Disclaimer:  Hail Paramount!

Note: Don’t blame me!  D came up with the idea; I just filled in the words.
 

Requiem for the Bunnies
 
Third place in bunnies contest

Rated G
 

Neelix overheard it the first time while serving lunch.  Joe Carey and Sam Wildman were laughing about something Tom had told them, but Neelix didn’t find it very funny.  He didn’t understand how these normally caring people could suddenly be so callous.  Convincing himself that he must have misunderstood, he returned to the kitchen and tried to put it out of his mind.

Later at dinner, several people were gathered around Tom and B’Elanna’s table.  The excitement was quite evident, but Neelix still didn’t understand why.  He was dishing out the stew when Tom came up for some extra drinks.

“Excuse me, Tom.”  Neelix pulled Tom aside.  “I’ve been hearing all the excitement and..”

“Isn’t it great!”  Tom slapped him on back with a big grin.

“Well, sure, but..”  Neelix was confused; Tom was not a mean person.  “Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.”

“She didn’t mean it, did she?  I mean it must have been an accident.”

“Oh, this was no accident.”  Tom laughed and slapped his back again.  “We worked very hard on this.”  Tom winked as he walked away.
 

Neelix was dumbfounded.  Not only was everyone excited that B’Elanna had done this but now Tom was proud to have been a part of it.  Would he ever understand these Alpha Quadrant people?  Neelix went back to serving dinner.  As he pondered the situation, he absentmindedly slopped food on the passing trays.
 
 “Neelix!”  The captain raised her voice to gain his attention.  “Neelix, that’s much too much stew for one person.”  She smiled at the startled expression on his face.

“Oh, Captain.  I’m sorry.  My mind was somewhere else.”  He took the overloaded tray away and brought her a new one.

“So I see.  Are you all right?”

“Yes, Captain, I’m fine.”  Neelix looked up and noticed the growing crowd around B’Elanna.  “I guess I just don’t understand that.”

“B’Elanna?”  The captain turned to watch the excitement.  “Isn’t it wonderful?  They are so happy.”

“I can see that, Captain.”  Neelix hesitated.  “But, do you think it’s right?”

“Oh, I think so.”  She placed her hand on his and leaned closer.  “I’ll tell you a little secret.  You mustn’t tell anyone just yet.  I don’t want to steal their thunder, as they say.”

“I promise.”

“Chakotay and I have just managed the same thing.”  She winked at him.  “But let’s keep it a secret for now, shall we?”

“Yes, certainly, Captain.”  Neelix was totally bewildered as he watched the captain walk away.
 

Neelix tried to put it out of his head.  This was very confusing and he had a great deal of trouble believing the captain would be part of such a thing.  Well, he seemed to be the only one with an objection so he thought best to keep it to himself.

Neelix was just closing up the kitchen; it was late and most people were asleep.  He would leave fresh coffee and some snacks out for the breaks on Gamma Shift and head home.  Crewman Tal had been sitting on the couch under the view port for sometime now; Neelix decided he had better check on her before leaving.  Peeking out from the kitchen, he noticed Harry had joined her.  They were talking quietly and then he heard it again!  Celes looked frightened waiting for Harry’s reaction; but suddenly burst out laughing as Harry scooped her up off the couch and swung her in the air.

Now, even Harry was part of it.  Neelix couldn’t be silent anymore.

“Harry.”  He demanded.  “You two have been killing bunnies?!”

“Huh?”  Harry stopped swinging Tal but didn’t put her down.  “Bunnies?  What the…? Or rabbits?”  Harry laughed.

“Yes, have you been killing them?”  Neelix didn’t find the conversation funny.  He thought, maybe, everyone had suddenly gone crazy.

“No, Doc does that part.”  Harry shrugged as Neelix threw down his apron and stormed out of the messhall.

“What was that all about?”  Celes watched the mumbling Talaxian leave.

“Beats me.”  Harry smiled as he put her back on the floor.  “Let’s get out of here.

~~~^^^~~~

“Computer active the EMH!”  Neelix paced the darkened sickbay.”

“Please state the nature..  The doctor appeared along with the lights.  “Oh, what can I do for you Neelix?”

“Where are they?”  Neelix searched the room.

“If you would tell me the problem perhaps I could assist you.”  The doctor followed Neelix around the room.

“The bunnies, of course!”

“Bunnies?”  The doctor reached for a tricorder.  “Have you been drinking?”

“Stop that.”  Neelix pushed the tricorder away.  “I have not been drinking and I am not crazy.  I maybe the only sane person left on this ship!”

“Then, please tell me what you are talking about.”

“Bunnies!  Everyone is talking about dead bunnies and now they tell me you are the perpetrator!”  Neelix was beginning to lose control, as he advanced toward the doctor.

“Please remain calm.”  The doctor backed away slightly, reaching one hand behind him.

“I want the bunnies! Now!”  Neelix lunged at the doctor.

“Sleep well, Mr. Neelix.”  With the hiss of the hypospray, the doctor eased the startled man down on a biobed.

“Doctor to Captain Janeway.”

“Janeway here.”

“Captain, there maybe a delay in Alpha Shifts breakfast tomorrow.”

~~^^^~~~

When Neelix opened his eyes he was, momentarily confused and disorientated.  He slowly recognized sickbay and then it all came flooding back to him.  He tried to sit up, but gentle hands held him in place.

“Neelix, how are you?”  The captain smiled at him.

“I’m OK.  It’s the doctor.”

“The doctor?”  She smiled wider.  “Neelix I think you are confused.”

“You bet I’m confused.  The doctor is killing innocent bunnies and everyone is happy about it.  Even you!”  The captain laughed out loud and Neelix was instantly angry.  “It’s not funny!”

“I’m sorry, Neelix.”  She tried to control her laughter.  “Let me explain.”  She helped him into a sitting position.  “In the early part of the twentieth century, it was discovered that if a pregnant woman’s urine was injected into a rabbit they would develop bulging masses on their ovaries.  Now, the only way at the time to see these masses and thus determine whether the woman was indeed pregnant, was to remove the ovaries for inspection. Unfortunately, this caused the rabbit to die.”

“I’m afraid I have no idea what this has to do with the bunnies on Voyager.”  Neelix shook his head.

“Out of this process came an euphemism for a positive pregnancy test.  People began to say “The rabbit died” and others came to understand that the test was positive.”  She could see he was still not making the connection.  “You know how fond Tom is of the twentieth century, so when B’Elanna became pregnant he began using that phrase and it caught on.”

“So, no one is killing bunnies on Voyager?”

“No, Neelix.  We don’t even have any bunnies on Voyager.”  Neelix was visibly happier.  He jumped off the bio bed and began to dance with the doctor.  “Doc, I’m so happy you are not a murderer after all!”
 

“Let me assure you.  No one is hurting down innocent creatures in here, Mr. Neelix.”  The doctor shook his head as he glanced at the new report, in his hand.  “Although there does seem to be some resemblance between this crew and the Earth creature known as the rabbit!”
 

The End

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