Elanna continued to pull at his hair. "Ow! B'Elanna! Watch what you're doing!"
"Huh? Oh." She released her painful grip. "Sorry. But you were serious, weren't you? Starfleet in a threesome with Jenny Delaney and Seven? Our Seven-of-Nine?"
Tom rubbed his chest as he answered, "Yep. Harry finally got his wish. Only he won't remember what happened."
"Are you going to tell him?"
After a moment's contemplation on that possibility, Tom decided he would remain quiet. "I don't think that is a good idea. Can you imagine Harry's reaction if he knew? He'd probably spend the next several years or so, staring at her. Imagining on what could have been. Probably make Seven very nervous."
B'Elanna shook her head. Then she gave her husband a curious stare. "Exactly just how much did you see?" she asked.
"Everything." Tom let out a small chuckle. "Harry and Jenny even invited me to join them."
Again, B'Elanna's eyes narrowed. "Really? May I assume you weren't tempted to join them?"
"Of course you may assume," Tom retorted in a voice that did not exactly express outrage. "Besides, I was too busy wondering how we could enjoy our own little ménage a troi."
Tom rolled on to his left side, facing B'Elanna. "What I had in mind would require the use of one of the holodecks. Just imagine it. You, me and a holographic version of you or me. Sounds interesting, huh?"
A speechless B'Elanna stared at him with wide eyes. Until finally, "Thomas Eugene Paris!" she declared in a shocked voice. "You really have a wicked mind!" A sly smile tugged the corners of her mouth. "Of course, I'm very tempted to consider it."
"So was I. Until I realized we've been doing a spectacular job as a ménage a deux." Tom drew his wife close to his chest. "By the way, I would very much prefer if you never try to talk me into volunteering for command of the Bridge again."
B'Elanna grimaced slightly. "Okay, maybe I got carried away a bit. Especially, since I've been in the Command chair a few times myself. I just thought . . ." Again, she slid her hand underneath his T-shirt. "I thought it would be nice if we both got a little experience commanding the Bridge."
Tom struggled to ignore the busy hand underneath his shirt. And his reactions his body seemed to have generated. Of course, he had a few tricks of his own.
"It's a nice idea," Tom said, as he gently forced his wife on her back. Then he slid the spaghetti straps of her maroon-colored nightgown from her shoulders. "But if you ever try to talk me into commanding the Bridge again," he gently slid the gown down B'Elanna's torso, ". . . well, let's just say you'll be deprived of certain privileges."
B'Elanna's voice grew husky. "Like what?" she demanded.
Tom leaned forward as his teeth captured her lower lip and gave it a few tugs. "Privileges like that," he whispered back. "Or maybe this." His mouth traveled to B'Elanna's right earlobe and suckled it. Meanwhile, his hands continued to push her nightgown to her waist.
A whimper escaped B'Elanna's mouth. "Unlike certain other people," she said in ragged breath, "I'm not susceptible to a few kisses. You'll have to do better than . . . aaah!" Tom's mouth had left her earlobe and settled around the quivering tip of one of her breasts. After a few tugs and kisses, B'Elanna's moans grew louder.
Victory finally claimed Thomas Eugene Paris. "Oh God! All right! All right!" B'Elanna cried between moans. "I surrender! I swear, I promise that I'll never . . . Ah!" Tom's tongue flickered across the engorged nipple. "Kahless! I swear I'll never bring up the subject of Bridge command again! Never!" The last word came out in a breathless rush.
Satisfied, Tom reluctantly withdrew his mouth from his wife's chest. After a few seconds of contemplating his victory, he decided to be magnanimous and lowered his mouth upon hers for an inviting kiss.
NOTE: I would like to thank Annie M and PJ in NH for graciously allowing me to use in my story, their idea of a holographic ménage a troi, featured in their marvelous story, "Scientific Curiousity". Thank you very much, ladies.