Title: The Prince
Author: Leone
Rating: [PG]
Codes: C/P, K/T, AU
Archive: Yes, if you want to
Feedback: tarrashenna@yahoo.com
Disclaimer: Everything Star Trek belongs to Paramount, not me.
This story along with any other characters belongs to me,
though. Oh, and I'm not making any money on this.

Summary: See part 1

Thanks to my twin for helping me with Tom and B'Elanna's
cravings. Every one of them was her idea.

Warning: This is about a relationship between two men. If you
don't like that, don't read it.


The Prince
By Leone

Part 23

Present day...

The beeping of his comm badge brought Tom out of his trance.
He reached over to the bedside table and tapped it. "Paris here."

Harry Kim's voice answered him. "Captain, we've located an
uninhabited M class planet nearby."

Tom sighed quietly and sat up in bed. "I'm on my way, Harry,"
he said. As soon as Harry acknowledged this, Tom cut the link,
stretched and got up. He went into the bathroom to use the head
and freshen up, then he left his quarters and headed to the

He arrived on the bridge five minutes later and went straight
over to stand beside Harry at Ops. "Okay, Harry, tell me what
you've got," he said quietly.

Harry indicated the sensor readings. "Long range sensors indicate
that this planet has the minerals we require. They also show
signs that there's plenty of food, so we should be able to get
everything on Neelix's list." Harry looked at Tom, and added,
"Of course, we need to be closer to the planet to get a positive
confirmation of the readings."

Tom nodded in agreement before asking, "How long will it
takes us to get there?"

Harry checked his console. "It'll take two hours at warp three."

Tom nodded again, then turned to address Baytart. "Helm, take
us to that planet, bearing two-one-five, mark five-zero. Warp

"Aye, Captain," Baytart acknowledged as he made the course
adjustments. "Bearing two fifteen, mark fifty. Warp three."

When the course had been changed, Tom moved towards the
Captain's Ready Room, saying, "Harry, you have the bridge.
Call me when we arrive."

Harry looked up from his console. "Aye, Sir," he said with a

Tom smiled slightly. He knew that Harry still wasn't completely
comfortable being in command. Hell, *he* wasn't particularly at
ease with his role as Acting Captain.


Two hours later, Tom sat in the Captain's Ready Room, going
over the latest pile of reports, when Harry's voice sounded over
his comm badge. "Captain, we have arrived at the planet."

Tom put down the PADD he was reading, and rose from the
desk. "I'm on my way," he responded and left the Ready Room.

Walking out onto the bridge, Tom looked at the planet on the
view screen. He lifted an eyebrow, noticing how much the
planet resembled Earth, then turned to Ops. "Harry, I want you
to do a complete sensor sweep of the planet," he said and sighed
softly before continuing. "Let's make sure there's nothing harmful
down there. I don't want a repeat of what happened on the
last planet we were on," he added.

"Yes, Sir," Harry acknowledged and touched his panel, starting
the sensor sweep. "It'll take about nine hours," he informed the
Captain, anticipating Tom's next question.

Tom smiled slightly at Harry's foresight. "All right, then I'll
expect you to have a report ready at the daily staff meeting tomorrow
morning," he said and went back to the Ready Room
without waiting for Harry's acknowledgement. He knew that his
Third in Command would have the report ready by morning, and
Tom still had a few reports to finish before dinner.


A few hours later, Tom sighed and put the last report down, then
called for the time.

"The time is 1730 hours," the computer replied blandly.

Tom's eyebrows rose. The reports had taken longer to finish
than he'd thought they would. Then again, B'Elanna had finished
some of her reports and sent them to him. He'd had to go
through them. {Oh well,} he thought. {At least I spent the last
few hours sitting down. That ought to please Doc.}

Tom stretched, then reached over to turn off the terminal before
he rose to his feet and left the Ready Room. When he called for
B'Elanna's location, the computer informed him that she was in
the First Officer's office. Tom smiled at that and went to get her.

Arriving at the office door, Tom rang the chime and waited for
his First Officer to answer. It only took a moment. Tom entered
the office and saw that B'Elanna was busy with reports, just as
he'd suspected.

He stood in silence for a moment, waiting for her to acknowledge
his presence. When nothing happened, he cleared his
throat, causing her to look up from the report she was reading.

"Tom," she said in greeting and put the PADD down.

Tom smiled. "Hi, B'Ela. Still going over reports, I see," he said.

"Yes." B'Elanna sighed deeply. "Have I told you how much I
hate you for sticking me with this job?"

Tom chuckled. "Once or twice." Then he turned serious. "But
you can quit working now. It's time for dinner," he stated. He
held up a hand to forestall her protest. "Captain's order, so either
you come with me willingly, or I call Doc. Then it'll be *his*

B'Elanna grumbled under her breath, but turned off her terminal
and rose from the desk. She knew that Tom was serious, and
didn't really want to have him disturb the doctor. For a hologram,
he could be damn annoying. Not to mention that he was
busy testing the latest serum for the virus. {Kahless, I hope this
serum works,} she thought when she noticed how tired Tom
looked. {We really need things to get back to normal around
here. Tom needs sleep. I need sleep. Harry needs sleep. Hell,
*everyone* needs sleep.}

When Tom cleared his throat again, B'Elanna snapped out of
her musings and smiled. "Okay, let's go to the mess hall and
find out what Neelix calls dinner today."

Tom laughed at this, and as they left the First Officer's office
and headed for the nearest turbolift, he said, "Actually, Neelix's
cooking hasn't been so bad lately."

B'Elanna nodded her agreement. "You're right," she said as
they waited for the 'lift to arrive. She turned her head to smile
mischievously at Tom. "Either his cooking has improved, *or*
our tastes have changed due to our pregnancies."

Tom snorted. "Well, as I haven't heard any complaints from the
rest of the crew, I'll assume that his cooking has gotten better."
As he finished speaking, the turbolift arrived and they went inside.

"Deck two," B'Elanna called, then turned to look at Tom again.
"You know, you're right. I haven't heard anyone else complain
about the food either."

A speculative gleam entered Tom's eyes. "Or maybe we've just
gotten used to his idea of good food."

B'Elanna considered it for a moment. "Maybe," she conceded.
"Or maybe it's just because he hasn't served leola root lately."
As she finished speaking, the 'lift arrived and the two of them
stepped out and moved the short distance down the corridor to
the mess hall and went inside.

They hadn't taken more than a few steps into the room before
the smell hit them, making them both groan. Tom glared at
B'Elanna. "You just *had* to say that, didn't you?"

B'Elanna sighed as they moved to the counter to get their dinner.
"I really need to think before I open my mouth," she remarked sadly.

Tom's glare faded into a soft smile just as they reached Neelix.
"C'mon, B'Ela. This is hardly your fault," he whispered for her
ears only. When she reluctantly returned his smile, Tom turned
to the chef. "So, Neelix. What's on the menu today?"

Neelix smiled at the Captain and the First Officer. "Leola root
stew, Captain," he answered. "You see, I realized that I hadn't
made that in a while, and thought the crew would appreciate it.
Leola root *is* nutritious, after all." While he was speaking,
Neelix poured a portion each for Tom and B'Elanna, who hid
their grimaces and politely thanked the Talaxian before they
took their trays and moved to a table.

Tom and B'Elanna put their trays on the table and sat down
across from each other. B'Elanna stared at her meal suspiciously
for a moment, then looked at Tom. "I don't think I can eat this,"
she remarked.

Tom locked eyes with her. "You have to," he said seriously. At
her incredulous expression he clarified. "Right now, you and I
are the two most senior officers on the ship. We have to set a
good example."

B'Elanna narrowed her eyes at him. "So, what you're telling me
is that I have to eat this?" She indicated her plate with a poorly
hidden expression of disgust.

Tom nodded. "That's *exactly* what I'm saying." He thought
for a moment, then pushed his chair back and stood, saying,
"Hang on, I have an idea that might help." With that he walked
over to the nearest replicator and placed an order, his voice too
soft for anyone to overhear.

A moment later, he picked up the plate that had materialized
and carried it over to the table. "Here you go," he said with a
smile and put the plate in front of B'Elanna.

B'Elanna looked at the plate, smiling when she saw what was on
it. "What do you expect me to do with that?"

Tom lifted an eyebrow as he sat down. "Put it on the stew," he
said. "Since you put it on everything else, I thought it might

B'Elanna considered Tom's words for a moment, then did as he
suggested. "I don't think it'll really help, but at least it can't
make it worse," she said.

Tom sent her a sceptical look, but didn't comment. He just
watched with a smile, as B'Elanna tasted her food. He'd gotten
used to seeing her put kippers on everything she ate. No one else
would have meals with her. They lost their appetites, but it
didn't really bother him.

Of course, everyone else lost their appetites when they saw him
eating his peanut butter and marshmallow crème sandwiches on
primento loaf bread. Okay, so maybe it looked gross, but it
really didn't taste bad. Anyway, he was pregnant; he was allowed t
o have cravings for weird food.

B'Elanna smiled at him. "Actually, the kippers *do* help the
taste," she told him. She held out her fork to him. "You wanna
taste?" she asked.

Tom shook his head. "No thanks. I'll take your word for it."

B'Elanna shrugged. "Suit yourself," she said and returned to her

"Oh, I will," Tom told her, then started on his own food. He
would never admit it to anyone, but he rather liked leola root

Halfway through his meal, Tom got an idea and looked at
B'Elanna. "I'd like to invite you over to my place when we've
finished dinner," he said. When B'Elanna sent him a questioning
look, he smiled. "I thought I'd replicate us some pickles, a bowl
of strawberry jam and some cream."

B'Elanna's eyes brightened, and she gave him a wide smile. "I'd
love to," she said.

Tom chuckled quietly at her enthusiastic reply. One thing he and
B'Elanna had in common was the craving for pickles dipped in
strawberry jam and smeared heavily in cream. Something they
kept to themselves. The crew found the cravings they knew
about gross enough. No need to tell them about another disgusting

Tom and B'Elanna quickly finished their meals, then rose and
went to dispose of their trays before leaving the mess hall. They
headed for Tom's quarters to get dessert.

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