Title:  And Today's Lunch Topic...
Author:  Julie Evans
Contact:  Juli17@aol.com
Series:  Voyager
Codes:  P/T by reference
Rating:  PG13
Parts:  1/1
Date posted:  04/15/00
Summary:  What do some of the other crewmembers on Voyager think of the P/T relationship and whether/how it works or doesn't work?  This short conversation in the mess hall takes place late in the 6th season, say sometime after the events in  "Good Shepherd."

Archive:  Okay to archive to the ASC, BLTS, PTCollective Archive and PTF Archive.  All others please ask author for permission.

Disclaimer:  Star Trek and its characters belong to Paramount/Viacom.  I am borrowing them for fun, not profit.

"And Today's Lunch Topic..."
  by Julie Evans

"What is it with them anyway?"



"Oh.  *Them.*  You should have used the emphasis the first time."

"I just don't get it."

"Don't get what?  *Theeem*?"

"Funny.  But yeah.  How has it ever lasted this long?"

"I've wondered that too.  When they first got together, I thought it was one of those physical chemistry things."

"You mean you thought they'd have wild uncontrollable sex with each other for a few months, and that would be it?"

"Pretty much."

"I never thought they would get together in the first place.  They're so much alike."

"They are?"

"Are you kidding?  The two most volatile people on this ship?"

"I don't think they're that much alike.  She's intense and a workaholic, and he can be relied on to make a joke about anything, no matter how grim the situation."

"When we were first on Voyager, I thought Harry might make a play for her."

"Harry Kim?"

"Sure.  They were good friends from the beginning, and he has such a calm personality.  Just the opposite of hers."

"I don't know.  They always seemed more like brother and sister to me.  No spark.  She used to call *him* a pig.  Now that's spark."

"Spark isn't everything you know."

"Maybe not, but without it what do you have?"

"I could have sworn a couple of times in the early days that *he* was making a play for the captain."

"The captain?"

"He did flirt with her a few times in Sandrine's.  She seemed to find it amusing.  Heck, maybe she was even flattered."

"The man can definitely flirt.  But he did that to every woman on the ship."

"Except Kes.  He had moon eyes for her at one time."

"She was the only person who was nice to him at the beginning, besides Harry.  Maybe he appreciated that, even if he acted like he *wanted* everyone to hate him."

"Yeah.  One of the reasons I started to thaw toward him back then was because he didn't try to take Kes away from Neelix.  At least he respected her that much.  But I always wondered what might have happened if she hadn't been with Neelix."

"What about Chakotay?"

"And *HIM*?"

"Not him.  *Her.*  She was completely loyal to Chakotay in the Maquis.  I always wondered if they were more than friends at one time."

"She is loyal, but he's more like a father to her.  Or maybe an older brother.  Even if she wanted more than friendship at one time, I'm sure he didn't."

"So, no matter how you look at it, it was fate."




"Don't start."

"Maybe it was fate that got them together, but what keeps them together?  Not shared interests."

"He likes Klingon culture, doesn't he?"

"Not as much as he likes those holodeck programs he's always running.  First Captain Proton, now Fair Haven."

"I kind of like Fair Haven."

"*She* obviously doesn't.  Have you ever seen her there?"

"Uh, now that you mention it--"

"No, you haven't.  That's *his* thing.  He's so into his holoprograms, and where is she?  He pays no attention to her.  Sometimes he can be a real jerk."

"You don't know that she *never* goes to Fair Haven.  And apparently she likes his hockey program."

"He's not all that bad.  Besides, haven't you noticed that she can be a real bitch when she's on the warpath about something?"

"You wanted to know where *she* is most of the time?  Well, have you ever seen her list of pet engineering projects?

"I have.  There must be about fifty of them."

"I've seen her still in engineering when I've gotten off second shift.  She's not good at delegating, I can tell you that."

"Are you complaining?  Would you like to be in engineering working until all hours on one of those projects of hers?"

"Heck, no.  Though one of those projects of hers might get us home some day."


"Okay, so she's always in engineering, and he's always on the holodeck.  When do they ever do anything together?"

"Always might be a bit of an exaggeration."

"They eat meals here together."

"Not today."

"No kidding.  We wouldn't be talking about them if they were *here,* would we?"

"And we know they do at least one other thing together."

"Yeah.  And considering how loud they are, that part must be great."

"How could it not be?  She's half-Klingon, and he could write a book based on the scope of his experience.  So I've heard."

"But is good sex enough to sustain a relationship for...what, nearly three years now?"





"There's more to it than that anyway."

"Like what?  Nothing much I can see."

"Maybe you're not looking hard enough."

"Oh, really?  Feel free to enlighten us all."

"Remember a few months ago when the shuttle he restored took over his mind?  After the doctor untangled that neural interface from his brain, she took two days off from engineering.  That's TWO WHOLE DAYS.  She's rarely gone for twelve hours by choice."

"Maybe she cares about him more than he cares about her."

"I don't think so.  He was off the bridge the entire time she was going through that Klingon afterlife thing.  I never understood how she could even consider doing something like that, letting the doctor all but kill her.  I can't imagine he was in favor of it either, but he never left her side."

"You're right.  And remember when that disgusting slug thing was attached to her?"

"It was an alien lifeform."

"Whatever.  It was gross.  I got a glance at it while I was delivering some repaired scanners to sickbay.  He was really upset, which was hardly surprising.  He yelled at the doctor to do something."

"I passed him in the corridor once when that was going on.  In fact he almost walked right into me.  He didn't apologize; he didn't say anything.  He didn't even *see* me."

"Personally, I think he's the one who's had to put up with a lot.  She was unbearable in engineering for weeks that one time, maybe a couple of months.  You know she more or less dumped him then, but he still took her back."

"She was *depressed.*  That's not something that can be controlled."

"And apparently he didn't even notice how bad it was, until after the fact."

"I'm sure he noticed something.  But she hid it well.  That's something she's good at."

"Not as good as he is.  I wonder how she can ever tell when he's serious.  If he ever is serious."

"They've probably learned to read each other pretty well by now."

"Probably.  Still, I've always liked a guy who is willing to do the little things for me."

"Like giving you flowers?  Have you heard that Cara Manuel banned him from the hydroponics bay for life?"

"For life?  She can't do that."

"Well, she tried.  She got tired of him single-handedly stripping all the rose bushes.  She told him he'd have to start using replicator rations if he wanted any more roses."

"How many rations do you think *she* used to make that television for him?"

"Too many as far as I'm concerned.  I'm not into that twentieth century junk."

"I am.  I think the television is pretty cool."

"Point is, they probably do more for each other than we notice.  They're not in the public eye every moment."

"Well, all I can say is every time I do see them together, they're arguing."

"Yeah, but they do seem to enjoy it."

"I guess you'd need a holocamera in their quarters to really know everything that goes on between them."

"Yuck.  I'm not a voyeur.  And I'm not sure I'd want to know *everything,* not when it comes to them."

"I meant what they say to each other in private, and what they do in their quarters besides *that.*  But now that you mention it, I bet one could learn a few new things observing them, if what I've heard about Klingons is true."

"Oh, please.  Let's not get on that subject again."

"Yes, let's just leave it at the sex must be great.  And they do things for each other.  If one of them is hurt, the other sticks like glue.  I guess that's reason enough they've lasted this long."

"That, and they love each other."

"I suppose they must."

"You said it before.  They've put up with each other for three years.  He does have his jerk moments, and she can be a bitch and a half when she wants.  Believe me, they love each other.  There can be no other explanation."

"Love's a weird thing, isn't it?"

"It's a pretty forgiving thing."

"No kidding."

"I kind of wish I was in it right now."

"Hey, what time is it?  I don't want to be late getting back to engineering."

"You've got time.  When neither of them show up in the mess hall for lunch, *she's* usually late getting back herself.  You can figure what she's doing."

"Skipping lunch and going straight to dessert?"

"That's one way to--Captain!"

"Uh, hello, Captain.  And, uh, Commander."

"Good afternoon, ma'am.  Sir."

"Captain, we were just--"

"At ease, ensigns.  I didn't mean to interrupt your conversation."

"No problem.  We were just leaving anyway."

"Yes, it's that time, isnt' it?  I've got to get back to engineering."

"And I've got reports to finish filing in astrophysics."

"Goodbye, Captain.  Commander."

"Yes, uh, goodbye, Captain."

"Enjoy your lunch, Captain.  Commander."

(short pause)

"It appears a table has now become available, Captain."

"So I see.  What do you suppose they were talking about, Tuvok?"

"Perhaps you mean 'who'?"

"Perhaps I do."

"When they saw us they exhibited classic signs of human
embarrassment; flushed skin, an avoidance of direct eye contact, and a desire to escape as quickly as possible."

"So you think they were talking about..."

"The usual topic of inexplicably greatest fascination on this ship.  Them."

(short pause)

"Who, Tuvok?"



the end