DISCLAIMER: All the characters, the ship and their universe belong to Paramount/Viacom. I'm just having a little fun (and so are they)
Note: Due to a slight mix up in the posting of this story the name was changed so you may know it under the title of VALENTINE
First place in Kiss me Kate Valintine
Second place in Janeway Chakotay humor
She woke up, groggy and thirsty. Her head felt heavy, her tongue thick and she felt disorientated and strange, but she didn’t remember drinking last night; then she didn’t really remember much. She was tangled in the sheet and to her surprise –it was all she wore, something else wasn’t right but, she had trouble clearing her mind to figure out just what it was. Later, what ever it was she would figure it out later when her mind was clearer, she rolled over to go back to sleep and almost tumbled off the bed. Startled she sat up, this wasn’t her bed, this bed was much smaller than hers. Trying to hold down the panic, she looked around to see whose quarters she was in.
There was no one in the room with her, thank the spirits and she couldn’t hear anyone in the next room, so she got up, wrapping herself in the sheet and ventured out. The quarters were small and neat, she didn’t even find where she must have discarded her clothes. **OHMYGOD.** She was in the quarters of someone in her crew and she had no clothes—what had she done. This was no time to panic, so she began searching the room for clues to the identity of it’s primary resident. The place was spotless, nothing out of place, no clues—but one. It was in a small case on the desk, shiny and gold—a pip—one pip—an Ensign’s pip. She lifted the case and read the name on the bottom---Harry Kim. She threw herself down on the couch, shaking her head in horror and dropping it to her hands. She tried to remember yesterday.
By the old Terran calendar it was February 14, Valentine’s day to most humans, Saint Valentine’s day to some and as they would soon learn Soskito to the remaining members of a small oriental sect. There was a party on the holodeck planned for the evening hours, the Captain was attending with her First Officer—nothing unusual about that, their relationship was slowly becoming more public.
It was a quiet day, Tom was entertaining the bridge crew with stories of Valentines past, some of which almost made Tuvok laugh.
“Mr. Paris, why is it you seem to think a box of candy and a bunch of flowers entitles you to the “favors” of any woman you want?” She shook her head, laughing at him.
“I don’t know, Captain. I guess cause it usually works.” He shrugged.
“You’re impossible, Tom.” She glanced at Chakotay, who was smirking at her. “What? You think that’s acceptable too?” She raised an eyebrow in challenge.
“Weeelll-----let’s say it is a nice gesture.” He chuckled, along with the rest of them and settled back in his chair.
“So much for the enlightened attitude of the twenty-fourth century.” She threw her hands in the air. “You win—I’ll buy you candy and flowers!”
Chakotay’s turn to shake his head, Tom laughed so hard he almost spit across the console and Harry turned a bright pink.
“Actually, Captain there are some other traditions you might consider.” Harry managed through his laughter.
“Enlighten me, Mr. Kim---what works better than candy and flowers—I am certainly open to suggestions.”
“My parents told me of the ancient traditions of sampling.” Harry blushed at the leers that earned him. “Wait, not as bad as all that.”
“OK, Harry tell us about this sampling”
“Well Captain, it was a tradition among the ancient people of the village my family originally came from. They had very strict rules concerning the interactions of unmarried males and females. As in many cultures, fathers chose partners for their daughters and usually traded them for wealth or position. However on one day a year—Soskito—or the day of sampling—single women were allowed to circulate among the eligible males in search of true love.”
“And they got to sample all the guys?!” Tom’s eyes were wide, the grin on his face broad.
“Well, not exactly.” Harry blushed again.
“Just how was this sampling conducted?”
“It is believed that on Soskito, a kiss from your true love will bind you together forever and any woman finding her true love could not be taken from him.”
“So Harry, how does she know which one to kiss?”
“She doesn’t ---that’s where the sampling comes in. The woman gets to kiss all the eligible men in the village or at least as many as it takes to find the right one.”
“How does she know when she’s found him?”
“She just knows.”
“Hummm.” The Captain sat back and pretended to contemplate that. “Interesting, idea.”
“Not very Captain like behavior.” Chakotay admonished.
“It is only right, with a crew as diverse as this, that the Captain should encourage the exploration of all the cultural idiosyncrasies.” She smiled and stood. “I’ll be in my ready room, Commander.” With one last look she turned and walked away.
“Oops – in two short minutes you went from almost getting lucky to having her sample the crew in search of true love.” Tom said as soon as the doors closed behind her. “Tough luck, Commander.”
“Sorry, Commander.” Harry chimed in.
“Don’t concern yourself Harry; she’s never gonna give it up anyway.” Chakotay laughed out loud when Harry blushed and Tom’s mouth fell open. “Tuvok.” He smiled at the raised eyebrow. “You have the bridge.” He crossed over and rang the chime.
“Come in, Chakotay.” She was seated on the couch, in front of her was her coffee and his tea.
“Expecting company, Captain?” He joined her.
“It’s not flowers and candy, but I thought I would give it a try anyway.”
“Who knows you might get lucky.” He winked as he sipped his tea.
“Get lucky?” She raised an eyebrow. “Sounds like a Tom Paris phrase.”
“OH it is.” He was chuckling as he watched her.
“OK out with it---what is so funny?”
“Tom said he thought I might get lucky until Harry sent you off to sample the crew.”
“Oh, very nice conversations, on the my bridge, when I turn my back.” He was laughing out full now. “OK, the rest.”
“What makes you think there is more.” He couldn’t stop laughing.
“You –now out with it—I’m sure you had an equally mature response.” His laughter was contagious and she couldn’t help joining him. “What did you say?”
“I told Harry not to feel bad…” He laughed and leaned slightly away from her. “Cause you were never gonna give it up anyway.”
“Be careful what you ask for MR.” She swatted at him.
“Captain to the Bridge.” Tuvok’s calm Vulcan voice interrupted them.
“On my way.” She slapped her comm. badge and made an effort to control her laughter. “I will get back at you.” She whispered just as the door opened on the bridge.
“Never doubted it, Captain.” He responded as he followed her out.
“Captain, We are detecting the approach of a peculiar plasma cloud.”
“Can we go around it?”
“We tried to alter course, but it made the same corrections.”
“How long before we encounter it?”
“Six minutes twenty seven seconds.”
“Readings, Mr. Kim.” She turned to Chakotay. “Commander, go to astrometrics and track this from there.
“Aye, Captain.” He was already on his way to the lift.
“I have scanned it, Captain, low levels of radiation, an unusually dense energy field, no life signs—nothing we shouldn’t be able to pass through. Only I have no idea why it follows us”
“Alright, Harry, can we get a visual?”
“On Screen, Harry.” She looked up almost mesmerized by the pinkish red swirling cloud facing them. “Tom, try some evasive maneuvers.” Voyager dropped and zigged and zagged but the cloud just followed effortlessly. “OK, Tom hold her steady and let’s put this thing behind us.”
They watched the red glow approach faster and faster, suddenly it engulfed them and for one brief second the bridge glowed bright red. It passed in only seconds, leaving her feeling warm and safe, almost like a hug. She looked around at the crew, by all appearance they were normal, but even Tuvok looked a little more content.
“No damage, all weapons and sensors are in tact.”
“Helm, warp and thrusters all fully functional.”
“All scans –internal and external are normal, and I find no sign of the cloud.” Harry looked up. “Captain, it’s as if it was never here.”
“Janeway to Chakotay”
“Commander, any effect from the cloud?”
“No Captain, we register nothing. How long to impact?”
“Commander? We have already passed through the cloud and it appears to have fully dissipated.”
“Nothing registered on the sensors here, Captain—we were completely unaware of it.”
“You and Seven double check all readings and let me know if you find anything.”
“Aye Captain, Chakotay out.”
“Harry double check all the reading, Tuvok check with all department heads—let’s see if anyone else has a reading.” She stood and looked around at a very content bridge crew. “Gentlemen, I will be in my ready room.” She left to a chorus of ‘Ayes’.
She ordered a cup of coffee and returned to the couch, still trying to piece together the events of yesterday. Despite the fact that no sensor reading were found any where else on the ship, she was not concerned about their little encounter, no one suffered ill effects and no damage was done. She had ordered them to resume course and proceeded to prepare for the party. She was still trying to figure out how she had ended up, without her clothing, alone in Harry’s quarters, when the door opened and she gasped grabbing at the sheet she still wore.
“Morning.” Chakotay cheerfully greeted her.
“Uh—er—mmmorn-ing.” She stammered as she felt her cheeks glow red.
“How are you feeling this morning?” He came in and sat beside her.
“Fine—confused—not sure—.” He started to laugh and she got angry. “What the hell is so funny?”
“Commander, there is nothing funny about this.” She was glaring at him and it made him laugh all the more.
“Oh, Kathryn, so formal this morning. Why last night, you…” He chuckled as he watched her turn even redder. “You don’t know about last night do you?”
“Chakotay, please.” She took a deep breath. “No. Would you care to enlighten me?”
“Oh yes!—but first, I’m gonna have some tea.” He headed to the replicator. “More coffee?”
“Yes, please.” She tried to calm herself and at the same time prepare to learn just why she was here.
“OK.” He brought back their drinks. “Just how far do you remember.”
“I remember we went to the party and not much—we danced, Tom smirked a lot and that’s it. Then I woke up here—alone and …” She looked at her self and blushed again . “Wearing a sheet.”
“What do you think happened?” He laughed again.
“I- I—I’m afraid to think, but.. you don’t appear angry at me so….” She shrugged.
“So it couldn’t be as bad as you think?”
“Well yes—well is it?” She punched his arm. “Damn it just tell me.”
“OK, here it is—your ready to hear this?”
“Just do it!”
“OK we were at the party. It was a very nice party by the way, Tom and Neelix did a very good job of..” He caught her glare and chuckled.
“Out with it!”
“OK, so we were having a good time and the conversation turned to candy and roses and then other traditional valentine things. And….”
“So Captain, did you buy him the candy and flowers yet?” Tom teased.
“Shhhh Tom, you will spoil the surprise.” She smiled and winked at him. “Later when we leave here.” She leaned in close to Tom and whispered. “Maybe I’ll even get lucky.”
“Captain!” Tom shouted and backed away wide eyed.
“Yes?” She gave him her most innocent look. “Did I say something wrong?” Her smile told him she knew exactly what she had said.
“Uh—No, nope- not at all.” He backed away, patting Chakotay’s back as he went. “Have a –nice—evening, Commander.” He laughed and left them.
“Humm—payback?” Chakotay grinned at her.
“A little, for Tom. You I will take care of later.”
“Hope so—shall we dance.” He guided her to the floor with out waiting for an answer.
The party was going well, everyone was having a good time. She and Chakotay danced, probably closer and slower than the crew had ever seen before, but she didn’t care. Tonight she felt good, warm and –freer than she had in a very long time. She watched the other couples. Sam and Joe—they were good together, Tom and B’Elanna—a strange pair sometimes, but it worked well for them, Harry and Jenny –they were cute together, she could almost forget Jenny’s rather checkered reputation when she watched her with Harry, and Tuvok—all alone, but he had come anyway she hadn’t expected it but he seemed to be enjoying himself. She left Chakotay and asked Tuvok to dance with her and to her great surprise he did. When they stayed on the floor for the second dance, everyone was more than shocked. Tom could not resist a comment so he guided B’Elanna toward them, dancing up close to the Captain.
“Sampling, Captain?” He leered at her.
“No Tom just dancing with a friend.” She smiled. “But now that you mention it ---it’s not a bad idea.”
“What’s sampling.” B’Elanna asked, as the couples danced side by side.
“It is a tradition among Mr. Kim’s people.” Tuvok explained. “Where each year on this day all the single woman get to kiss all eligible men in search of true love.”
“OH—that sounds like fun.” B’Elanna nodded at the Captain.
“Yes it does and I think I might try it, purely in the name of scientific research—how about you B’Elanna?”
“Sure, when shall we start?”
“How about now?”
“OK.” B’Elanna kissed Tom. “Nahh don’t think so.” She laughed and looked back at the Captain. “OK your turn.”
“OK.” She smiled at Tuvok.
“Captain, I don’t believe I qualify, I have a mate.”
“Well, yes, technically, but she is far across the universe and I believe an exception could be made—T’Pel would never stand in the way of scientific research.”
“True.” Tuvok stood looking down at her. “I believe it is required that You kiss Me.”
“Yes, I think you are correct.”
The kiss that followed caused B’Elanna to actually scream in surprise. Tom nearly fell over in shock and the entire crew stood back and watched.
“Well?” Tuvok watched her, while the entire crew watched them.
“Humm, Hey, Harry –are we allowed to go for seconds?” She yelled across the now silent dance floor.
“Sure Captain, but I think you must sample others first.” Harry had never asked that question, but hell this could be fun.
“OK.” She yelled back and grabbed Tom from B’Elanna. After thoroughly kissing him, she released a very startled Tom and looked back at B’Elanna. “Nahh.”
“Hey wait, I can do better ---honest.” Tom yelled at their retreating backs.
Harry had to explain the tradition of sampling to the room and soon every woman in the place was kissing every man they could find.
“OhMYGOD—I kissed Tuvok??!!” She was beet red, staring at him in disbelief.
“Oh yes, more than once and I might add you both seemed to be enjoying your selves.” He couldn’t help laughing. That was only the beginning.”
“What else?” She hid her face in her hands.
There was a line of women forming on the other side of the room. The Captain worked her way over to it, only to discover her very happy first officer gleefully kissing each one in turn. As she approached, he caught sight of the raised eyebrow and laughed.
“Captain, Great idea you had.” He managed before being claimed by the next in line.
“I see you are enjoying yourself.” She stood watching, which made a few of the woman leave the line.
“Sorry, Captain.” Jenny Delaney stepped past her. “But you can have this anytime—I only get one shot.”
“Make the most of it Ladies.” She left them to do some sampling of her own.
After a while, the couples began to reform leaving only a few unattached people in the room. B’Elanna had decided to change her original opinion and return to Tom, the Captain had yet to choose her man. The few single men left were gathered in a circle around her and the rest of the crew was cheering them on. Joe was part of the circle until Sam dragged him away, leaving the Captain with Mike Holleran, Sampaon, Chakotay, Tom Pager and Tuvok. She worked her way around the circle eliminating as she went until she was left with Tuvok and Chakotay. Finally with one last kiss, the crew thought might never end, she choose Chakotay.
“So, I’ll do?”
“Yea, I think so—until next year, anyway.”
“I don’t’ think you get to do it every year.” He pulled her close to him. “I believe once you have chosen it’s for keeps.”
“Humm—Let’s go check that out.” She broke free of the embrace but took his hand and pulled him toward Harry.
“I chose you?”
“No—but what?” She looked around. “Why am I here?”
“Oh that, well you had so much fun you decided to reward Harry.”
“Oh no.” She groaned, anticipating the worst. Reward how?”
“You made him Captain and gave him your quarters---that’s why we came down here.”
“Oh god is that all --- we? We came down here?”
“Yes, it seems you gave my quarters to Sam and Joe—since as you told them all . “He will have no need for them.” He laughed as she rolled her eyes.
“Then why was I alone and …” She grimaced. “Where are my clothes?”
“I thought you might feel differently today so I went out to investigate last nights events. That is why you were alone.” He laughed again. “The clothes—well you insisted I recycle them because you wanted to be free and never intended to wear clothes again.”
“Was I ..” She looked up hopefully. “Where was I when I made this decision?” He burst out into uncontrollable laughter and she punched him. “Damn it –answer me.”
“Oh, Kathryn..” He couldn’t stop laughing. “You were---you were –“ He tried to bring the laughter under control, she was punching him trying to get an answer. “OK –Here—you were here, Kathryn –just the two of us. We were here.”
“Thank the spirits.” She slumped back against the couch. “So how come you remember and I don’t?”
“It seems to be that cloud we encountered yesterday. It had this strange almost drunken effect on the crew—the doctor discovered it last night but he was enjoying the ‘show’ as he said and thought you should have some fun--- it was harmless and would wear off in a few hours, so he waited till this morning to tell me.”
“Doesn’t explain why you remember and I don’t.”
“It seems the area most effected was the bridge—I was in astrometrics.” He brought them more coffee as he explained. “So you, Tuvok, Harry, Tom and Ensigns Parker and Simms were more heavily effected than the rest of the crew.”
“And there are no ill effects of this?”
“None that the doctor can determine—except of course that Harry is now Captain.” He laughed at her expression. “But he won’t remember so it’s probably OK.”
“That means Tuvok won’t remember—oh thank god.”
“Kathryn, the rest of the crew will—you have to tell him.”
“OHMYGOD—you’re right.” She dropped her head back on the couch.
“Want me to?”
“Oh no—no—I’ll so it—that will be bad enough.”
“Kathryn, it’s not so bad—we all had some fun and we all ended up with the right people—no harm done.”
“And what will my crew think of me now?”
“They will think you are human and can have some fun-----and a few of those guys will never forget it.” She lifted her head and tried to punch him again, he grabbed her hands. “I’m glad you picked me.” He kissed her.
“Me too.” She drew him down to her and the door opened, unnoticed.
“OH.” Jenny giggled.
“Umm Ahh s-s-sorry.” Harry stammered.
“OH lord.” Kathryn clutched the sheet with one hand and pushed Chakotay with the other.
“Harry, Jenny, good morning.” Chakotay chuckled.
“Captain, I –oh lord—I…”
“Harry it’s OK—not your fault.” She struggled to her feet, almost as red as Harry, replicated them some coffee and herself a bathrobe. “Here sit down, just let me slip into this and we will explain.” She headed to the other room.
“Chakotay—I’m sorry I..”
“Sit Harry, when Kathryn gets back we will explain—It’s OK”
“Jenny, have a seat next to --- Captain Kim.” Kathryn gestured toward Harry and received strange looks from both of them. “Get comfortable –it’s a long story.” She laughed and sat next to Chakotay, to make the first of her explanations of ‘Honoring the great and solemn tradition of Soskito.’ It wouldn’t be the last.
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