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
It had been nearly three days since the night at the Mess Hall and Janeway was back in her chair on the bridge, feeling like her own self again. Well, almost like her old self again. Every single time she thought that it was just a moment of weakness, of boredom, she realised that everything she had thought about that night had been true. And it scared her. Scared her that she was probably going to die out here, in this god forsaken quadrant without ever having a chance to live. After thinking all of these thoughts, she usually went back to the subject of the crew, and how they had probably all had these thoughts about two years ago, and realised that she had spent so long being Captain that she hadn't had time to think about it. Then it always related to Chakotay. It seemed that everything in her life at the moment related to Chakotay. That drove her insane, that she could be so in love with someone and not be able to admit it to him, share it with him. She felt like screaming.
Janeway sat at her desk, not really wanting to do work, but she knew it was the only way for all those thoughts to go away.
Janeway had just gotten a new pot of coffee and was going to get down and do some work when the door chimed.
"Come." Janeway said wearily.
"Captain. Here are those reports." Chakotay said, stepping into the room.
She held out her hand and took them and put them on her desk.
"Cup of coffee?" Janeway asked, gesturing towards the steaming pot.
"No, thanks." Chakotay said.
"What can I do for you?" Janeway asked, chin in palm and elbow resting on the desk.
"I was wondering if you'd like to go skiing tonight. B'Elanna was supposed to come but she cancelled. It'll be fun."
"I really have a lot of work to do Chakotay." Janeway said.
Chakotay reached over onto her desk and picked up one report.
"Ah, yes. The report on how many people are watching 'Breakfast with Neelix' is really quite urgent." Chakotay said with a grin.
"It may not be very important, but it needs to be looked over. Neelix is getting quite worried. The most unpopular segment is the Doctors."
"No need to wonder why." Chakotay said.
"Nevertheless, I have to do it." Janeway said, holding out her hand for the padd.
Chakotay didn't move to hand it back.
"Chakotay give me the padd." Janeway said, getting up and walking around the table.
"Not unless you go skiing with me." Chakotay said, standing up.
Janeway moved to take it, but he put his hand around his back.
"Nope." He said, backing away.
"Chakotay, I hate skiing. I just want to do my work and go to sleep." Janeway said as she tried to reach behind his back to no avail.
"We could do something else." Chakotay said, holding the padd over his head, and due to her shortness, she couldn't reach it.
Janeway glared at him and then tried to reach it standing on tip toes. She had nearly reached it when she realised she was face to face with Chakotay, mere inches away from his face, with her hand on his shoulder trying to get a data padd. When she looked into his big brown eyes, neither of them were thinking of the report. The hand she had been reaching with somehow brushed over his tattoo and had come to rest at the back of his head and his arm had found it's way around her waist. The two of them inched closer together, until each others eyes were blurred in the others vision and...
The door chimed.
Janeway looked away from Chakotay's searing gaze and grabbed the padd before retreating back behind her desk.
"Come." She said in a calm voice that completely shocked her.
"Ah, Captain you wanted that helm report by today?" Tom Paris asked as he strolled into the room.
"Yes thankyou Tom, dismissed." She said quietly as she sat down and watched the young man leave the Ready Room.
They were silent, looking at one another for a few moments before Chakotay started to say something.
"I'm sorry." Was all he said.
"No, it was my fault. I...don't really know what to say except I'm sorry." Janeway said.
Chakotay nodded, and left the Ready Room. When he crossed the bridge to his seat, he glared at Tom Paris's back until his eyes hurt.
Harry and Seven of Nine were sitting in the mess hall, supposedly doing work for Astrometrics, were in fact finished and chatting.
"So let me get this straight - the Borg were at First Contact." Harry said, again.
"Ensign I have already told you this one hundred times." Seven said.
"I didn't know that the Borg could exaggerate." Harry said, referring to the number.
"I am not." Seven said.
"Oh." Harry said.
"Tell me about your clues for Secret Santa." Seven stated.
"I thought that you hated small talk." Harry said.
"It's all you seem to do, and if I am to participate I must learn to do so correctly." Seven said.
"I suppose that's a reason. Well, I've had three clues that points towards the Captain." Harry said.
"What exactly were the clues Ensign?" Seven asked.
"The first one was "I know almost as much as you do about Operations". The next was "I enjoy Raktijino" that's a Klingon coffee. Anyway, the last one I got said "I attended Starfleet Academy". And you know what's stupid about that? It only leaves out the Doctor, you and Neelix. Still, the Captain would give clues by process of elimination." Harry said.
"Interesting. All those clues do point suspiciously to Captain Janeway. Although, Ensign, the Captain wouldn't be so obvious in her clues if she was your Secret Santa." Seven said.
"I think the Captain would make it look so obvious it is her so that I'd think it was someone else....just to steer me away from the obvious." Harry argued.
Seven gave a thoughtful nod.
"What about you Seven?" Harry asked.
"My Secret Santa still remains a mystery. Their clues are quite evasive." Seven stated.
"Evasive clues are usually the best. Suspense." Harry said, a small knowing smile playing across his lips.
"I fail to see the pleasure in suspense, Ensign."
"Not knowing something usually makes the finding out a lot more enjoyable." Harry explained.
"My Secret Santa's clues don't even hint at anything." She argued.
Harry felt offended.
"Well, they'll probably get better as they go along." Harry suggested, feeling his face flushing.
"The gifts are also quite strange." She continued.
"Nothing really, just odd. It almost seems as if they are given from... a romantic prospective." Seven told him.
"I'm sure that...isn't their intent." Harry lied.
Seven nodded and stood.
"Now that we have finished the sufficient data for the Astrometrics, I'll present it to the Captain." Seven said, leaving the mess hall.
Janeway was sitting in her ready room, reports finished. She had her legs swinging over the arms of her chair and she was leaning back, listening to Christmas Carols.
She was absently singing along to 'Deck The Halls' - but her mind was...elsewhere.
Janeway was stunned at the way he had made her feel, holding her like that. She was even more stunned at the thoughts that she had had during those brief moments. She had wanted so much to kiss him and to say "I love you", let him know how much he meant to her. She didn't even want to think about what might have happened if Tom hadn't stepped in. She sighed. Life. Wasn't. Fair. It wasn't. Not one bit.
The door chimed and Janeway jumped.
She stood and called 'come'. Seven walked in with a padd in her outstretched hand.
"Captain, here is the data you required from Astrometrics." Seven said.
"Thankyou Seven." Janeway said, taking it and sitting back down.
When Seven didn't leave, Janeway asked, "Is there something else?"
"Captain, what is this curious music?" She asked, looking at the ceiling.
"They're Christmas Carols, Seven. From a time where Christmas was a religious celebration of Jesus Christ's birth. Now, it's just another galactic tradition." Janeway said.
"I read about Christmas in the Starfleet Databanks, but they didn't mention carols, is that what their called?" Seven said.
"Carols are just songs about Christmas, full of joy and happiness." Janeway explained.
"Curious. I stopped by Commander Chakotay's quarters last night and there was a tree in the corner with lights and glass balls on it. Is this another....tradition?" Seven asked.
"That was a Christmas Tree, you put all of the presents underneath it. It's just another tradition, yes." Janeway said, smiling.
Seven was obviously content with the information as she crossed to the door with a "Thankyou for your help".
When she left. Janeway sighed and went about reading the report that Seven and Harry had written.
Harry was leaving the Mess Hall when he bumped into Tom.
"Tom, hi." Harry said.
"Harry, you nearly knocked me off my feet." Tom said.
"That's ok. Hey, hows the Secret Santa thing with Seven going huh?" Tom asked with a wink.
"I'm not Seven's Secret Santa." Harry said, blushing at the lie.
"Harry, I can see when your lying. Of course your Seven's Secret Santa." Tom said shaking his head.
"She doesn't know it's me, but when she finds out...." Harry said.
"What's going to happen when she finds out?"
"Well...she thinks that the presents...are romantic." Harry said, looking at his feet.
Tom burst out laughing, putting his hand on the wall because he was laughing so hard.
"I don't think it's that funny, Tom." Harry said, irritated.
"Harry....you have...no idea." Tom said between chuckles.
"It's not my fault...I just gave her stuff I thought she would like." He said defensively.
"What did you give her, lingerie?" Tom asked, laughing even harder at the thought.
"Nothing that bad. Just chocolates...flowers...stuff like that." Harry said.
After a few more moments he stopped laughing and looked up.
"Oh well, only you could do such a thing... figured out who yours is yet?" Tom asked.
"It's the Captain. I know it. No doubt." Harry said, proud of himself for working it out.
"Ah, right. Well, obviously." Tom said, thinking of B'Elanna.
"Who's yours?" Harry asked.
"I don't think they like me very much. I have a suspicion it's Tuvok because of one clue "You should do more work". He saw me and you on the bridge the other day, talking all about the Secret Santa." Tom said.
"Well I suppose I'll see you tonight? I have to get to the holodeck for a surfing lesson, now." Harry said.
"See ya Harry." Tom said, continuing on to the Mess hall.
Tom entered to see B'Elanna just taking a seat. He took the seat opposite her.
"Guess what?" Tom asked.
"What?" B'Elanna asked in a huffy voice.
"What's wrong with you?" Tom asked.
"Carey tried to do a realignment of the warp core a few hours ago and nearly breached it. I have to get down there after this and it's going to take me hours. I'll have to cancel on you tonight."
"That's ok. I'll go play pool with Harry." Tom said with a shrug.
"So what am I guessing?" B'Elanna asked between mouthfuls.
"Harry is absolutely convinced that Captain Janeway is his Secret Santa." Tom said.
"Oh well." B'Elanna said, taking a sip from her glass.
"Don't you see?" Tom asked.
"This could be to both of our advantages. If you gave Harry Kim a clue saying "I'm involved with another member of the Senior Staff", he'll be convinced that it's the Captain and Chakotay. Then, as a result, my betting pool will go through the roof." Tom said.
"That's awful, Tom. Poor Harry, poor Captain and Commander and it's practically stealing off the crew." B'Elanna said in a low voice.
"Please? Do it for me?" He asked, giving her a puppy dog expression.
"Alright." She said after a few moments.
"But only because I feel guilty for cancelling on you tonight." She said.
"Alright. Well I'm going to go get some food." Tom said, standing up again.
Later that night, Harry and Tom started up the Sandrines program and started playing pool. They had deleted all the characters and were by themselves.
"Are you looking forward to Christmas this year, Harry?" Tom asked, smiling.
"Not particularly." Harry said, grimly.
"Rather be home?" Tom asked.
"Don't tell anyone this, but that thought hadn't occurred to me until this morning." Harry said.
"Your starting to like the Delta Quadrant? That doesn't sound very optimistic for you Harry." Tom asked, surprised.
"Not like exactly, but I'm starting to think about this crew as my family, and home." Harry said.
"Well if it can happen to you, it proves it can happen to anyone." Tom said, shaking his head.
"I knew that if I told you you would react like this...I want to get home, of course, but I'm just not depressed about being out here anymore. I want to see my parents and get promoted finally, but right now, I don't care about any of that. Do you get what I mean?" Harry asked.
"I understand what you're saying." Tom said.
There was silence for a few moments.
"Seven wouldn't have anything to do with this little change in you would it now?" Tom asked, with a smile.
"No." Harry said, flushing a little.
"Oh, no. Of course not." Tom said sarcastically, amused.
"Shut up Tom." Harry said.
"Whatever you say." Tom said.
"I mean it Tom. Nothing is going on between me and Seven."
"I would never imply..." Tom said.
"Do you want me to hit you with my pool cue?" Harry asked.
Tom just laughed.
Chakotay was in his quarters when he found his next clue. It said "I sit on the Left of the conference table". He frowned. Which left? B'Elanna was tricking him again. He looked over a few of his other clues. "I like chocolates". "I've been told I have a short temper to match another of my physical attributes". He sighed. He knew it was B'Elanna...he had a gut feeling.
Tom Paris was back in his quarters when he saw the present lying on the bed. It was a tiny Christmas Tree. "What the hell am I supposed to do with this? -Stick it on my console on the bridge?" Tom thought. He smiled. He would do that, later. The clue said, "I am not a Klingon". Tom crumpled it up and threw it in the Recycling unit. He knew that it wasn't B'Elanna, what a stupid clue. He didn't particularly like his Secret Santa - he had no idea who it was. The other clues were ones like, "My uniform is not the same colour as a Taranada Dora Orchid in the wet season". That one had taken him all night looking through the Starfleet Database looking for the Orchid. Then he had found out it was red in the wet season, and he had wanted to hit something.
B'Elanna was annoyed at her Secret Santa. More than annoyed, angry. He or she had given her nothing but things of Klingon heritage. Her last present had been a Klingon holoprogram in a jungle where you killed beasts left right and center. Sure she had killed the animals, but that wasn't the point. She would have preferred to receive normal or hagh tormal gifts. She had a slight suspicion it was the Doctor. All of the clues were vague. She sighed. It was a long time until Christmas.
Janeway was dumbfounded at who her Secret Santa was. She knew it wasn't Chakotay. Who the hell was it? It annoyed her. She always knew or could figure out most situations. All her presents were ones that only Chakotay or Tuvok would know about, roses, coffee, Gothic romance novels. All the clues were rather flirtatious and as if they knew her well. And she didn't know who it was.
Harry was a little on edge. It had to be the Captain, there was no one else it could be. Every single clue pointed towards the obvious. He had gotten very nice presents and they had all been ones that the Captain would have chosen. One of the clues was...unsettling. He knew it was the Captain even more so, now. The clue had been, "I'm having a relationship with another member of the crew". It had to be her and Chakotay. It had to be. He didn't know what to do about Seven of Nine. He knew he was being obvious, he knew that he...had feelings for her and he had no idea how to be more subtle. He had tried and tried.
Neelix was getting tired of his Secret Santa. They ran him around in circles trying to understand the riddles that they had given him. He still didn't even understand any of them. He didn't even understand this whole tradition. He was beginning to regret suggesting it. He really did...until of course he saw all the smiling faces. And the Captain was so happy...which was odd for this time of year. Then there was the Christmas party, and everything was so complicated. He was beginning to feel the stirring's of stress and tension coming on...
The Doctor was intrigued. His Secret Santa always wrote things with two meanings. But they gave him the oddest things. He was starting to think that Tom Paris was his Secret Santa. That would have been amusing, but if he was he would have been a lot more horrible to the Doctor. Like the Doctor was to him. He smiled. He liked Christmas this year.
Seven of Nine was becoming more and more unnerved about her Secret Santa. She was receiving the oddest gifts and clues. They never pointed at anybody. The gifts were odd, like jewellery and flowers and chocolates. Some were rather romantic, well that was what Jenny Delaney had said when she saw one. Seven didn't even understand romance. Human traditions were complex...and she still didn't understand but she just put the intriguing task out of her mind and set it upon other things.
Tuvok knew that it was Commander Chakotay, and yet he still tried to lead him off that decision. It was...intriguing. The Commander was quite good at the game and would have been successful in deceiving a different opponent, but Tuvok was Vulcan after all. One of his latest gifts had been a framed picture of Vulcan, and it was put on his desk in his office. Tuvok was intrigued by the Captain's behaviour the past few days. She had been looking at the Commander more frequently than before. Tuvok just thought of it as the Christmas holiday itself, it always brought depression and happiness among the human species. Tuvok shook his head and sat back in his chair and began to meditate.
Please, please, please. I love getting feedback! Email me about what you thought : WriteToSam@excite.com
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