Disclaimer:  Paramount owns the universe.  I am but a poor soul who enjoys playing with other people's toys.



First place in the White Coffee Contest

Rated PG

Everyone walked on eggs, especially the bridge crew.  Although everything appeared normal enough, it was no secret, least of all on deck one,- it was that time of the month. The Captain was to be handled carefully, gently, no wisecracks, no flack of any kind,- not if you want to survive the week.

"Good morning."  She smiled as she took her seat but no one was fooled.

"Morning, Captain."  Chakotay was the only one brave enough to actually speak to her.

The Captain nodded her response. She took her seat, fidgeted in her chair, pulled up the console and punched at the keys for a while, then left the bridge in a huff for the sanctuary of her ready room. The bridge crew let out the breath they were collectively holding.

Exactly what she did in there for two hours was anybody's guess and certainly, no one was going to question her. But when she returned to the bridge with something just short of murder in her eyes, the Borg would have been a more welcome sight.  The silence was deafening.

"Commander I'll be in engineering."  The Captain rose and exited without waiting for an answer.

As the doors close behind her everyone relaxed, again.

"Chakotay to Torres."

"Yes, Commander."


"Aye, Sir"

"Chakotay out." Chakotay chuckled. Few words were needed everyone understood.

As the hours passed, the reports of her whereabouts trickled back to the bridge. Each report became a little more frantic, each crewmen a little more desperate.  The Captain had torn apart engineering. She wreaked havoc in Stellar Cartography and scared the hell out of every one but Harren on Deck 15.  Chakotay just smiled.

Alpha shift was almost home free when the lift opened depositing the Captain back on deck one.  No one moved. Ten more minutes and she would have been Beta shift's problem, but here she was.

"Mr. Tuvok, the crew of this ship has become lax and inefficient."  She barked. "I want you to put together a retraining program and I want it on my desk by 1300 hours tomorrow.

"Aye, Captain."  The stoic Vulcan never lifted his eye from his station.

Tom turned a pleading eye toward the Commander, but the Captain saw him first.

"Mr. Paris if you have nothing to keep you occupied, I'm sure I can find a nice plasma manifold that could use some cleaning."

"Thank you, Ma'am, but I have sufficient work to do here." Tom turned quickly back to the helm and pretended to check the course settings.

"Captain, may I have a word with you in your ready room?" Chakotay approached her.

"Anything you have to say to me, you can say right here, Commander."  She placed her hands firmly on her hips and stared at his smiling face.

"I think perhaps another location would be advisable."

"I don't!  Say what's on your mind, Commander." The fact that he remained smiling clearly infuriated her.

Chakotay shrugged and continued to smile as he slipped his arm in through hers. She started to protest, but he stopped her with a finger gently pressed to her lips.

"Kathryn, I seem to have a few extra rations.  May I buy you a cup of coffee?"

A collective sigh of relief was heard as the lift doors closed behind the smiling captain.

The End

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