Title: The Morning After The Night Before
Series: DQL-verse Interludes, Sequel to "I Never"
Codes: VOY; C/K, P/7, JDelaney/Carey
Rating: R (For Adult Situations)
Spoilers: Early Season Six... Welcomes-verse version
Disclaimer: I don't own them, couldn't afford them on the open market. So
I'm playing with them while the real owner is away at school... while
supposedly taking my nap. Just like I used to do with my brother's *real
neat* Star Wars(TM) toys when I was a lil' kiddle.
Notes 1: Character thoughts are in the double forward slashes (//)
Notes 2: I had to write this... the Interlude Muse is visiting again. Now,
if s/he would just bring hir sibling the Series Muse with hir next time.
Summary: Morning after the game of "I Never" in Tom's quarters
Dedication: To everyone who liked "I Never", and those still awaiting
"Excursions"... a year after I posted the teaser version of part one.
Seven cuddles further into Tom's side, whimpering at the chime going off in the other room. She mumbles, "Make them go away." Before Tom can reply, the door chimes again. Seven reaches over and slaps a comm badge. "Computer, identify the person outside the quarters of Ensign Paris."
"Commander Chakotay is outside the quarters of Ensign Paris."
Seven's eyes narrow and she snarls into the comm badge as she opens a channel. "This better be important, Commander. I'm nursing my third hangover, ever, and your chiming is causing the pain in my head to strengthen."
Outside in the corridor, Chakotay blinks in surprise at the feral snarl coming from the channel. He taps his own badge to reply. "But it's..."
The doors open and the wrath of God, in the form of a barefoot, hungover, sleep-tossled, former Borg stands in front of him. She grabs his wrist and tugs him inside the quarters. "I don't care if the Engines need B'Elanna, Joseph, *and* Harrison right now! You are interrupting us on a day we all have off." She stalks back into the bedroom, grateful no one else has awoken.
She tosses him carelessly onto the bed... and grins as he bounces back against Tom. "Computer, lock door and soundproof the bedroom." She plants her feet shoulder width apart and glares at Voyager's First Officer. "You have some nerve coming here at," she glances over to see the time, "0930 hours. We had a party here last night, Commander. No one went home. Do the math!"
Tom snorts and whispers, "Now you're in for it. She's using 20th century colloquialisms."
Chakotay shoots him a quelling look, while Seven grins behind the Commander's back. "You're not helping, Tom."
"Actually, he is. You'd rather I gave you my unedited, hung-over opinion? I can, if you insist."
"I didn't mean..." he says as he turns back to face Seven.
Seven cut the older man off. "Are you *so* overprotective of Harrison that you would feel the need to check up on him when he is staying in the quarters of his best friend? In the company of five other Star Fleet officers and a civilian consultant? When four of us are in committed relationships, and none of us have admitted to wanting Harrison's body? Okay, Jennifer did, but that was before she got together with Joseph, so it doesn't count anymore."
Chakotay tries to speak again, but Seven continues with a finger directly under his nose. "And it's too late to try and apologize. Did you know Harrison was ready to give you away last night? I mean, yes, he was very close to passing out when he made the offer, but it was still made. And I can remember the way you both reacted in the wake of his recent sickness. Great Maker!"
She turns to give Chakotay a glare full of disgust and anger. "And let's not forget that charming episode just after Jennifer and I became friends, shall we? What's the matter, Commander? Cat got your tongue?"
Tom nudges the stunned man on the bed with him. "That's your cue to talk. And I'd launch right into the begging and pleading. She's hung-over, so logic won't work right now."
"Shut up, Thomas, or I'll start in on you next."
Tom hunches in on himself and says, "I'm sorry, Angel."
Seven slithers up the bed and kisses Tom passionately, rubbing her body fully up against his. She smiles as she hears his frustrated moan upon her pulling back from the kiss. She turns to stare at the other man. "Good way to wake him up in the morning. Gets the blood flowing into all the important places."
Tom mumbles, "I'll be hiding in the bathroom now. Come get me when the tirade is over, okay?" Then he stands up and begins to move towards the bathroom.
Seven pulls him down for another kiss. "Don't use all the hot water, okay?" She smacks him on the butt as he passes and she cocks her head to watch him leave. She turns back to face Chakotay and grins at the look on his face. "I lost you back there somewhere, didn't I?"
Chakotay nods and looks at her. "I think right around the time you pushed me onto the bed with Tom."
Seven swings herself over him, straddling his lap, and places her arms around his neck. She speaks, bare centimeters from his left ear. "That's all right. I often leave inferior beings in my superior intellectual dust." She nips his earlobe and then quickly stands up from the bed.
Chakotay blinks in surprise as she acts like nothing happened. //What in the...? Did Seven just come onto me? After lecturing me on being overprotective and ignoring my lover, at the same time?//
Seven gathers the last of the clothing she'll need to face the day. She turns to look over her shoulder, smiling coyly. "You're welcome to join us for breakfast. But, shouldn't you be on duty?"
Chakotay nods in agreement. "I should be. But I wanted to make sure all of you were well."
"All of us! That's *so* sweet!" Seven hurries over and kisses him chastely. "I take back the mean thoughts I had about you last night, when Harrison was drowning in pathos. You should leave though. The others will wake up soon enough, and I don't think Thomas will welcome you as he changes clothing. Although, he might." She winks at him. "He's a bit of an exhibitionist, you know."
"Actually, I didn't know. He never performs during talent night."
"Childhood trauma. Now, scoot!" She walks to the bedroom door and pushes the open button. "Have a pleasant day, Commander Chakotay." She waits until he leaves the bedroom, then closes the door behind him.
Tom smiles when a pair of lightly callused hands wrap around his waist and a pair of lips caress his right shoulder. "The Commander left?"
Seven leans back and lets her hair get wet from the shower. She tightens her grip around Tom before releasing him and reaching for the hair cleaner. "What gave you *that* idea?"
Tom turns had begins massaging her scalp, working the cleaning agent to a full lather. "The fact you're sharing my shower?"
Seven leans forward and kisses him. "Maybe I wanted to conserve water."
"Us, sharing a shower to conserve water? Yeah, and the sky is what color in your ideal world?"
Seven leans back and rinses her hair, letting her hands rest on Tom's chest. She grins internally at his slight groan of pleasure when they begin to knead his pectoral muscles. Finally rinsing the last of her hair, she leans back up and stops from kissing him by only the space of a breath. "It's blue. The blue of your eyes, Thomas."
Tom closes the space between them and then submerges their bodies beneath the stream of water. "Good answer. But, I still claim you live in your own world." He softens the blow by sealing their lips together in a kiss.
Seven pulls out of the kiss and hands him the hair remover as she begins to clean her skin. Tom accepts the "shaver", moves back out from under the stream of water and begins his morning "shave".
Seven rinses and accepts the hair remover from him as she moves out of the water to begin the final part of her shower. Then Tom rinses his face and body, heading for the shower door. Seven stops him with a final kiss and then lets him leave the enclosure. She waits for him to leave, then she takes her daily five minutes under the pounding water.
She steps out, accepts the towel and kiss from Tom, then she begins to dry herself off. Tom chuckles suddenly, and she raises an eyebrow at him. "We're acting like an old married couple."
"Are we? I do not ever recall my parents showering together."
"And you used the same bathroom as them on the Raven?"
"I had my own bathroom."
"I thought so." Tom tucks his shirt in and kisses her cheek. "Get dressed. I'll rouse the troops."
Seven shakes her head after he leaves and finishes her bathroom routine. Putting on her clothing, she walks into the bedroom, and the main room beyond, in only socks and her normal lounging wear. //Only my fellow DQLs and Thomas have seen me in this outfit. Wonder what the others will think.//
Harry wakes up when the smell of hot coffee reaches his nose. Then his stomach turns over and he lunges towards the bathroom, barely making it in time. He's met on the other side of the bedroom door by Seven and a hypospray. She turns his head enough to efficiently administer the dosage. He smiles. "Thanks."
"All part of the service."
Harry chuckles. "If you say so, Seven. Who ended up winning?"
"I did," she replies as she pulls him out into the main room and shoves him into a chair at the table. She places a mug of coffee before him and says, "Drink."
"What is it with you two and calling me, Ma'am? It's not like I'm the Captain."
Tom kisses the back of her neck and wraps her in his arms, snuggling up to her. "No, you're much cuter than the Captain. And have a much better sense of fashion."
Seven elbows him, but leans her head back against his shoulder. "She's deserving of more respect."
"Shhh! Hung over person over here!"
Seven laughs as Sue Nicoletti crawls to the table and pulls herself into a chair. "That bad?"
"Got an analgesic I could have?"
Seven administers the hypospray and hands her friend a glass of water. "Drink, then I'll give you coffee."
"Mother hen," Sue shoots at her.
"Stubborn mule," Seven returns just as quickly.
"Are you calling me an ass?" Sue's indignation at the insult obvious in her tone.
"Will you two keep it down? It feels like I've been struck by pain sticks, again." B'Elanna moans as she manages to sit up. She staggers to the table and basically collapses into a chair next to Harry, using the younger officer to hold her up. "Don't move too much, Starfleet."
"I wasn't planning on it, Maquis. It hurts too much."
"Pansy." Tom shoots at both his best friends as he hands one water and the other another mug of coffee.
Seven doses B'Elanna with the analgesic so quickly, she only notices when the hiss occurs. Seven backs away and starts her oatmeal at the other side of the table. Tom joins her with his own oatmeal, and smiles when she rubs her thigh against his.
B'Elanna glares at him. "Some of us aren't used to drinking real alcohol."
"Neither am I. But I could have sworn a couple of people I know were swearing up one side of Voyager and down the other that they could handle a night of drinking *real* alcohol."
Harry blares at his best friend. "Shut up, Tom."
Seven smiles at her friends and leans against Tom. "Yes, do so, Thomas. I would like you to live to see your next birthday."
"And what about yours, Seven?"
"What do you think last night was?"
Sue blinks at her friend. "Your birthday was yesterday?"
Seven shakes her head. "Today, actually. But I figured why not spend my birthday recovering, rather than the day after? More efficient."
Sue rolls her eyes to the ceiling. "And we all know your Borg upbringing adores efficiency."
"That's my woman you're maligning with your heresy, Nicoletti."
Sue and Seven both giggle at Tom's tone. Seven elbows him and then kisses his cheek. "I thought you were *mine*, Thomas. Not the other way around."
"Semantics." Then he kisses her on the lips again.
B'Elanna rolls her eyes, finishes her water and reaches for a mug of real coffee. //Coffee. One thing about Tom and Seven, they always manage to serve *real* coffee at their table. At least Seven is good for making Tom save his replicator rations for the important things in life.//
Sue is giggling at the way Seven has climbed into Tom's lap, not caring if she overbalances them. "Let us know how you *really* feel about him, Seven."
Seven pulls away from the kiss and glances at her friend. "You mean the lap crawl isn't obvious. I will endeavor to be more obvious. Slipping him the tongue in the middle of the bridge good enough for you, Susan?"
"It'd be *great* for me!" Tom crows enthusiastically. He stops and caresses the side of her face briefly. "But I think the Mess Hall will have more impact. More people to see us."
Seven rolls her eyes and settles more firmly in Tom's lap. She nuzzles into his hand. "Yes, but 'snogging' you on the bridge will have a higher shock value. Besides, I want to see how the Commander reacts."
Harry's head snaps up from his contemplation of the tabletop. "Why am I suddenly fearing for the sanity of my lover, Seven of Nine?"
"Because you should be, Harrison Kim. The man was here this morning to basically check up on us. I was not kind."
Tom snorts and locks gazes with Harry over Seven's shoulder. "Not kind? She raked the poor man over the coals. Left him dizzy in the wake of her anger."
Sue snorts. "Go Seven! Didya finally tell him what you thought about him?"
"To a certain degree. Then I 'messed with his mind'."
Sue falls to the floor while laughing, and has to hold her head from the pain of the extended laughter. She finally sobers up and says, "You mean you didn't tell him he's a leering, sexist, egomaniac?"
"No. I lectured him about the way he has been treating Harrison recently. There comes a point when protectiveness becomes rampant *over-protectiveness*. Commander Chakotay crossed that line some time ago. Especially when Thomas and myself are involved." She pauses and cocks her head sideways. "It's almost as if he fears something happening between Thomas, Harrison, and myself. Which is utterly ludicrous."
"No it's not," B'Elanna mutters into her coffee.
Harry's head snaps over to look at the woman leaning into him. "Yes, it is, B'Elanna. If Tom and I were sexually attracted to one another, wouldn't we have acted it on it back in the days when I was the *only* person giving Tom the time of day?"
"Not necessarily, Starfleet. He would have been too afraid to lose his only friend for the lover thing. And by the time that stopped being totally true...." She trails off embarrassed where this was going.
Tom finishes the thought for her. "You and I were already heating up. It's okay, B'Elanna. It's not like Seven doesn't know we were involved."
"And I'm proud to say I managed to win him anyway. I never believed he was serious. Took that evil plotting to utterly dazzle my senses and sweep me off my feet before I did."
Sue smirks then. "See? Told ya she was a push over for romantic gestures. So, what do you have planned for today, Tommyboy?"
"I plan on ending your life if you don't quit calling me that, Susie Q."
"Sticks and stones, Flyboy."
"They are quite nice," Seven put in. She smiles when everyone turns to look at her. "What?"
Sue and B'Elanna exchange glances, while Harry snorts. Tom finally answers his girlfriend. "You're quite... earthy while hungover, Seven. We're not used to it."
"Ah, you are uncomfortable with me voicing the thoughts I normally hide within my mind. I will make an effort to not speak them aloud again."
That causes a round of blinking. Tom gapes at her, then forcibly closes his mouth. "You think these kinds of things?"
Seven wraps her arms more fully around Tom, and cuddles into him. "I am dating you, Thomas. I count Susan, Megan, Jennifer, Neelix, and Harrison among my closest friends. I was bound to stop being the naive innocent everyone takes me for some time."
Sue moans and puts her head on the table. "We've created a monster."
"I am merely endeavoring to become more human," Seven sniffs indignantly.
Tom grabs her face and brings it to his, their breaths co-mingling. "If you were any more human, Angel, I'd have a heart attack at least twice daily."
"What? When we go to bed and get up in the morning?"
Tom kisses her lightly. "I was thinking along different lines, but those will do."
"Do you two *ever* stop?" A voice from the direction of the main room speaks.
Seven and Tom break apart and look over at Megan slowly getting to her feet. Seven smiles at the picture she normally sees of her friend, tired eyes and her hair all akimbo. "Of course we do. Over 80% of the ship's population is still unaware that we are intimate at a level beyond close friendship."
"And I think you should stop that. There's people who're ready to make a play for either of you in a heartbeat. You need to show the crew you're committed to each other." Megan grabs her head and winces. "Too many important thoughts, head hurts. Got an analgesic?"
Seven hops off of Tom's lap and quickly doses her friend. "Better?"
"Yeah. Can I get some water, or fruit juice? I think coffee would make me puke this morning."
Seven slides a glass of apple juice over to her friend and quickly resumes her position in Tom's lap. She snuggles into him. Megan smiles at the pair, noticing the way the others at the table keep glancing over at Seven. //Say hello to earthy Seven. Bet they never realized she was so, *WOW* when hung over. Wonder what she did.//
"You planning on doing anything today, Megan?"
Megan looks over at Sue. "Besides trying to plot a way to get even with Seven for how she celebrated my birthday? Not a bit. Why? You want to do something today, Sue?"
"Well, that answers my question. You knew it was Seven's birthday, today."
"It's a matter of public record, Sue. And don't you usually plot to find out everyone's birthdays, anyway?"
"Usually. I just forgot about Seven for some reason."
Harry reaches over and pats Seven on the forearm. "There, there, dear. It's actually a little frightening to get the full-on 'Nicoletti Birthday Celebration Experience'. I nearly went into shock the first time it happened."
"See? I *deserve* to put up with it! I'm her friend! We sing good two-part together and I can drink her under the table."
Sue starts laughing then. "Tell ya what, Seven. I'll give you a bang-up half birthday celebration in six months. And today I'll just get everyone to leave you and Tom alone."
"This is acceptable. You have my permission to celebrate the actual day of my birth in such a manner."
"Glad you approve, Seven. Now, what do you have planned, Tom?" Sue looks over at the man sitting beneath her friend.
Tom grins at her. "That's for me to know, Seven to find out, and you to wonder about incessantly, Nicoletti."
Sue licks her lips and smiles lasciviously. "Is it bigger than a baby's arm?"
B'Elanna spits coffee all over the table and glares at her subordinate. "That was not something I need to think about over my morning coffee, Nicoletti."
"It's not my fault you're a gutter-mind. And it's Sue or Susan, as we're off-duty and in Tom's place, *B'Elanna*."
Harry shrugs his shoulder, thoroughly jostling B'Elanna and earning him an evil look. "Yeah, Maquis, get with the program."
"You're all going to be dead in a minute if you don't pipe down," Jenny mumbles from the vicinity of Joe's shoulder.
Jenny sits up, pushes her hair out of her face and glares at her sister. "Shut up, Megan Valerie Delaney! It's making my head ache."
"I will when you admit *it*, Jennifer Ann Delaney."
Jenny rises slowly and shuffles to the table, sitting as far from her sister as she can manage. "I have *never* admitted to *that*, sister dear. Why ever would I start now?" Jenny leans over and kisses Seven on both cheeks. "Happy hatch day!"
Seven grins at her best friend, then raises an eyebrow. "Hatch day?"
"I've always been of the opinion that anyone crazy enough to voluntarily know me and Meggie in a more than casual manner, which you have as you're my best friend, has got to have been hatched. They're too abnormal to have been born."
Laughter fills the quarters of Tom Paris and Joe Carey finally wakes up. He looks over at the others, noting to himself how everyone seemed to be in pain. "Who won?"
"The birthday girl," Sue answers non-chalantly.
"Oh, okay." He gets up and heads for the table, then does a double-take when the news sinks in. "Birthday girl?"
"That would be me, Joseph."
Joe leans over and kisses her hand. "Happy birthday then, Annika Hansen, aka Seven of Nine. And how old are you, little girl?"
She smiles at him and replies, "I'm as old as my tongue, and a little older than my teeth."
Megan snorts and throws a napkin at her friend. "Someone's been watching vids again."
Seven sing-songs back, "Someone's been encouraging me!" She notices the wince Joe has upon sitting, and quickly heads over to dose him with the analgesic. With a quick hiss of the hypospray, his pain seems to fade. "How does your head feel now, Joseph?"
"Smaller. But, it still feels like my skull is trying to expand while the skin is trying to contract."
"Ah, hangovers. You gotta love them."
Joe shoots Harry an evil look. "I don't 'gotta' love anything, Harry."
"Children, please stop talking so loud. It just makes the pain worse." Seven says, her tone becoming nearly maternal.
"Yes, Seven." Harry and Joe say together. Everyone laughing at their antics.
Jenny kisses Joe's cheek. "And that statement from earlier? I ask that an addendum be added to it. You've got to love *me*."
Joe grabs her and pulls her into his lap. "I agree to your proposed addendum." Then he kisses her tenderly.
"Oh my god! It's catching!" Sue grabs Megan's hand and pulls her towards the door. "Come on, Megan, let's get out of here before *we* catch it!"
Megan lets herself be pulled out of the door with only a, "Have a good day! I'll see you tomorrow, Seven!"
Harry manages to lift B'Elanna from her chair and heads towards the door himself. "Come on, Maquis, I'll take you home."
"You promise? I mean, I don't think I can get home, the world's spinning too fast for my liking."
"If you puke, make sure to turn your head away from me, okay?"
"Sure thing, Starfleet. It wouldn't do to dirty my rescuer, would it?"
"No, it wouldn't."
The doors close behind them and the remaining people smile at each other. Jenny leans against Joe's shoulder. "I think we scared them away. Must have been something we said."
Tom smiles at her. "I think it was something *you* did actually, Jen."
"Oh well, be all technical and logical on me. I'm hungover, Tommyboy, take some pity on me."
"Why? You wouldn't be."
"Yes, but I'm a bitch."
Seven hands both Joe and Jenny glasses of water. "Drink this. Then I will give you something else."
"Shouldn't we be doing this for you? It *is* your hatch day."
"But I'm more awake and in much less pain than you are, Jennifer."
"Yeah, yeah. What are you planning to do for your birthday?"
"I am planning on a pleasant lunch with my 'little sister', and whatever Thomas has planned."
"Tell Naomi, 'Hi!' from me, okay? I haven't had time to hang out with her much recently."
"That I will, Jennifer. What are *your* plans today?"
"Besides sleeping off the effects of last night, nothing. Why?"
"I think I should tell you that the Commander was here this morning."
"Tuvok or Chakotay?"
"What did *he* want?"
"I'm not entirely sure. I let my anger out. I mean he *did* wake me up."
"Ah! He is *so* asking for it! Can I think up suitable tortures?"
"You may do whatever your heart desires, Jennifer."
"Good, I was thinking about ravishing my boyfriend. Glad I have your permission, Seven."
"TMI, Jen. *WAY* TMI."
"Oh shut up, Tommyboy. Now, I need to get my poor, abused boyfriend back to his quarters. He looks ready to collapse. Later!" Jen skillfully maneuvers Joe out of the chair and out the door.
Seven smiles as the last of their guests leave. She surveys the quarters. "It looks like a band of small children hit this place."
Tom begins to clean up the table and looks over at her. "You mean that isn't what caused this?"
Tom puts the last of the breakfast things in the replicator and lets them be recycled. He then walks over and hugs Seven. "I always thought so."
She lets her eyes close as he nuzzles the side of her neck. "What *are* your plans for tonight?"
"Nu-uh. You have to work harder than that, Angel. I will only tell you this: you'll like the surprise."
"I love nearly every surprise you have performed in the past, Thomas. But I can still be wary about one for my birthday, right?"
"Of course. Even if your fears have no basis in reality."
Seven turns and wraps her arms around his neck. "I love you. You are my anchor."
Tom cradles the side of her face in his right hand. "And I love you. You are the light in my darkness."
"Sap," she teases.
"Romantic," he corrects as he kisses her again.