By Suz suzvoy@yahoo.com

Disclaimer - All hail almighty Paramount for they make more money than I do and can afford a legal battle. Therefore, everyone in this story belongs to them.


He watched her as she pressed the buttons on the console to the right of her seat. It would have seemed normal, even boring if anyone else had been doing it. But it wasn't someone else - it was her.

She turned her head towards him, suddenly aware of where his gaze was. She smiled, the movement like the sunrise. Her eyes twinkled wickedly, knowing exactly why he was staring at her.

Her hair gave off a golden glow under the artificial lights in the bridge. He found it paradoxical that he could find someone who was naturally beautiful even more so when surrounded by machinery. It was almost as if the spirit-less computers enhanced her beauty.

Tuvok's voice briefly disturbed his reverie.

"Captain we are approaching the planet."

She stood. "Slow to impulse Mr Paris."

"Aye Captain."

She took what Chakotay secretly called her 'authority stance'. Whenever she was in command or wanted to show that she was in control, she'd stand with her hands on her hips. That meant she projected two messages. One - don't mess with me, and two - I'm here for you. The combination of her personality and her pheromones sent him some very mixed signals. He preferred the latter message.

He rose out of his seat to stand next to her, using the pretence of examining the planet as an excuse to be close to her.

"Looks friendly enough." he stated obviously.

Kathryn puckered her lips in an attempt not to laugh and crossed her arms across her chest in an unconscious protective movement. It did not go unnoticed by Chakotay.

"That is does." Paris agreed not-so-helpfully.

"Take us into orbit."

"Yes Ma'am."

"Sensors Tuvok?" she asked, turning to her dark-skinned security officer. Her face softened slightly when she faced him, due to all the years they had known each other. The Vulcan probably didn't appreciate it; after all Vulcans disapproved of public displays of affection. In fact they disapproved of any displays of affection. Yet in their unique situation Tuvok was the security chief first and a Vulcan second. He might not approve of human emotions, but he knew how to deal with them.

"I am reading large quantities of foilage. It appears that Mr Neelix was correct. This planet should provide us with a selection of nutritional food."


"Only primitive ones. Nothing that should pose a threat to us."

"Good. At least no emerging cultures will get any unexpected guests when we beam down."

"Great," Chakotay added "you do realise that Neelix is planning to bring up more leola roots?"

Her face briefly transformed into an expression of horror, but then she regathered herself.

"Well....we all have to make sacrifices."

She smiled with a grin that was exclusively for him. They both shared the same sense of humour, and she knew he'd appreciate it more than anyone else.

"Well then Commander, by all means beam down to the surface and survey the area."

"Aye aye Captain." he replied playfully. "Tuvok, Harry, you're with me."

Both left their stations as other crew members took their place.

He let them enter the turbolift first, if only because he would get to look at her for a little bit longer.

Her back was to him, while she was studying the planet. He was almost depressed that he wouldn't see her face once more before he went.

He stepped into the turbolift when her voice called out "Oh and Commander," she turned around and smiled at him. How did she know he needed to see that? "Be sure to keep an eye out for Talaxian tomatoes."

The doors swished shut.

She was........magic.