by Suz firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer - characters belong to Paramount, although they usually aren't this happy.
For Sharese again, who needed a happy story after getting depressed about 'In The Flesh'. Can't say I blame her.
And also for Rebecca, who asked me to write a happy story.
Kathryn Janeway, quite surprisingly for early Monday morning, was in a particularly good mood. Maybe Neelix had put some kind of wonderdrug in their meals last night but everyone seemed to be happy. It wasn't exactly rare - most of the time they tried to be optimistic. But as often happened one of them would be out of sorts about something, or they'd become depressed about their situation. Naturally, in a community as small as the one they were living in, their mood would brush off on everyone else.
And yet for some undefinable reason, everyone Kathryn had encountered so far this morning had been in a good mood. It was as if happiness permeated every room, bulkhead and conduit of the good ship Voyager. As a Captain, and as a woman, it was something she longed for.
Entering the briefing room and seeing all of her command staff present...and smiling...her mood rose to excellent. Especially when Chakotay grinned right at her.
Returning his smile, then sending one in everyone's general direction, Kathryn sat in her chair and began the meeting. Usual ships business came first - status reports, crew morale. That was when Neelix piped up.
"Actually, I have some excellent news Captain."
Turning to face the Talaxian, Kathryn felt happiness bubble up inside her stomach. What else could make this day more perfect? "Go ahead Mr Neelix."
He sat forward slightly, eager anticipation all over his face. "Well, it took me five years to make it happen but I have finally - FINALLY - managed to make Leola root grow in the airponics bay."
Under any other circumstances, on any other day, Kathryn might have been depressed. Or at the very least dishearted. But right now she was too happy to think that it mattered. In fact she found it hilarious. Laughing slightly, Kathryn leaned across the table to touch Neelix's forearm lightly and said, "That's wonderful news Neelix." knowing she'd probably think the opposite at some point in the future.
He beamed in pride, drawing from her happiness and adding it to his own.
Sitting back in her chair, Kathryn asked about engine efficiency.
For once the chief engineer didn't have her arms crossed against her chest. Instead she lounged in the chair and kept eyeing Tom who was sitting to her left. Kathryn decided to let her get away with it.
"More good news Captain - efficiency is up to 99%."
Kathryn's eyes went wide. "How on Earth did you manage that?"
B'Elanna smiled and looked at Chakotay. "Actually you can thank your First Officer for that one."
Turning to her right, Kathryn regarded Chakotay. "Is this true? And why didn't I hear about it until now?"
He shrugged, almost embarrassed and pointed to the padd in front of her that until now she hadn't noticed. "All the information's there."
Shaking her head slightly and smiling she insisted "But you could have *told* me Chakotay. Congratulations should go where they are due."
Again he shrugged, this time with a cheeky grin. "I don't like to blow my own trumpet."
Kathryn couldn't help it. The mood, the timing, the humour...it was perfect. She was vulnerable. She spoke. "Well you'd be a very talented man if you could!"
Both Kathryn's and Chakotay's faces went red as the rest of the command staff looked on in amazement, some shaking their heads and patting their ears to actually confirm that they had heard what they thought they had heard.
Mortified, Kathryn's hand started to make its way up to cover her mouth as she avoided looking at Chakotay completely. When she realised what she was doing, she managed to redirect the hand so she ended up rubbing it over the front of her neck.
She couldn't believe she had said it. Couldn't believe it.
Staring at the padd, keeping her head lowered, she tried to ignore the gaze of everyone that she knew would be fixed on either her or her First Officer. Starting to open her mouth to say "Moving on..." she was interrupted when Tuvok of all people said something.
"Not only would the Commander have to be a very talented man, he would also have to be a contortionist."
They lost it then. Everyone broke into laughter and guffaws over the fact of what their Captain and then Tuvok had said. Everyone except Tuvok and Seven, obviously.
Harry and Tom began wiping their eyes as they continued chuckling. The Doctor laughed delightedly. Seven looked baffled and then spoke.
"I fail to see what blowing the Commanders trumpet has to do with being a contortionist."
Kathryn squealed and placed her hands over her stomach, fearful that the contents might spill out from laughing so hard.
Chakotay's face had gone even redder and as he lifted his hand to rub his eyes he came to a conclusion. He wanted...revenge.
Slowly moving his hand back down, he glanced around the table. He had to time this just right. Just as everyone was beginning to calm down, just as Kathryn chuckled for the last time, he spoke,
"You really should ask the Captain for advice Seven. From what I know she could give lessons on how to blow my trumpet."
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