The Neelix Claus - The Starship Captain That Neelix Claus Forgot

by Suz

Disclaimer - Paramount own 'em.

This continues on from 'Merry Christmas Mr Chakotay'.

Dedicated to Sarah AKA Lady V. You did ask for this dear...


She helped Chakotay get back to his quarters. He was still quite groggy so he leant on her for support as they slowly made their way along deck two. They'd left sickbay, which was on deck five, several minutes ago despite the Doctor's protestations. He hadn't been entirely convinced that Chakotay should be up and about yet, but he had reluctantly agreed with his Captain that the First Officer would probably relax easier in his own quarters.

So it was that Kathryn and Chakotay tumbled out of sickbay with grateful sighs as the doors swished closed behind them, shutting out the sounds of the party that had started up again once everyone was assured that Chakotay would be alright. They didn't escape unscathed however. Someone had fired something called 'party poppers' at them so they were covered in long, thin pieces of multi-coloured paper. Neither of them could be bothered to pull them off. They were both tired, and Kathryn thought it didn't matter much as she looked ridiculous anyway.

Reaching the door to his quarters, he keyed in his access code and they almost fell to the floor in exhaustion. It was only Kathryn's determination they kept them going to the bed. Once there, they both fell face forward onto the mattress.

The bed, not accustomed to such sudden application of so much weight, did something unusual. It broke.

Kathryn squawked loudly as she felt herself quickly falling backwards until her back came to rest against Chakotay's. They lay there, both blinking in disbelief, staring at opposite sides of the broken bed.

He sighed. Heavily. "Who set us up?"

She sighed. Heavily. "Neelix."

"He has to *pay*."

"He will."


Reaching up her right hand, she grabbed the edge of the bed to try and pull herself up, but she realised that wasn't going to work as she felt the bed move too easily. It wouldn't provide any support for her weight. She was going to have to crawl off backwards.

"I apologise in advance Chakotay."

"For what?"

Her only response was to push herself backwards, doing her best to avoid any contact with his body parts. She'd already given him one concussion today and didn't want to add to his list of injuries.

Kathryn's plan hit a snag when her top did just that. "Dammit."

"What is it?" he queried in a tired voice, his head moving slightly.

"This stupid top has gotten stuck on something." Muttering to herself, she leant closer to the bed again to put less pressure on whatever it was she was snagged on and reached down with her hand to try and separate her top. She swore softly, hoping Chakotay didn't notice. Finally her impatience got the best of her and she quickly and viciously pulled away from the bed.

The sound of ripping material echoed through the room, and both remained absolutely silent. Kathryn stared down, mouth agape, at her ruined top. Thankfully Chakotay's back was still towards her.

Chakotay cleared his throat before finally speaking. "Was that what I think it wa-"

"Not another word. And you'd better not turn around."

Somehow he managed to shrug. "Wouldn't dream of it." Kathryn shot him a look that if he'd seen it he would have read as "Yeah, right." He continued speaking. "But you have to admit, it would be one hell of a Christmas present."

Her mouth opened again at his audacity. "The *only* reason I am letting you get away with that comment is because you've recently had a concussion."

"Which you caused..."

"Be quiet."

"Yes Ma'am."

Standing up, Kathryn bent over and tried to pull the material of her top from his bed, but it wouldn't buge. Whatever it was caught on, it wasn't moving any time soon.

Chakotay apparently heard her exhertions. He pointed his left hand in the general direction of the closet. "There's a blanket in there. Use that."

"Oh. Thanks." Releasing her hold on the material, she advanced on the closet, trying to futily pull what was left of her top around her. Neelix was going to wonder just what had happened to the outfit...which reminded her. She had to think of a suitable punishment.

Reaching the closet, she opened it and looked at the blankets on the top shelf. There was a standard Starfleet-issue blanket, but next to it was a more traditional looking blanket. Clearly not Starfleet issue, it was brown in colour with figures of men and women covering it. She chose that one.

Wrapping it around herself, she looked back towards Chakotay. He hadn't moved, and was still lying where the bed had broken. She opened her mouth to tell him she'd see him at the party tonight when she heard him snore.

Spotting the box Neelix had asked her to deliver, she considered picking it up but decided not to tempt fate. Instead she picked up the small piece of paper that had fallen from the box and read the words again. Clutching the paper in her left hand and holding the blanket closed with her right, she left his quarters. Despite her best attempts not to, she smiled.


By Kathryn's estimates, twenty per cent of the Voyager crew were already drunk by the time she arrived at the holodeck for the party. For the occasion the Sandrine's programme had been resurrected with a few festive touches here and there, the most obvious being a Christmas tree where the pool table used to be. The first distinctive words she heard upon entering were Tom's. He was complaining about the lack of a pool table. She had to say she agreed, even though the Christmas tree was beautiful.

A few crewmembers greeted her but most were enthralled with their own conversations. She didn't mind. It was good for her sometimes to just walk among her crew. Besides, there were only two crewmembers she was interested in finding tonight. One of them, she was sure, would be doing his best to avoid her. She found the other crewmember on the opposite side of the tree, holding up Naomi so she could reach a candy cane from the top of the tree.

The young girls eager fingers wrapped around the piece of candy and pulled it from the branch it was hanging on, so Chakotay carefully lowered her to the ground. As soon as her feet came into contact with the floor, she spun around and threw her arms around Chakotay as best she could.

"Thank you Commander Chakotay!"

"You're welcome Naomi. And Happy Christmas."

"You too!" she exclaimed before running off.

Kathryn watched Chakotay smile at the young girl with a smile of her own.


He jerked his head around in surprise and his smile grew. "Captain! May I say you look lovely."

She grinned, strangely not feeling embarrassed. "Yes you may, as long as I can return the compliment."

Chakotay shrugged easily. "Of course you can. Far be it from me to not accept a compliment from a superior officer."

She rose an amused eyebrow at him.

If possible, his smile became even bigger. "I just remembered something! Excuse me for a moment."

She blinked at his sudden departure, but he soon returned holding two presents. They were both wrapped up, but one of them looked distinctly like...

It was only then that she realised she hadn't received a present from anyone. Not even while doing the rounds for Neelix. She frowned.

"Excuse me, can I have your attention please!"

The conversations lowered to a dull murmur as they turned at the sound of Chakotay's voice. "Thank you. Now, we all know it's Christmas and I'm sure most of you have found your 'mystery presents' delivered by an anonymous source." They were low agreements and even some slight applause. Chakotay continued. "I have two presents here that are not in the least bit anonymous. All I can say is...they will be going to the people who most deserve them." He cleared his throat. "Neelix?"

Kathryn's head whipped around, trying to spot the Talaxian. Eventually he appeared behind the bar, apparently having been hiding under it. Kathryn didn't move. She just stood there with her arms crossed over her chest and her glare set on 'death'.

Neelix didn't look at her at all, although from his expression he knew he was being watched.

"Umm...yes?" he asked Chakotay as he stood next to him.

"These are for you." Chakotay told him, handing over the smaller of the presents. Tearing the paper from around the present, Neelix soon discovered that he had been given a pair of plastic safety goggles.

He stuttered in confusion. "But...what...why?"

"Just put them on," Chakotay assured him. Neelix did as was suggested.

"And now, if the Captain can step forward..."

Utterly bewildered, Kathryn stood at the other side of Chakotay who handed the remaining present to her. She eyed it carefully. "Is this what I think it is?"

"Not quite," he told her, barely contained humour evident in his eyes.

Ripping off the paper in record time, she soon saw it was exactly what she thought it was. A compression phaser rifle. But it looked slightly different..."What have you done to it?"

His grin exploded onto his face with full force. "Tell me Captain...have you ever heard of something called...paint ball?"

An evil grin spread across her face in less than a nanosecond. "Oh you *haven't*..."

But he had and proceeded to confirm it by speaking again. "Computer: open holodeck doors."

They appeared immediately upon his command, and he stepped from between her and Neelix. "You are a hunter. He is your prey."

Neelix stared at her with a mixture of fear and shock, eyes wide behind the safety goggles.

Never one to turn down a good opportunity for revenge, Kathryn pointed the rifle at Neelix, flicked off the safety, and said one word:



Go to the sequel.

Sign My Guestbook.

Suz's Voyager Fanfic