Very slowly, B'Elanna opened her eyes. She was still sleepy.
There was no alarm clock ringing. It was a rare occurrence that 
she actually had a day off. She smiled. It was even rarer that she and 
the person lying in bed next to her both had a day off at the same 
time, and she intended to make full use of that unique occasion.
Lazily, she turned over to lay on her other side to look at him. Even 
though she was still half- asleep, it only took her the tiniest 
fraction of a second to notice that the hair of the person lying next 
to her was definitely not blond. Suddenly, B'Elanna was wide awake.
"Q!" she yelled as she half-jumped, half-fell out of the bed, 
thanking every god in the universe -- except for Q, if he was one -- 
that she was at least wearing *something*.
Q looked up as if nothing out of the ordinary was going on. "Hello 
there, Engine Girl. Good morning to you, too."

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<<title sequence>>
"The Q-Equation" Niels van Eekelen
written by: Niels van Eekelen
June 1998
owned by: Paramount/Viacom
(Actually, they only think they own Voyager. In truth, the Q-
continuum has complete control over them.)
this story owned by: the writer, who does it all for fun, not profit 
(and, of course, to appease his countless fans.)
Archiving and stuff is fine, just let the writer know. Comments and 
criticisms are more than welcome. And, please, don't blame any of 
this on that poor writer -- he's controlled by the Q as well.
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The Q-Equation
Q/Q = P/T
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"What the hell are you doing here?" B'Elanna yelled. "Where is 
Tom?" This time Q did look slightly surprised.
"Tom?" he spoke, "Paris? You mean Kathy's Jailbird Helmboy was 
supposed to be lying in this bed here? With you?" And he had a wild 
fit of laughter.
Just a few minutes later, Q calmed down. B'Elanna Torres didn't 
calm down at all.
"Oh! I *really* have to look in on this puny little ship in the Delta 
quadrant more often." Q giggled, and wiped the tears of laughter 
from his omnipotent cheeks.
"Are you about ready to tell me what you're doing here?" The chief 
engineer's voice would have made any sentient mortal being tremble 
in fear. "Else I'm going to do something we'll both regret." B'Elanna 
wished she could call the bridge, but her commbadge was still on her 
uniform, which was lying near the door, and she wouldn't let Q get 
out of her sight for a millisecond.
Q held up his hands defensively. "Hey, watch where you put those 
teeth! And" -- for this part, Q donned his saddest face -- "you really 
shouldn't yell at me like that. Have a little pity. The mother of my 
child has thrown me out of the house."
"She did what!"
"I think I just told you. Q threw me out of the Continuum, and then 
she closed it off. I really think I'm not *that* bad a father."
"So you can't get back in?" Why was she even listening to this? She 
didn't care. All she needed to know is where Tom was.
"Exactly," Q answered in mock approval, "now that wasn't too hard 
on your mortal mind, was it?"
"And where is Tom?" B'Elanna raged.
"Well, if he's gone, I suppose he must be in the Continuum," Q said 
indifferently, "though I honestly wouldn't know why Q would think 
he'd make a better father than me. He's only a bi-pedal corporeal 
mortal. I didn't even think she liked him." For a moment, all B'Elanna 
could do was stare at the entity sitting on her bed wide-eyed.

Captain Janeway barely stopped a yawn. It wouldn't do, of course, to 
yawn on the bridge, but this was truly the dullest duty shift in her 
entire career. Maybe she should go to her ready room and read 
reports, so she would at least get *some* excitement.
Then her commbadge chirped. "Torres to Janeway."
"Janeway here. Is there a problem?" the captain replied as she 
snapped fully awake. B'Elanna's voice sounded stressed. If this was 
about something in Engineering, she would... Well, she didn't know 
what she would do, but it would make B'Elanna regret not taking the 
day off as she was supposed to. The woman was as much a work-a-
holic as Janeway herself!
"Kathy!" said Q loudly over over commlink, "it's so good to hear 
your voice. I'm desperately in need of your emotional support!" All 
over the bridge, people groaned. Even Tuvok raised *two* eyebrows.
"Yes, captain," came B'Elanna's reply, "we have a problem."
*I noticed,* thought the captain.
"And it gets worse. Paris has disappeared. Q says he thinks his 
wife took Tom to the Continuum."
"No," interrupted Q calmly.
"Not my *wife*. Q do not marry." There was an indistict and loud 
sound. Janeway and Chakotay looked at each other, their faces 
showing the unspoken question. "Well, that's no reason to hit me!" Q 
sounded outraged. "If I were corporeal, you could have broken my 
Captain Janeway cleared her throat to get their attention. 
"Lieutenant, come to the Conference room. We'll discuss the 
situation there."
Janeway was just getting up from her chair when there was a 
flash of light, and she suddenly was in the conference room. In the 
one glance she had, she could see that her entire senior staff, save 
Lt Paris, was there, even the Doctor. Then she was nearly smothered 
in a bear hug.
"Kathy." It was Q. "It's so good to see you again. Do you want to 
have a baby yet? I'm going to lose my first child to Q at the divorce 
lawsuit, I just know it." With an effort, Janeway got loose.
"Q," she said, "Can you please be serious this once?"
"All right, all right," muttered the almighty entity, throwing his 
hands up in the air, "why do you mortals always have to be so gloomy 
about everything?" For some reason, he looked at Tuvok.
When Q finished explaining the situation, the entire senior staff 
was troubled -- except maybe for the EMH, who was looking around 
with an amazed little smile on his face, and was still wondering 
how Q could have gotten him here without his portable 
Chakotay was the first to speak. "Are you saying that you are 
banished from the continuum, like you were before, and that you 
can't help us get Lt Paris back?"
"Oh, no! I'm not banished. Once was enough, thank you very much. 
No, this is just about one Q. She has a temper, you know. She'll come 
to her senses eventually." The mortals in the Conference room 
heaved a collective sigh in relief. "It won't take her more than a 
century or two, three at most." The general mood turned back to 
desperation, and, in one person in particular, the urge to strangle Q. 
Fortunately, B'Elanna was sitting on the opposite side of the table 
from Q. "Then again, maybe if I could t "Make up your mind, will 
you!" B'Elanna demanded.
"Well, if I can find some way to make it up to Q, she might let me 
back into the Continuum, and I'm sure she'll be happy to get rid of 
your precious lieutenant. She can't get him out of the Continuum 
while she's keeping me out. That's because of the... Never mind, I 
don't want to overburden any of your puny brains."
"So she locked the door." Q looked at Chakotay, who had given the 
simple explanation, for a moment, then shook his head, muttering 
something about "bipedal" and "tiny lifespans".
"Make what up to Q, Q?" Janeway asked suddenly.
The omnipotent being blushed. "Well, I know she told me not to let 
Junior do that, but I'm his father, aren't I? Doesn't that mean I get to 
spoil him?" Janeway sighed.
"And just how do you plan to make this up to Q?"
"Actually, Kathy, I was hoping you and your voyagers can think of 

B'Elanna was pacing up and down her quarters. If the captain could 
have seen her temper flaring, she would have locked the door for the 
safety of the rest of the crew, and the ship as a whole. She wanted 
to stuff the warp core down Q's throat, but she still needed him to 
get Tom back. He expected *them* to think up a way to get back in 
the other Q's favor! He was crazy.
"Think of anything yet?"
B'Elanna turned with a start. Q was sitting on her bed again.
"*You're* omnipotent. You think of something!" Q replied with a 
martyred sigh. Suddenly, he reminded B'Elanna very much of the 
Emergency Medical Hologram.
"I'm not *omnipotent*," Q said, "I'm almighty. There's a difference."
"Well, at least you know Q a bit. She doesn't exactly like me, 
"Who knows what she thinks of you? I didn't think she liked Flyboy 
either, but she chose him, and when she could have had *me*."
"*Don't* remind me." B'Elanna sighed. "Isn't there something Q 
"She's always been fond of Ke'essarian crystal flowers," Q said 
"Then make her a planet full of them!"
Q dismissed the idea with a wave of his hand. "She could do that 
herself, if she wanted."
"Q! She could do *anything* herself! It's all about the *gesture*, 
remember?" Q remained silent for a few moments.
"All right," Q said testily, "I'll try it. It won't work, but I'll try it, 
Ms Know-it-all." He vanished.
B'Elanna sat down at her desk and started to read a report to calm 
her nerves. She was only halfway through it when she realized that 
this was supposed to be her day off. Tom was supposed to be going to 
show her a holoprogram he had been working on for weeks. A 
romantic place in Paris, he had said. She sighed. Maybe the captain 
wouldn't let today count as a day off. She doubted it.
Then, from one moment to the next, Q appeared from thin air, 
sitting cross-legged on the desk right in front of B'Elanna. His face 
was unreadable. She snarled, but managed not to hit the annoying 
entity with the padd she was holding. That would probably have 
ruined the padd.
"Well?" she asked.
"It could have been worse, I suppose."
"What did she say?"
"First, she said -- and I quote -- `Do you honestly think a few shiny 
petals and stems can get you back in? Q, you're an even greater 
imbecile than I thought!' Then she went away for a few minutes, and 
when she returned, she said she would think about it! I doubt if she 
even knows what a simple `yes' or `no' means."
B'Elanna smiled. Could this be Tom's work? B'Elanna *had* gotten 
the it's-all-about-the-gesture crap from him. If she remembered 
correctly, he mentioned it just after he had given her a box of 
Neelix's Talaxian chocolates -- with leola root fillings.
"Good. Now, think of something else she likes and do it all over 
"Again? Don't you think once is about enough?"
B'Elanna sighed. "No, it isn't. You'll have to keep sweet-talking Q 
'till she let's you get back in."
"I'm not *that* desperate. I can wait as long as I have to, after 
"Well I can't!" roared B'Elanna.
"The things I do for mortals," Q muttered under his breath. "All 
right, I'll think of something else. Uhmm... There's that candy, or, no, 
a vegetable that Q says tastes oh so good. What was it called again? 
A root, I think... Leola root! That's it! I should have thought of this 
much sooner. Be right back. I'm going to the Continuum -- or as near 
as I can get, anyway -- at once." He blinked out of B'Elanna's 
The chief engineer sat down hard on her bed and stared wide-eyed 
at nothing. Leola root. She thought she was going to faint. Or at least 
throw up. Of all possible things, leola root! It was horrible. Then 
again, Q might take Voyager's supply of the near-poisonous 
substance to give to the other Q. Pity he had left so quickly, or she 
could have suggested it.
This time, B'Elanna didn't try to find something to keep her busy 
while Q was away -- she knew she wouldn't be able to concentrate. 
She did wonder for a moment if one of her fellow officers had 
thought of anything that could help Q -- and, thus, herself -- but Q 
had probably been harrassing them as much as he had her.
As time passed by, the half-Klingon became increasingly agitated. 
Half an hour. A full hour. Two hours. Two hours and seventeen 
minutes untill Q finally returned, however briefly.
B'Elanna was back to pacing her quarters again when Q reappeared. 
Sitting on her bed cross- legged, for the third time. B'Elanna wished 
that if anybody was going to sit on her bed, it would be Tom. Only 
then did she notice Q's enormous smile.
"My eternal gratitude is yours! And with me, you can take that 
litterally. Goody! Who said you can never go back home. Must have 
been a mortal. It may fit your Voyager, but not me!" And he was gone.
"Wait!" B'Elanna yelled, "Give me back Tom!" But nothing happened. 
She tapped her commbadge.
"Torres to Janeway."
"Go ahead."
"Q convinced Q to open up the Continuum again, but it seems they 
have forgotten Paris altogether."
"Not necessarily." The voice came from the open doorway. Someone 
was standing in it. It was Tom Paris, grin and all. "They may be 
omnipotent, but they did put me in the wrong quarters. Your Mr and 
Mrs Neighbour were *not* happy to be disturbed." He rubbed his neck, 
by which he had been physically forced out of the neighbouring 
quarters. A sudden gleam appeared in his eyes. "Then again, perhaps 
it was a hint." Tom's and B'Elanna's mouths met somewhere halfway 
to the door, as they embraced each other. " "Uh huh," B'Elanna 
"And do you know what I want to do there with you?"
On the bridge, completely forgotten, captain Janeway broke the 
commlink before her face became too red.

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the End
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<<end titles>>
beta-read by: Maaike van Eekelen
copyright 1998
e-mail adress:
My sister's email; she'll pass things on to me.
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(If all goes right, I'll start writing Tom's perspective on these 
events sometime soon.)
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"About the Q. You called them omnipotent, but they're not. They're 
almighty. There's a difference."
"Yeah, that's what the other Q said, too."

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