by Suz firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer - Paramount own them I suppose.
Part 12 of the DQ90210 series. Earlier parts can be found at: http://members.tripod.com/~SuzVoy/deltaq.html
Now this is just sappy.
Tom grinned to himself as she swore for what had to be about the tenth time. He wasn't surprised but was most definitely amused to discover that Captain Kathryn Janeway had a repertoire of swear words in five different languages and wasn't adverse to using them.
And he really should have been concerned for his life. His higher brain functions were informing him that this was the holodeck and the safeties were on, but as they screeched too close to the side of the road one too many times he should have been screaming for mercy. He was just having too good a time to worry about insignificant concerns like death. In these moments of utter happiness he felt immortal.
She swore again and the car groaned noisily. He winced at the punishment his beloved car was taking and opened his mouth to offer some advice. "Try moving gears when-"
"Look!" She snapped while still staring at the road ahead. "Do *not* tell me what to do! You've already given me ten lessons. I should be getting this by now! And I *will*." She was completely determined, as always, then her anger seemed to wane immediately into frustration as they veered to the opposite side of the road. "I can't believe I'm finding this so difficult."
"Some people just don't have the knack for it," he volunteered cheerfully, for once impervious to any result from the glare.
"But this is just so...it should be so easy!" Whipping her head towards him she spoke urgently. "If you tell Harry about this you're a dead man!"
He opened his mouth to retort when he saw where they were headed. "Look out!" Grabbing the steering wheel he tried to move them away but he was too late. Within seconds they plunged into the lake at the side of the road.
They stopped moving and the water began to pour in. Knowing that neither of them were seriously injured, he spoke. "Another manoeuvre like that and I *will* be a dead man."
Unbuckling her seat belt she muttered "Someone's going to get busted down to cadet in a minute," before making her way out of the car. The door wouldn't budge so she had to choose the rather undignified route of climbing out through the window. After realising he wasn't moving she groaned . "Stop enjoying the view and get out of the damn car."
Swearing again she slipped through the window and plunged completely into the water. Another splash later and she turned to see Tom swimming towards her.
He grinned. "You know, you could have just asked the computer to remove the water."
She tried to look unimpressed. "I decided that it was a good time for a swim." So she did, holding her nose and ducking under for a moment before surfacing moments later.
Tom cleared his throat. "Uh...Captain?" He had to tell her something.
Apparently amused that he still used her title, she smiled as she blinked the water out of her eyes. "Yes?"
"I'm trying not to look at your chest, really I am. But when you're soaked and your top is stuck to your skin like...well another skin, it's extremely difficult-"
"Oh for Gods sake," she moaned, although she looked a little pleased with herself "will I never get any peace? If I replicate a new top and stay dry will that make you happy?"
"I didn't say *that*," that grinned returned "but it would certainly be less distracting."
"Fine," she said, not really meaning it and sighing dramatically in a way that was entirely for his benefit. "I'll order a new one from the computer." She swam a little way before her feet touched the ground and she struggled to the shore. Locating a cluster of trees she hid behind them and removed her top. Moments later she returned with the new one in place.
Tom spent his time alone swimming a few metres back and forth. By the time Kathryn had returned to the water's edge he was spitting water in the air in a poor imitation of a whale.
She chuckled, studying him. "Thank you," she told him softly.
He splashed to stillness. "For?"
"Making me laugh. You have no idea how much I value it."
Christ, how did she have that ability to hit him with a whammy in the middle of so much fun? Several responses crossed his mind, mostly smart-ass quips and retorts. After a long silence he eventually settled for "Thank you."
And he was grinning like an idiot again, he *knew* he was.
Smiling softly, she stared out at the water. "I should really get going. Have to get ready for the shuttle survey of the asteroid field."
"And you're *not* going to take the best damn pilot in the Delta Quadrant with you?"
"Sorry, Tom. As much as I'd enjoy being in that confined a space with you, I think it would be a little...weird. You know?"
He continued kicking the water softly, keeping himself floating. "Yeah."
She nodded. "Besides, there's someone else I'd like to chat with."
"Hmm. Anyone I should be jealous of?"
"No," she reassured him but couldn't help adding "Turkey Platter."
He almost went under. "Where the hell did you hear that?!"
Turning away from him she smiled to herself. "Let's just say I meant it when I told you not to tell Harry earlier. Computer, exit."
Still kicking in the water he watched as she left without saying goodbye. As the doors hissed shut behind her he floated out onto his back and stared up at the perfect sky. The water lapped over his ears, muting the sounds of nature and he found himself smiling as his eyes closed trying to ignore the gnawing feeling that something should be going utterly, terribly wrong.
He was about to be proven right.
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