This is a little something I put together over the Easter Holidays, just for a bit of a giggle. Please note the rating on it. It's rated R. The context of the story is of an adult nature. Although there are no vivid descriptions of sex, it is full of sexual references. It does contain a couple of bad words, however.
Warning: This little tale is best read without ingesting any liquids. You have been forewarned.
Pairings: P/7, P/T, All
Summary: Seven needs help with her Ďpersonal developmentí lessons. She asks Tom to assist her. (humor)
Standard Disclaimer: Voyager and all her crew belong to Paramount/Viacom. No copyright infringement is intended, as this little tale is just for fun. - Oh boy is it.
Tom sat down slowly, sipping from his coffee mug as he did so. He screwed up his nose as he scrolled down the data padd he was holding. He had a conn report to finish, and the way it was going, it would never be done.
He considered handing it in the way it was but could already hear the lecture from Chakotay if he did so. Gritting his teeth, he settled down to work.
He barely heard the swishing of the mess hall doors announcing that he was no longer alone. Taking another sip from his mug, he looked up to see Seven approaching him.
"Ensign Paris," she said in greeting. "Am I disturbing you?"
Tom sighed and set down the data padd. "It doesnít matter. What can I do for you?"
"I require your assistance."
"Oh? Sit down." He waved to the chair across from him and she slowly sat down. He winced as he watched her. It always made him feel uncomfortable whenever she sat down, because SHE always looked so uncomfortable.
However, she was sitting down across from him now, watching him with interest.
"So, how can I help you?"
"I have been continuing my personal development lessons with the Doctor. He has instructed me to read some romance novels and I am becoming - curious - over some of the material contained within them."
"I see. What sort of material?"
"Some of the text is sexually explicit and I am finding myself - inquisitive."
"Oh! Maybe you should ask the Doc. Iím sure that he would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have."
(Jeez - what had the Doc been telling her to read?) He might like to project the image of suave, devil-may-care, man about town, but that didnít mean he wanted to explain to Seven all about the birds and the bees.
"I do not believe the Doctor can help me," she stated. "He is a hologram and although he does show me slides, I wish to see this in a realistic representation."
"Okay. What exactly do you wish to see?" He took another gulp of coffee.
"Your burgeoning erection."
Coffee went flying everywhere. Not only did Tom spit out what he was attempting to swallow, he also knocked over the mug.
Seven calmly stood up and went to get a cloth from behind Neelixís counter, while he battled to breathe again.
She composedly wiped her dripping face, before heading back over to him and cleaning the table in front of him.
"You were surprised by my request," she stated - a little unnecessarily, in his opinion.
"Y-y-you could s-say that," he managed to stammer out. "What the hell?" He stopped suddenly and glared around the room. 'Okay, very funny Har. You can come out now. You got me good."
"Ensign Kim is not here," Seven told him in surprise, going back behind the counter to return the cloth. "Why would you think he would be?"
"Because, this is a joke. Right?"
She shook her head, returning to stand beside him. "In almost all of the novels I have so far read, they all mention a burgeoning erection, more than once."
"They do? What the hell are you reading?"
"At the moment, the novel I am reading is called, ĎLoves Sacred Flowerí. Burgeoning erection is a constant description within the text. This has aroused my curiousity. I believe it is time for me to witness this burgeoning erection for myself."
Tom gulped. "Why mine - um - me?"
"Of all the males I feel comfortable with, I believe yours would be the most burgeoning."
"I see," he croaked out. "Thanks - I think."
"So, you will show me?"
"Um, itís just that - um. I like to keep my burgeoning erections for special occasions."
"I understand. I do not wish to use it. Just to see it and perhaps feel it."
"Feel it?" Tomís voice was a high-pitched squeak.
"Yes, if that is acceptable to you."
Tom shook his head.
"You do not wish to display your burgeoning erection?" She sounded disappointed.
"Um, Seven. Itís not that Iím not - um - highly flattered, but guys donít go around with permanent - um - burgeoning erections - um - to flop out, whenever they feel like it."
He winced at his unfortunate choice of words. There was nothing floppy about what was happening in his nether regions at the moment.
He looked down into his lap. All this talk of burgeoning erections, was having an embarrassing effect. He glanced up to see Seven also inspecting his lap.
"It appears you are indeed ready to show me," she commented.
"You may remain seated if you prefer, but I believe it would be more interesting if you stood. This will not take long."
Damn straight! If this continued any further, it certainly wouldnít take him very long.
He jumped up quickly. "Sorry Seven, I have to go." He ran awkwardly from the room. Where the hell was BíElanna when he wanted her?
Seven watched him leave and sighed in frustration. Ensign Paris could certainly be unpredictable.
He had reacted no differently than she suspected Ensign Kim would have. She should have foreseen his embarrassment.
She would have to ask someone who would not be embarrassed. Of course. She left the mess hall quickly and made her way to the turbolift.
"Computer, please state the location of Commander Tuvok."
ĎCommander Tuvok is in his quarters.í
Perfect. He was the logical choice.
Tuvok sat quietly meditating in his quarters. It had been a long, tiring day and he was appreciative of this time he had to himself.
His door chime interrupted him and with a sigh he opened his eyes. "Enter," he ordered.
He was a little surprised to see Seven stepping inside briskly. "Commander Tuvok, I require your assistance."
He stood up slowly. "Of course. How may I help you?"
Seven hesitated for a moment. "You are Vulcan. You do not feel embarrassment?"
"I am able to control any uncomfortable emotions I may incur," he clarified. His surprise was mounting.
Seven thought for a few moments before nodding. "That will suffice. Ensign Paris reacted unfavorably when I asked for his assistance in this matter, and that is why I have come to you."
"I see." He quashed down a slight feeling of annoyance. "I am second choice, in a manner of speaking."
"Yes. I have only approached you because I believe all human males will react the way Ensign Paris did. You will not."
"I see," Tuvok said once more. "Please continue."
"I wish to view the difference between a typical erection and a burgeoning one. Are you able to show me?"
The silence was deafening. Tuvok could feel that his eyebrows were raised, but could do nothing to lower them.
He cleared his throat. His voice when he was finally able to speak, was strained. "You wish for me to show you my erection?"
"Yes, if you are able to produce one. Vulcan anatomy is unfamiliar to me, so I am unsure if you will be the same as Ensign Paris."
He cleared his throat once more. "Vulcans do not speak of this subject. It is classified as private."
"Then you will not show me either?" She sounded disappointed.
"No." He fixed her with one of his most disapproving stares. "May I enquire as to why you have this sudden - wish?"
"As part of my personal development lessons the Doctor requires me to read certain romance novels. The authors all seem to have an obsession with burgeoning erections. I believe it is necessary to see one for myself."
"I will speak to the Doctor in regards to this matter." His voice was heavy with censure. "And Seven of Nine, I believe you should be counseled on what is and what is not socially acceptable requests."
Seven gave a small sniff, an exact replica of the Doctor's. "If you do not wish to show me, then a simple refusal is all that is necessary." She turned and headed for the door.
"Wait," he ordered. "Something you have said concerns me."
She turned around to look at him once more. "Explain."
"You went to Mr. Paris with this request, and he reacted unfavorably?"
Seven nodded, a look of confusion crossing her features.
"Please tell me exactly what happened."
She told him everything - word for word.
Tuvok was quiet when she was finished. "You say he ran away?" he asked finally.
"He appeared upset?"
"I believe you may have traumatized him."
"I - I did not mean to. Are you positive of this conclusion?"
He nodded thoughtfully. "Mr. Paris has many hidden depths. I believe this to be a logical assumption."
"I must find him at once and apologize."
"No. I believe you should stay away from him. I will speak to him at his earliest possible convenience."
"I am uncertain if that---"
"Please do not argue with me Seven," he interrupted her. "Leave this to me. That is an order."
Tom used the entry code B'Elanna had given him and crept quietly across the room. She was curled up in bed, fast asleep.
He crawled onto the bed and lay down behind her, gently nuzzling her neck. She moaned and rolled over.
"Tom! What are you doing here? I thought you had a report to finish?"
"I missed you," he answered, kissing her throat.
She groaned. "I have to be up early in the morning. I need a good nights sleep."
"Don't worry, you'll get it." Tom pulled her to him and kissed her passionately.
When she had gotten her breath back she chuckled. "What's got into you?"
"The thought of you," he answered huskily.
She growled playfully. "I really do have to get up early in the morning."
"This won't take long," he assured her.
The following morning, Commander Chakotay looked up from the padd he was reading as the turbolift stopped and Harry Kim entered.
Harry nodded politely. "Good morning Commander."
"Morning Harry. You havenít seen your partner in crime this morning have you?"
Harry flushed and immediately looked guilty. "M-my partner in crime, Commander?"
Chakotay sighed. It just didnít pay to tease Harry; he took everything so seriously. "Tom," he explained.
"Oh!" Harry appeared a little panicked. "Oh Sir. If Ensign Michaels told you about that holodeck incident the other day, I can explain."
"No Harry, I just meant, have you seen Tom this morning? He was supposed to hand in a conn report first thing and I have yet to see it." He decided heíd find out about the Ďholodeck incidentí later.
"Oh!" Harry relaxed. "Iím meeting him for breakfast right now. Iíll remind him about the report."
Harry made his way to the mess hall and waved to Tom as he entered. Grabbing a tray he carefully chose some fruit and toast to eat, before heading over to him.
"Hi," he said in greeting. "What did you get up to last night?"
Tom choked a little and cautiously set down his coffee mug. "Up to?" he squeaked out.
Harry looked at him in surprise. "Yeah! The Commander was looking for you, something about a conn report you were supposed to hand in."
"Shit!" Tom jumped up and glanced around the room. "I forgot all about it. I must have left the padd here. Damn it!" He hurried over to Neelix and soon came back clutching a padd to him.
"Neelix found it lying on the floor this morning, thank goodness. I must have dropped it."
Tom sat back down again and scrolled through the padd. He groaned. "Itís nowhere near finished."
Harry took a bite of toast and swallowed. "So, I ask again. What did you do last night? I thought you were working on that report."
Tom seemed to gulp. "I was. Something happened and I didnít get to finish it."
"That makes sense. Am I or am I not, your best friend? You can tell me."
"No I canít. I canít tell anyone. If BíElanna finds out." Tom stopped and shuddered.
"Okay," Harry said slowly, wondering what the hell was going on. Tom was jumpy, very jumpy. Every time the mess hall doors opened he glanced over there nervously.
Harry sighed. "Youíd better tell me what youíve done."
"Me? I havenít done anything."
Before Harry could say anything else, Tomís eyes darted to the doors once more. He gulped loudly.
Harry turned around to see what had caused all the color to drain from his friendís face. Seven was approaching their table.
Tom stood up abruptly. "I have to go," he said breathlessly.
Harry watched in confusion as Tom raced off.
"Ensign Paris, I wish to speak with you," Seven called out. Tom kept on going.
"He was in a hurry," Harry offered.
Sevenís eyebrow was raised. "So it would seem."
"Care to join me?" Harry asked brightly.
Seven shook her head. "I do not wish to ingest nutritional supplements at this time."
"Seven of Nine."
Harry watched as Tuvok approached. His face was a study in disapproval. ĎSo much for not showing any emotion,í Harry thought with amusement.
"Commander Tuvok," Seven said coldly.
"You attempted to approach Mr. Paris." Although his voice was flat and emotionless, there was definite disapproval in Tuvokís tone.
"Yes." Seven sounded defiant.
Harry looked from one to the other of them in surprise.
"I informed you that I would speak to the Ensign myself. You were not to go near him," Tuvok continued.
"I believe a more prudent course of action would be---"
"To do as I ask," Tuvok finished for her.
There was a silence, while Harry continued to study first one and then the other.
"Good morning Ensign Kim," Tuvok said suddenly, not taking his eyes from Sevenís face.
"Hi Tuvok. Um - whatís going on?"
"Nothing to concern yourself with. I have everything under control."
"Oh! Well thatís good."
Tuvok guided Seven from the room and Harry felt his curiosity grow stronger. He HAD to find out what was going on.
Harry watched Tom all that morning. The pilot didnít seem any different than usual, even though Chakotay had given him grief over not having the conn report finished.
It was only when they were about to go to lunch that something unusual happened. They were about to step into the lift when Tuvok stepped towards them.
"Excuse me, Mr. Paris. May I join you for lunch?"
"Huh?" Tom sounded as surprised as Harry felt. "Sure, if you want to."
They made their way to the mess hall in silence, Tom exchanging glances with Harry the whole way, and picked up their trays of food.
As they headed towards a table Tuvok turned to Harry. "If you will excuse us please Ensign Kim? I have something of a rather delicate nature to speak to Ensign Paris about."
"You have?" Tom looked astonished and Harry knew without a doubt that he just HAD to know what this was all about. Tom might tell him afterwards, but then again, he might not.
He sat down at the table next to them and strained his ears. He couldnít hear anything. They were speaking softly. He leaned over a little bit.
"I donít know what to say," he heard Tom say.
"I was unsure of your reaction," was the next thing he heard from Tuvok.
Tuvok mumbled something else, but all he could catch was the word - Ďtraumatizedí.
"Traumatized?" Tom repeated. "No of course not. Iím kinda flattered actually. Only, BíElanna must never find out about this - never. In fact no one must."
"I concur," he heard Tuvok say. They lowered their voices and he couldnít hear anything at all. ĎTalk about inconsiderate!í He leaned further across. ĎSpeak up, damn it!í, he just stopped himself from saying.
They continued to murmur in low voices and he could only catch a stray word here and there. Something about Seven, but it didn't make much sense.
He gritted his teeth in frustration and leaned over even more. They were so engrossed in their conversation they would never notice.
The next words he heard made him gasp out loud and losing his balance, he tumbled to the floor.
Scrambling madly to his feet, he faced them both. "I dropped my fork," he shouted, waving it around in the air frantically. He wondered why there was suddenly no air in the room.
He glanced around to see that everyone in the mess hall was looking at him in surprise, but after a few moments they all resumed their normal conversations.
Harry turned back to see that Tuvok was watching him with one eyebrow raised and Tom had his mouth open in astonishment.
"Harry? Are you all right?"
"No Tom. I have to speak to you - NOW!"
"Ensign Kim. My conversation with Mr. Paris is not finished."
"Oh yes it is," Harry said fiercely, trying to keep his voice down. "Leave him alone - you - um - you - um - creep."
Tuvokís eyebrows practically disappeared and Tom gasped. "Harry, I think you must have hit your head when you fell."
"That is a logical assumption," Tuvok commented.
"Logical assumption, my ass." He was pleased to see that Tuvokís eyebrows really could disappear.
Tom grabbed his arm and pulled him down to sit with them. "Whatís the matter with you Harry?"
"Whatís the matter with me? Whatís the matter with you? I know youíre a good friend - the best actually - and youíll do anything for a friend, but this is taking things too far. I wonít let you do it."
"Do what? What are you talking about Harry?"
"I heard you. I heard it all. I know what youíre planning. You canít do it Tom. Youíll be sorry later. I know what you're like. You jump in head first without thinking things through."
"Harry! What - are - you - talking - about?"
Harry told them.
Captain Janeway sat in a corner of the mess hall and watched with amusement as Harry continued to lean further and further over, trying to hear whatever it was Tom and Tuvok were discussing.
She had been surprised to see the two of them having such an earnest discussion. So intent were they that they didnít even notice Harryís antics.
She had anticipated Harryís fall and his subsequent embarrassment, but she hadnít foreseen what happened next.
Harry was practically spitting at Tuvok and although she couldnít hear what he was saying it didnít look good, if the reactions of both Tom and Tuvok were anything to go by.
Several other crewmembers were watching the three as well, so she decided that she had better find out what was going on. Getting up, she made her way quietly over to them.
She stood behind Tuvok, but neither Tom nor Harry noticed her presence.
"You are mistaken Ensign Kim," Tuvok was saying.
"No Iím not. I heard you agree not to let anyone know. Youíre just trying to cover it up."
"Mr. Kim, I am not about to Ďgo into ponn farrí as you put it."
"Yes you are. And you want to use Tom here as your - receptacle," Harry hissed.
"Receptacle?" Tom squeaked.
"I just donít see how Seven fits into all of this," Harry said softly, shaking his head. "Oh my God! Of course. One partner wonít be enough for you. Youíre going to have a threesome."
Tom let out some type of squawk.
"Mr. Kim, you have distorted our conversation."
"No I havenít. I heard you Tuvok. You told Tom you wanted to see his burgeoning erection."
Janeway gasped - loudly.
Harry sat gloomily looking down at his dinner tray. He didn't feel like eating. He didn't feel like doing anything ever again.
He toyed around with the food, pushing it with his fork from one side of the tray to the other.
A friendly slap on his shoulder made him look up, as B'Elanna slid into the seat across from him.
"What's up Starfleet? You look like you've lost your best friend."
"I think I have," Harry said miserably. "Tom said he never wants to speak to me again."
"Oh? That doesn't sound like Tom. What happened?"
"I don't think I should tell you."
"Well, if you don't, I can't help now can I?"
That sounded reasonable. Harry sighed. "The Captain's mad at me."
B'Elanna leaned forward eagerly. "Go on."
"She said she's disappointed that I jumped to such a ridiculous conclusion."
"Wow! She really tore strips off of you."
He frowned. "It's not funny B'Elanna. And Tuvok! What's with him anyway? He's Vulcan, for Gods sake. He's not supposed to get hurt feelings. He told me that I had injured him - deeply."
B'Elanna whistled. "What's this got to do with Tom?"
"Well, you see, it all started this morning in the mess hall. Tom was acting kinda weird and I---"
B'Elanna settled back to listen. She loved a good gossip and Harry seemed so down she really wanted to help cheer him up. Perhaps she could talk to Tom after she had found out what had happened.
Whatever it was, she knew Tom wouldn't stay mad at Harry for long. He just didn't have it in him.
She'd had a bad day. Everything had gone wrong in engineering and she'd only had her mind half on the job anyway.
The more she thought about what had happened last night, the more she wondered about it. It wasn't like Tom to act like that. Harry was right, he was acting weird.
It wasn't that she didn't like wild, quick sex - she did. But she hadn't had to do anything to initiate it. It was almost as if Tom was aroused before even going to her. She didn't like that thought. She liked to be the one doing the arousing - so to speak.
She listened with half an ear to Harry as he explained what he had done, but sat up straight as what he was saying sunk in.
"You thought Tuvok had said that to Tom? Harry? How could you think something like that?"
"No, but you don't understand. Tuvok DID say that to Tom, but he was only repeating what Seven had said. He didn't actually want to see Tom's - you know - himself."
"Let me get this straight. Seven asked Tuvok to show her his - you know."
"No, at least I'm not sure about that. She actually asked Tom to show her."
"Seven asked Tom? When exactly was this?"
"Last night. When he was supposed to be writing out that report. She, for some reason, wanted to see one and thought his would be the best one on board, or something like that." Harry shook his head. "Boy, I'm glad she didn't ask ME. I don't know how I would have reacted."
B'Elanna frowned fiercely as several things started to make sense. "I think I know how Tom reacted," she said grimly. She growled angrily.
"Um, B'Elanna? You're not upset about this, are you?"
"Upset? Why the hell would I be upset? Seven asks Tom to show her his burgeoning erection and the request has such an effect on him that he comes to me and wakes me up from a sound sleep to have some of the wildest sex we've ever had. Why would that upset me, Harry? You tell me. Why?"
"I - ah - I. I'm not sure."
B'Elanna stood up furiously and slapped her commbadge. "Computer, what's the location of Ensign Paris?"
'Ensign Paris is in his quarters.'
She marched furiously away.
Harry gulped. Maybe he shouldn't have told her. He remembered now that Tom had said something that morning about if B'Elanna ever found out.
He couldn't understand why she was so angry. She'd just admitted that Tom had given her the wildest sex they'd ever had. He could sort of understand why she would be mad at Seven.
However, it looked as if she was going off to kill Tom, not Seven. Women! He'd never figure them out.
He suddenly realized he'd better warn Tom. He slapped his commbadge. "Kim to Paris."
'Harry, I don't want to talk to you.'
"I know, but this is important."
'I don't care.'
'I meant what I said. I'll contact YOU, when and IF I decide to speak to you again.'
Harry sighed heavily and closed the channel. Well no one could say he hadn't tried. And after all, none of this was HIS fault.
Captain Janeway bustled into sickbay, a worried frown on her face. "How is he Doctor?"
"It was only his head - again - Captain. Anywhere else and I would have been worried."
Tom groaned and sat up. "Very funny Doc. Iím fine Captain."
She went over to stand next to his biobed. "Would you like to tell me what happened?"
Tom shook his head. "It doesnít matter."
"Lieutenant Torres hit him," the Doctor told her gleefully. "The blow gave him a black eye and the subsequent fall gave him the concussion and split lip. He bumped his head on the coffee table in his quarters."
The Doctor stood there beaming, obviously pleased that he could provide some gossip for once.
"I see. Thank you Doctor." She turned back to Tom. "Did BíElanna hear about what happened in the mess hall last night?"
Tom nodded miserably while the Doctorís eyes opened wide in astonishment. Something had happened and he wasnít privy to it. That situation would have to be remedied at once.
"What exactly happened in the mess hall?" he asked eagerly.
"Youíll find out soon enough," the Captain told him shortly, her eyes never leaving Tom. She touched his shoulder. "Would you like me to speak to her? Explain to her that it wasnít your fault? After all, Seven approached YOU."
The Doctorís ears pricked up. What had Seven been doing, now? "Would somebody please care to explain?" he asked.
The Captain gave him her death glare. "No. Your part in this whole little fiasco will be explained shortly. In fact Commander Tuvok will be here to speak with you at any moment."
The Doctor felt a decided chill. He hadnít done anything, had he?
"Donít worry about it Captain," Tom was saying. "Iím sure I can smooth things over with BíElanna. If you wouldnít mind turning a blind eye while I strangle Harry, Iím sure everything will blow over."
Janeway gave a small chuckle and patted his leg. "Iíll leave it to you then."
As she left, Tom jumped down from the biobed. "Can I go too, Doc?"
The Doctor sniffed. "Thereís no reason to keep you here. Unless, of course, you wished to be a good Doctorís assistant and fill me in?"
Tom gave a small laugh and made his way to the door. "Iíll let Tuvok have that pleasure. By the way Doc. That reading list you gave Seven? I think it may be a little more - memorable - than you intended."
The Doctor stood there for a few moments wondering what he meant, before going over to the data base and accessing the first novel on his list.
Chakotay sat quietly in a corner of the mess hall, savoring the cornbread that Neelix had made especially for him.
He had wondered if he would ever get off duty, as Janeway had been stuck in her ready room for most of the afternoon. First with Tuvok, Tom and Harry and then with Seven.
Something was going on, that was for sure. Harry had been the first to leave the ready room and he had appeared troubled. It was some time before Tom came out, and he looked amused, but also embarrassed. With Tom it was hard to tell.
And then there had been Tuvok. When he and Janeway had come back onto the bridge he had looked - well - embarrassed was the only way to describe it. There was a wounded look in his eyes. The Captain had given him the rest of the day off to meditate.
Chakotay had heard him tell the Captain that he needed a few hours to center himself and then he would speak to the Doctor. Was Tuvok sick?
He had raised his eyebrow at the Captain as she sat down next to him, but she had merely shaken her head. "You donít want to know," she had said dryly.
She had been wrong. He did.
He had just been about to go off duty and have a late dinner, when she had been called down to sickbay. Something to do with Tom this time.
When she had come back, her eyes were twinkling merrily. "Remind me to tell you all about this, next time weíre alone", was all she said however.
He sighed as he ate his cornbread. Heíd just have to wait. He looked around the mess hall. It was still rather crowded, considering how late it was.
"I always thought there was something funny between those two," a voice said loudly from the table next to him. There was a large group sitting there, all talking excitedly.
"Well, I think itís kinda cute," someone else piped up. "Of course, if BíElanna finds out, theyíll all be dead meat."
There was a collective shudder, as everyone obviously thought about BíElannaís wrath.
Chakotay leaned forward in confusion. What the hell were they talking about?
Hamilton, one of the conn officers laughed. "I still canít believe that out of everyone on this ship, Tuvok picked Paris."
"Why? Iíd pick Tom any day."
There were a few murmurs of agreement and quite a few giggles. Chakotay peered into the semi darkness, to see whom exactly was sitting there.
Hamilton gave a snort. "Of course YOU would. More than half the ship probably would, but weíre talking about TUVOK here."
"Well, Tom teases him an awful lot and Tuvok teases him too, in a Vulcany type of way. Maybe heís always had a secret yen for him."
Chakotay forgot all about his cornbread. Tuvok? Tom?
"Well, I wish Iíd been here to see it. Did Harry challenge Tuvok to a duel?" Harry? HARRY?
"Yeah, tell us again."
Not only did Chakotay forget about his cornbread, he forgot to breath.
Neelix hovered around behind the rather large group of crewmembers still lingering over breakfast. Something was up.
He had thought so last night, but had been too busy to find out, now he had more time.
"She slugged him one," somebody said. "Knocked him clean out."
"I would too. I thought he was a nice guy. Just goes to show you."
"Are you sure about this?" somebody else asked. "I mean, I canít imagine Tom doing that."
"Well, if I hadnít heard BíElanna myself, I wouldnít have believed it either. You can just never tell, can you?"
"When did this happen?"
"Late last night. From what I can gather, she must have found out about it earlier and gone to his quarters and knocked him cold. He went back to sort things out and thatís when she kicked him out. I was walking past at the time and heard everything."
"Well, Iím shocked. I really liked Tom."
Neelix couldnít stand it another moment. "Excuse me, but what exactly did Tom do?"
Neelix sat at one of his tables, too upset to move. Every one had gone to their respective duty stations by now and he was all alone.
He kept shaking his head in disbelief. It couldn't be true. It just couldn't. Not Tom. He wouldn't believe it.
The mess hall doors swished open and Chakotay stepped in. "Am I too late for breakfast?" he asked.
Neelix looked at him dumbly. "Breakfast? I - I - "
Chakotay came over to him, a look of concern on his face. "Are you all right?"
"I - I - No Commander, I'm not. I heard something. Something terrible. I'm having a hard time believing it."
"I see. I heard something last night too. I found it hard to believe also."
"Was it about Tom - and - " he gulped.
Chakotay nodded. "Yes it was."
"And you believe it?"
"I've done a bit of checking. There seems to be some basis in the story."
"Oh no!" He shook his head sadly. "You think you know somebody."
Chakotay nodded. "I know what you mean."
"Does the Captain know?"
"Yes. She's already spoken to them all."
"All? How many were there?"
Chakotay frowned at the question. "How many? Just the three I would assume."
"Three?" Neelix shook his head. "What's the Captain going to do about it?"
"I'm not sure. I haven't spoken to her yet. She seems to have sorted it all out, though. Both Tuvok and Harry seemed quite embarrassed when they came out of her ready room yesterday."
"Tuvok and Harry?" Neelix squeaked. "They were the other two? Oh my! OH MY!" He jumped up, his agitation so great that he could no longer sit still.
Chakotay watched him with a look of confusion on his face. "Neelix? I don't understand."
"What's the Captain going to do about Tom?"
"Tom? It wasn't his fault. Anyway he seemed rather amused by the whole thing as well as embarrassed."
"He did?" Neelix found he was wringing his hands in despair.
"Neelix, you're really worrying me here. I didn't expect you to react like this. I got the impression yesterday that the Captain thought the whole thing was rather amusing. And I have to admit I can see the funny side of it too, even if I am having a hard time believing it."
"Commander, I know that human customs are different than Talaxian, but you have shocked me terribly. The members of the crew who were discussing this were shocked as well. Having a flasher - I think that's what they called Tom - on board, is a terrible thing."
"A flasher? They called Tom a flasher?"
"Yes, I'm sure that was the word."
"Why the hell were they calling Tom a flasher?"
"B- Because he flashed his - um - you know - at Seven and Harry and Tuvok."
"He did? Great spirits! When? Why wasn't I told? This is unbelievable. I should have been told."
"But Commander, I don't understand. You did know, didn't you? You're the one who told me that Harry and Tuvok were the other people Tom flashed. Isn't that what we've been talking about?"
"No. We were talking about Tuvok and Harry fighting over Tom in here yesterday."
"Tuvok and Harry fought over Tom in here yesterday? When?"
"At lunch time. You were here. Didn't you see it?"
"No. At least, something DID happen. I remember now. The Captain took the three of them outside, if I remember correctly. Is that what everyone was talking about last night?"
"Yes. That's when I heard it. Tuvok's approaching his ponn farr apparently and he asked Tom to be his partner. I think that must be true because I know Tuvok went to see the Doctor last night."
"I understand now. Tuvok and Tom were having a rather intense conversation, now that I think about it. Harry was listening in and started shouting at them."
"So you DID see it."
"Yes, but I didn't realize what was going on. Oh dear! I didn't realize that Harry and Tom were involved."
"Neither did anybody else apparently. From what I can gather Harry ended up suggesting a threesome."
Neelix gulped. "Oh my! Oh my!"
"Well all I can say is that I'm highly surprised by the whole thing. I never would have thought Tuvok ---"
"He probably became interested in Tom after Tom flashed him. In fact that's probably why Harry is as well."
Chakotay opened his mouth and then shut it again. He took a deep breath. "When I mentioned Harry and Tuvok before, I was talking about the mess hall incident. Not about Tom flashing anyone," he explained slowly. "I'm quite sure that the Captain doesn't know anything about Tom flashing anyone," he continued. "She wouldn't be amused about that, let me tell you. Are you sure he did?"
"Well no. It's just that Ensign Jenkins was walking past B'Elanna's quarters last night when she kicked Tom out of there. She'd already knocked him out, earlier in the evening."
"Yes, I heard about that. I assumed it was because she had found out about the planned threesome."
"Well, of course that may be true Commander, but why did she accuse Tom of flashing Seven?"
"According to Ensign Jenkins, she did."
"I think we should go and find Ensign Jenkins."
"He kind of fell out the door as I was walking past, if you know what I mean Sir."
Chakotay nodded. "Go on."
Jenkins screwed up his face as he tried to remember. "Lieutenant Torres said some stuff in Klingon and Tom yelled out for her to give him a chance to explain. And thatís when she said, well you know."
"No, I donít know, Ensign. Please try to remember exactly what she said."
Jenkins flushed before continuing. "She said, for all she knew he HAD shown Seven his - um - burgeoning erection and - um - heíd probably flashed it to half the crew."
Jenkins cleared his throat. "The Lieutenant then yelled that Tom could go and flash it to the rest of the crew, because it was the last time he was flashing it anywhere near her."
"I see. And from that you deduced that Tom was a flasher?"
Jenkins went even redder. "No Sir. It was just after talking to some of my friends - well - we thought that Seven must have accused him of flashing at her or something."
"Seven has accused him of no such thing. Iíd certainly be aware if she had."
"Yes, of course Sir. I did wonder about that actually. Iíve just heard that heís actually on with Harry and thatís why BíElanna socked him."
Captain Janewayís mouth was a thin, angry line. "I do not believe this ship."
"I didnít believe it for a second," Neelix assured her hastily.
"I think the important thing here is damage control," Chakotay said.
Janeway nodded. "Poor Tom. Heís done nothing at all, and his reputation is in tatters."
"Iíll soon fix that," Neelix told them. "A few words in the right ears will soon have the true story told."
"Iím sure Tom would rather THAT particular story never be told either, but under the circumstances," she sighed and let the rest of her sentence trail off. It was the lesser of two evils.
"I feel kind of sorry for Harry," Chakotay commented.
"Well I donít," she replied crisply. "If he hadnít have reacted the way he did in the mess hall, none of the rest of this would have happened."
"I suppose so, but heís in for a bit of a rough time. I can imagine some of the teasing heís going to get and Tom vows heís never speaking to him again."
"That wonít last long. Tom will have forgiven him by this time tomorrow. You know what heís like."
Chakotay nodded. "Youíre probably right."
Tom stood morosely in an observation lounge, looking out at the stars. Life sucked, he decided.
The viewport reflected someone standing behind him, so he turned around quickly.
Seven of Nine stood there, looking a little hesitant. "Am I disturbing you, Ensign?"
Tom sighed. "It doesnít matter. What can I do for you?"
"I require your assistance."
"Oh? Sit down." He waved to the couch under the window and winced as she slowly sat down. Something seemed vaguely familiar about this.
"So, how can I help you?" He winced once more. He was definitely getting a case of deja vu.
"I have decided to continue with my personal development lessons, although the Doctor insists that I do not read any more romance novels."
"That seems like a sensible decision."
"Yes. However, the last novel I was reading - ĎLoves Sacred Flowerí was rather addictive."
It was? He estimated how many seconds it would take him to reach the turbolift.
"There were many passages within the text that---"
"Um - Seven?" he interrupted swiftly. "Didnít the Captain have a talk to you about appropriate requests to other crewmembers?"
"Yes. Thank you for reminding me. I would like to offer my sincere apologies for any embarrassment that my earlier request may have caused you. The subsequent termination of your relationship with Lieutenant Torres is regrettable, although I do not believe that I can be held responsible for it."
Tom cleared his throat. "No, of course not," he said, a trifle faintly.
"You accept my apology?"
"I - I - sure."
"Now, we were discussing certain elements of the text which left me curious."
"No we werenít," he squeaked. He could make it to the turbolift in less than three seconds if he sprinted.
"Ensign Paris, you are nervous."
"Me?" If she asked him to show her ANYTHING, he was out of here.
"Do not worry, I do not wish for you to show me anything." Whoops! He must have said that out loud.
"No. The Captain explained to me why I should not have asked you to show me your burgeoning erection. I should have waited until you suggested it."
Tom gulped. He was pretty sure the Captain hadnít said THAT.
Seven stood up suddenly. "I wish something entirely different."
"You do?" He hesitated. "What do you wish?" His leg twitched nervously. He was pretty sure he could make it to the turbolift in under two seconds actually.
"I wish to know what it feels like to have my heaving bosoms caressed."
He was off and running before she had even finished the sentence. He stopped abruptly. "You what?"
"I can remove my suit, if you prefer." She attempted to undo the back it.
"What? Here? Now?"
"Is that a problem?"
"Anybody could walk by."
"You do not wish for an audience?"
"Very well. Perhaps we could go back to your quarters?"
She walked towards him and he found he couldnít tear his eyes away from her heaving bosoms.
"You will assist me?"
He shook his head to clear it and smiled into her eyes.
"What the heck, why not?"
After all, his erection WAS burgeoning.