Authors Note: Hello everyone, well this is my first Christmas story, and I really enjoyed writing it. I'm entering it in a competition, but I don't really expect anything to come of it. Thanks for reading, guys - and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
Disclaimer: Paramount own everything. None of the characters, etc are mine.
Codes: J/C (of course!), P/T and a little S/K
Dedicated to: Diamond for all of her help and support!
Setting: In between 4th and 5th season.
Email me comments: WriteToSam@excite.com
The morale on Voyager was through the roof and Captain Janeway felt like giving Neelix a medal. Everywhere she looked, there were smiling faces and laughter. Except for the Vulcans, but then again, Vulcans never smiled, so it was basically everyone. It was the first day of the Secret Santa project and most people had gotten their presents for the day. There was probably one waiting for her in her quarters, but suddenly Samantha Wildman appeared at her side as she walked down the hall with a small box covered in bright Christmas paper and a red bow.
"Captain, this is a gift from you Secret Santa. They asked me to give it to you. I hope you like it, it looks lovely." Samantha commented as she handed it to Janeway.
"Thankyou, Samantha. Have you gotten a present yet?" Janeway inquired as she took the box.
"Yes, I did. It was a lovely frame with a picture of Naomi in it." Samantha said as they entered a Turbo Lift and ordered their decks.
"How is Naomi?" Janeway asked.
"Fine. She keeps asking Tom Paris to take her for a flight in the shuttle craft. That is her latest interest. Last week she wanted to be Seven of Nine and scarred a few crew members by saying "I am Borg. You will be assimilated.". I told her that it wasn't a very nice thing to say and that Seven was a lovely person and member of this crew, and she stopped after that. Next week, I fear it'll be Tuvok." She said with a smile as the doors opened at her level.
Janeway entered her quarters and sat at her desk and carefully removed the paper and opened the box to find a bag with a silver bow around it inside. She took the bag out of the box and opened it, and was assaulted by the rich aroma of coffee beans. Lying on the heap of beans, lay a little note. She picked it up and read it.
Janeway frowned. Near her all day long? Surely not...if Chakotay was giving to her she was going to hit him. It had to be rigged. Who else was she near all day long? Chakotay sat right next to her on the Bridge. She sighed. It just got worse.
Chakotay was getting ready for Bridge Duty, which would be dull as hell without the Captain, when a small, odd shaped package materialised on his desk. He went over to it and opened it. Inside was a Paresis Squares mallet. Tied around the handle with a string, was a note.
Chakotay frowned. He had broken his mallet last week while on the Holodeck with B'Elanna, but no one else had known about it. He would have thought that B'Elanna would be more subtle...still. It had to be B'Elanna. Plus all that about being through a lot together. He and B'Elanna had been through everything together while in the Maquis. Chakotay frowned, confused.
B'Elanna sat at a table in the Mess Hall with Tom, eating breakfast when Lieutenant Carey came over and handed her a huge, oddly shaped present and mumbled "from your Secret Santa". He was still mulling over the fight yesterday, obviously. B'Elanna frowned at the thing and Tom just shrugged his shoulders. B'Elanna opened it, the paper falling away to reveal and bat'telh. She looked at it. Then she looked at Tom. Then she looked at it again.
"Who the hell in their right mind would give you that?" Tom asked, staring at the huge Klingon weapon.
"You know, they could have given me flowers...a book...chocolates...anything. Why would anyone think I would appreciate this??" B'Elanna said, confused and a little annoyed.
"I bet it's the Doctor." Tom said.
"Because he would do something weird like that." Tom explained.
"Hmm. Here's the note." B'Elanna said, picking up a piece of paper.
"Read it out." Tom said as he ate.
"To B'Elanna, I hope you like the bat'telh, I thought it might bring out your Klingon side. Merry Christmas. Here is my clue: I am not a Vulcan. From your Secret Santa."
"That is a brilliant letter." Tom said sarcastically.
"I would be so lucky. This is great. What the hell am I going to do with this thing?" B'Elanna said, hefting the object.
"I no idea. In the meantime, I have to get to my Bridge Duty, though, so I'll see you tonight." Tom said, getting up and giving her a kiss on the cheek.
"Tom?" She called.
"Yep?" He asked, turning around as he was leaving.
"I'll give you the answer tonight." B'Elanna said, holding up her left hand, where the ring on her finger shone.
He nodded and gave her a smile and left. B'Elanna was going to say 'yes', of course, but she just wanted him to sweat for once. It had been a beautiful night time picnic under the stars on a beach. He had proposed over candlelight, and she had said she would think about it, already knowing her answer. B'Elanna smiled at the memory as she put her tray in the recycling unit.
Tuvok had left Neelix's present on the counter of the Mess Hall when he had been busy and left. Neelix looked at the present oddly and opened it. It was an apron saying "I'm the Chef" written on it in bright colours. He smiled when he saw it and put it on immediately. There was a card attached. It read:
Neelix thought it was a rather indirect letter. It only eliminated the Doctor, B'Elanna and himself. He sighed. Then he inhaled. Oh no. Something was burning...
Tuvok was walking to the bridge when he received a present from Ensign Hickman. It was a chess board with pieced on it. He raised an eyebrow. The note said:
After a few moments he came to the conclusion that it was Commander Chakotay. He dropped the items off at his office before continuing to the bridge.
Tom dropped in on Engineering before he continued to...Sickbay. B'Elanna held out a present to him as he walked in to greet her.
"Thankyou." He said as he unwrapped it.
Inside was a hardcover book on 20th century cars, with illustrations. He laughed and smiled and read the note on the inside.
"If I didn't know any better, I would say it sounded like Tuvok." B'Elanna said as she read over his shoulder.
"I was thinking Seven of Nine." Tom said.
"Yeah, she wouldn't consider herself human." B'Elanna said grumpily.
"I better be getting on to sickbay. See you tonight." He said, before quickly kissing her goodbye.
The Doctor was in his office when he heard the doors whoosh open. He glanced up, expecting to see Mr Paris, but instead, a cardboard box lay on the floor. He quickly got up and rant to the door, looking bother ways to see the mysterious box leaving person. There was no one. Picking up the box, he went back to his office where he opened it to find a data padd. On it was a note:
The Doctor was bewildered. That wasn't a very good clue. He was quite mad. Even so, he pressed a button and opera music came through on the computer. It was very beautiful...until the Klingon male started to sing. He was rather annoyed. He didn't like Klingon Opera. Nobody liked Klingon Opera...except for Klingons. He got so worked up he feared he would blow a circuit and calmed down and shut off the singing.
Seven of Nine entered Astrometrics to find a red package on her workbench. She opened the present and saw a box of chocolates in the shape of a heart. She didn't understand that. When she opened the lid, there was a note on top of the sweets and she took it.
Seven decided at that moment she really didn't care much for this human ritual. The clue was vague and didn't really hint at anything. She had never tried this 'chocolate' and wasn't about to. She put the box and the letter away, out of sight.
When Harry Kim entered his quarters that night, there was what looked like a painting, covered in brown paper on his desk. He ripped off the paper, and saw it was a framed picture of Earth. He smiled and set it down, reaching for the note.
Captain Janeway thought she would go insane. Literally. She had done every single thing she could think of. She went to the holodeck for an hour and a half. Then she had gone to the Mess Hall to visit Neelix. Then she had gone back to her quarters and had read a book. Then she had had a small nap. Now, she was just sitting there trying to think of something to do. She could have gone and done some painting or sculpting, but she had already done that this morning. Then she had gone for a swim, so she didn't feel like that. Janeway sighed. She was gong to go insane.
Chakotay had just gotten off duty and was wondering whether or not to go and see the Captain. She was probably bored out of her skull. She could also be asleep. He'd wait for a while. She was probably enjoying herself, and just wouldn't admit it. He walked to his quarters instead.
Janeway was pacing in her quarters. She looked at the chronometer and saw that Alpha shift was over.
"Computer, locate Commander Chakotay." Janeway ordered.
"Commander Chakotay is in his quarters." The voice chirped.
Janeway walked down the hall to his quarters. She rang the chime. Once, twice...
"Come in! I'm just getting changed. I'll be with you in a few seconds." Chakotay's voice said as the door opened.
Janeway did not want that image. As she seated herself on the couch she was feeling awkward. Just as she was contemplating making a run for it, Chakotay appeared from his bedroom with a smile on his face.
"Captain. What can I do for you?" Chakotay asked.
"I was extremely bored so I came to see you." Janeway said as he sat down next to her.
"I take it your two days off aren't going well?"
"Not exactly. I've done everything I can think of." Janeway said.
"Come to dinner with us all tonight." Chakotay suggested.
"Who is 'all'?" Janeway asked.
"B'Elanna, Tom, Doctor, Neelix, Tuvok, Harry, Seven, Me..." Chakotay listed.
"Around 2000?" Chakotay said.
"I'll be there." Janeway said.
"So tell me about your day." Chakotay said.
"I went to the holodeck for some painting and sculpting...then on to doing some swimming. I visited Neelix. I had a sleep, I read a book. Interesting?" She asked drily.
"I don't see why you think of it as a chore." Chakotay said.
"I hate it. How was your day?"
"Well...Bridge Duty was alright. Tom and Harry spent the whole time trying to figure out whose Secret Santering who. I spent most of the time ordering them back to their seats. The Doc finally hauled Paris's butt down to Sickbay for the first time in weeks and B'Elanna did a warp core diagnostic." Chakotay reported.
"I love this idea of Secret Santa. It brings the whole crew together."
"What was your clue?" Chakotay asked.
"I received a bag of coffee beans and a clue saying "I work near you all day long". You know, Commander, you could have made it a little more subtle." Janeway said.
"I'm not your Secret Santa." Chakotay said defensively.
Janeway just shrugged.
"What about you?" She continued.
"I received a Paresis Squares mallet. And the clue said, "we've been through a lot of tough situations". There's only one person it could be." Chakotay said.
"Who?" Janeway asked, with a small smile.
"B'Elanna. She was the only one who knew I'd broken my mallet." Chakotay said.
"Ah..." Janeway said.
After a few more moments of silence, Janeway cleared her throat and go to her feet.
"Well, I suppose I'll leave you to work and I'll see you tonight." Janeway said as she turned to the door.
"See you tonight!" He called as the doors slid shut.
An hour before she was due in the Mess Hall, Janeway sat in her quarters, reading. The door chimed. She answered "come" and the door swung open to greet Tom and B'Elanna. They were smiling, holding hands. Janeway could tell from the air about them what this was going to be about.
"Captain, we have to talk to you." Tom said, pretty much dragging B'Elanna in with him.
"I think I know what you have to talk to me about." Janeway said with a small smile.
"I don't know Captain, this may shock you a little." He said, chuckling a little.
"I don't suppose this would have anything to do with marriage?" She asked, watching their reactions closely.
Their jaws practically hit the floor. After a few moments of shocked silence and B'Elanna trying time and again to say something but no sound coming out, Tom stuttered something out.
"How did you know, Captain? I didn't tell anyone, except Vorik." Tom said slowly.
Before Janeway could say anything, B'Elanna interrupted, "Wait a minute. You told Vorik?!"
"Well...accidentally. Didn't you tell anyone?" Tom said, getting a wounded expression on his face.
"I didn't think it was anyone's business. No offence Captain." B'Elanna added.
"Can we talk about this later?" Tom asked gesturing towards the Captain.
"How did I know? You forget that I've been engaged twice. You have that look about you two." Janeway said from her position on the couch.
Tom and B'Elanna considered it for a few more seconds and then B'Elanna asked uncertainly, "So...it's alright?"
"B'Elanna, Tom, I couldn't be happier. Congratulations." Janeway said, getting up and shaking their hands and giving them hugs.
"Thankyou Captain." B'Elanna said, dragging Tom from her quarters.
Janeway smiled wistfully, and went to go get ready.
That night, the mess hall tables had been arranged so that the senior staff could sit all together.
"So, how has your days off been?" Tom Paris asked the Captain.
"I'm fine. Very relaxed." Janeway said smiling.
"That's funny, because that's not what Chakotay said." Tom said.
Janeway looked at Chakotay to her right with an eyebrow raised.
"It...might have...come up, but I don't remember it." Chakotay said, struggling for words.
"Uh- huh." Janeway said suspiciously.
Everyone around the table laughed, raising their glasses. Most of the crew were elsewhere, and the Mess Hall was theirs.
"So how about that holo program Tom?" Chakotay said, obviously steering away from the conversation.
Everyone laughed again. Janeway chuckled. She didn't really mind.
"Captain, really. What have you been doing with your time off? B'Elanna asked from across the table.
Everyone else around the table had gone back to their own conversations.
"I don't feel anymore relaxed, to tell you the truth. I only have one more day...and today I did everything I could think of before the end of it." Janeway said.
"Captain there is this holoprogram you could try tomorrow..." B'Elanna and the Captain's conversation faded into the background of the noise of the rest of the table.
Around the rest of the table, people were have two or three way conversations. The Doctor was trying to talk Tom into doing more sickbay, and how he would make it interesting. Chakotay was listening to Harry and Seven talk about engine efficiency and Neelix was trying to convince Tuvok that Talaxian's could be logical too.
Then, somehow, the conversations all steered towards one inevitable point as they ate their dinner. Secret Santa. It started with the whole table asking one person who they thought their Secret Santa's were. It started with Chakotay.
"Well, I think I know who it is. B'Elanna, don't even try to deny it, your the only one who knew about my mallet being broken." Chakotay said before he took a sip of his drink.
B'Elanna just shook her head and had a small smile.
"Captain, what about you?" Tosileked.
"Well, I have a sneaking suspicion it's the Commander here, but I can't be sure. The clue said "I'm near you all day long", and Chakotay sits next to me on the bridge..."
Chakotay just shrugged as all eyes turned to him. People were thinking "He takes any chance he can to be near you".
"Just before anyone says anything more..." Janeway continued.
"Let's raise a toast to Tom and B'Elanna for their engagement." Janeway said, raising her glass.
Chakotay smiled, but she knew he was shocked. Everyone was a burst of chatter all around Tom and B'Elanna.
"How did you know about that?" He asked quietly.
"They came and asked me if it was alright." Janeway whispered back.
After all the chatter had died down, Tom said, "Back to those Secret Santa's."
All eyes turned to B'Elanna.
"I don't know who my Secret Santa is, but they gave me something really odd. A bat'telh." B'Elanna said.
People laughed at the thought.
"Well I'm glad someone finds it funny." B'Elanna said, huffily.
Meanwhile, nobody noticed the hurt look on Neelix's face.
"Well, it seems to be someone's little joke to give me a Klingon Opera program. The clue that I was given was "I nearly spend as much time in Sickbay as Harry Kim". Obviously this was another joke, as I spent six hours going through the medical logs to see who has been in there nearly as much, and I couldn't find anyone even close. Congratulations Ensign, your a walking disaster." The Doctor said, obviously annoyed.
Everybody stiffled a laugh at the Doctor, but Tom Paris didn't even make an attempt. Harry looked a little hurt, but then joined in with the rest. Tom didn't need any prompting about his Secret Santa.
"Well, it would seem that my Secret Santa is not human. This has lead me to the conclusion it is either Neelix or Tuvok." Tom said, satisfaction written all over his face.
"What about B'Elanna? She's not entirely human so she could be your Secret Santa.tallakotay pointed out.
"B'Elanna wouldn't be able to keep a secret from me." Tom said, smiling over at his bride-to-be.
"How do you know, Paris?" B'Elanna asked, mock slyness entering her voice.
Tom looked shocked.
The chatter continued, but Janeway, all of a sudden, didn't take any notice. She was thinking of something entirely different, that made her a bit sick to the stomach. All she could think about was the fact that Tom and B'Elanna were starting their lives together, 55 years from home in the Delta Quadrant, while she stood an alone, lonely and not entirely happy Starfleet Captain who would never find marriage, have children or see Earth again in her lifetime. It all came crashing home, her hopes, her dreams, the reality of it all and she felt like she would break down into tears. Then, someone was squeezing her hand underneath the table. Janeway looked up, startled out of her reverie.
"Are you alright Captain? You seem a thousand light years away." Chakotay asked quietly, not letting go of her hand.
"I'm fine Chakotay, I just was thinking of something - that's all." Janeway said with a small smile.
"Like what?" Chakotay asked, smiling back but still concerned.
"That I'm going to go insane if I don't get back to my command post." Janeway said humorously, in a cover up of what she was really thinking.
Chakotay chuckled and squeezed her hand once more before letting go. He knew something was wrong, that there was something she wasn't telling him, but he knew she would tell him when she was ready.
They returned their attention back to the conversation just in time to hear that Tuvok was convinced that it was Chakotay and that it was logical that it was so. Chakotay tried to put on a poker face, but Janeway knew that Tuvok was right, and no doubt B'Elanna did too. Janeway and Chakotay had missed Seven's story, but no doubt it was full of 'inefficient usage of time' statements.
Neelix was, as ever, eager to recount his tale of his gift and clue. tion "Well. My present was an esquisite apron that says, rather jokingly "I'm the Chef". It is fantastic. People have already commented on it. My clue, is rather elusive, but it says that my Secret Santa is part of the Bridge Staff. That leaves out the Doctor and B'Elanna. Never the less, it's something. I've started my speculation but I don't want to pin anything down just yet." Neelix said.
Harry was last, as always.
"Well, I think that my Secret Santa is the Captain, because the clue said "I know almost as much as you do about Operations". Now, Captain Janeway is the only one I can think of who would." Harry said, completely convinced.
In truth, when he had first gotten the clue, he, well, got a little nervous at the idea that Captain Janeway was his Secret Santa.
Meanwhile, Janeway just shrugged and said, "I won't confirm, nor deny that speculation."
That only made Harry even more convinced.
After some more chatting that involved Tom Paris telling everyone about how he proposed to B'Elanna, Janeway stood up and bid everyone goodnight before leaving with Chakotay at her side.
As they walked down the corridor, Janeway was still thinking and pondering on her current situation. She wasn't really aware of the fact that Chakotay was looking at her frequently, and that he was really concerned.
"Kathryn?" Chakotay asked as they neared the end of the hall.
"Mmmm?" Janeway said, not really paying attention.
"Something's wrong." He said bluntly.
Janeway was paying attention. She looked up at him and she didn't really know what to say, couldn't think up an excuse this time.
"Nothings wrong, really. I've just been thinking. I... think it's all this time off." Janeway said, trying to seem convincing.
"I think it's a little bit more than just thinking." Chakotay said.
"I don't know what else to tell you Chakotay. I'm basically fine. I just have to sort out some things." Janeway said.
"I don't want to pressure you, you know that, but I'm one of your best friends and your first officer. I'm just...concerned about your well being." Chakotay said.
"I know you don't." Janeway said sincerely, as they stepped in a turbo lift.
As the doors closed, she reached up and gave him a hug, almost to reassure herself and him. It only lasted a few seconds before the doors opened.
"Goodnight Chakotay." Janeway said, as she turned a separate way and walked towards her quarters.
Please, please, please. I love getting feedback! Email me about what you thought : WriteToSam@excite.com
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