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The Voyager crew have some time to kill as they travel through a quiet sector of space and they need entertainment. Tom decides he's the perfect man for the job.
31st October 2017
8th - 12th, 14th & 15th January 2018
28th & 29th April 2001
3rd May 2001
A light clatter startled Neelix awake, and so he tried to sit up right once more in his seat. The person sitting next to him appeared very cross and for a reason he racked his brains to recall, was holding two teacups, one in each hand. A third cup lay in pieces in between them.
Finally he remembered, his face brightened and he looked ahead. "Ah, astounding. That was Ensign Livnomor and her wonderful juggling act. I'm afraid..."
"It's Lovenor," the woman beside him scowled. Neelix's smile briefly lost its structural integrity. "And we were sampling different tea flavours."
"Oh," Neelix stammered helplessly. Her reminder didn't jog his memory. What did though was noticing the warm wet patch on his thigh. When he looked down at that he spotted the cup. Once more he plastered on his facade and stared ahead at the camera sitting on the kitchen's bench. "I'm afraid that's all we've got time for on A Briefing With Neelix. Join us next time for the Doctor's... um, fascinating insight into the Bolian immune system. An interview with Vorik about his discovery in the Jeffries Tube. You don't want to miss that. See you tomorrow."
He waited a few seconds until the camera's timer switched it off to breathe a sigh of relief. "So close to ruining yet another perfect show. I can't wait for the feedback."
Unknown to Neelix not one of the monitors on Voyager had been playing what he had been recording. Instead someone else was filling their screens.
"Welcome back Voyager, I'm Tom Paris and this is Voyager TV Live. First we have the weather with ace weatherman Harry Kim," Tom chirpily announced into a microphone. He turned to his left to someone off screen. "How's it looking today, Harry?"
The camera cut to Harry with his own microphone standing outside one of the windows. Outside wasn't the usual black with an odd few stars in the distance, instead was a mouldy green looking mist with a few clashing orange streaks now and then. "Still crappy, Tom!" he shouted into his microphone.
Back to Tom, he pretended to wince. "Still crappy folks. Thanks Harry. Coming up; Coffee Wars. One lucky crewmember will be volunteered for coffee delivery duty. However today won't go right. Join us in twenty minutes to see how long Janeway lasts. Now..."
Chakotay closed his laptop to get rid of him after twenty minutes of trying to turn it off. Instead the light from the screen leaked through the cracks. "Oh for..."
"It's time for Straight Face. You know what that means," he heard Tom's muffled voice laugh.
The Doctor beamed at the computer sitting in front of him on his desk.
"Please welcome, the Doctor!" Tom's voice announced.
That was the cue for the Doctor to sit up straight with purpose, just in time for it to beep at him. "Thank you Mr Paris. I'm happy to be here."
Unlike all the other screens on the ship, the image of Tom had been zoomed in on his face. The other computers showed the Doctor in a little box in the corner, seemingly unaware that Tom was biting his lip in a vain struggle not to laugh, too proud to notice.
"Oh it's my pleasure Doc. Now, if I'm not mistaken, you've got a new hobby. Tell us all about it."
"Ah well," the Doctor's smile spread even further. "I call it snapshotting. I program the camera to take shots at musical intervals, while I perform a wonderful operatic tune." Tom's lips began to tremble. "The results are really fascinating and capture the beauty and dramatics of the piece I'm performing."
"Interesting. Can we see an example?" Tom managed to say in all seriousness.
"Why of course," the Doctor chuckled. Up he stood, his chest puffed out. "Computer. Beethoven..."
While he was ordering the song title, the doors to Sickbay opened for Jessie. She looked around curiously since at first glance no was around. Then she spotted movement coming from the office before being deafened by booming opera.
Jessie headed there, not put off as it'd be more unusual for this to not be happening. "Um Doc, can you turn that crap off, I need..." she trailed off as her eyes widened in horror.
The Doctor did not hear her over the music and his singing, or see her since he was busy doing dramatic arm gestures. Somehow he also didn't hear her scream and run back the way she came.
Outside Sickbay James had been not literally cornered by Kiara and Naomi.
"But I have a tummy ache," Kiara complained, rubbing her stomach as if that would prove it.
"How will me going in there help you feel better?" James asked.
Kiara huffed, "you can get the poofy spray thingybob for me."
James laughed briefly which made her scowl like a mini Janeway. "No. Look, it's only down the corridor. If you're that poorly, I'll carry you in."
"No!" Naomi protested for her. "Doc's being weird."
James glanced ahead at the door, cringing at the music coming from it. "Well I dunno..." he barely had time to say when the doors opened and a freaked out Jessie ran through them.
She spotted him and hurried over like her life depended on it. Fortunately she saw the children in front of him and managed to veer slightly to avoid knocking them over. Then she fearfully tugged on his arm, wigging him out as well. "James, a rabbit, kill it," she whimpered near breathlessly.
"What?" James could only say.
"See," Kiara snapped for a reason he didn't get.
With a puzzled look on his face, James walked around them all to go into Sickbay. All three tagged along until they reached the doorway. As soon as the doors opened they were treated to the sight of the Doctor prancing around his office, wearing a bunny suit.
Jessie had immediately flinched and made sure to stand directly behind James so she'd see nothing. The kids however were on either side of him, they started to giggle. Jessie then peeped around his right arm just as the Doctor did a cheesy hand on heart pose. She felt more than a little stupid, but her own giggles helped sort that out.
Thankfully the show ended and it was quiet again. All anyone could hear were Tom's stifled snickering coming from the computer.
"Who let the Emergency Comedy Hologram out of his treadmill?" James asked.
The Doctor noticed his visible audience and merely frowned at them as if they were the ones who looked ridiculous. "The C stands for command. How is that not obvious?" he sneered while putting his hands on his hips.
The two little girls burst into further giggles, confusing him. "What?" the hologram grunted.
"Yeah um, is there a fancy dress party we haven't been told about?" Jessie laughed too.
"I don't understand," the Doctor said.
"Maybe start with checking your head, or heck looking at your arms," James suggested.
The Doctor did both, one hand went to his no longer bald head and the other stretched in front of him. He swung around to check a reflective surface and understood why the people at the door and Tom were snickering. "Oh brother," he only groaned toward the door, "how hilarious. Change me back, you've had your fun."
"Normally I'd love to take the credit but I didn't do it," James said.
"Neither did I, I hate rabbits," Jessie said.
"Then who did?" the Doctor asked. Then he looked towards Kiara and Naomi giggling their heads off behind James.
James frowned back at him, "yeah right, maybe check your screen."
"Uhoh busted," Tom pretended to sound betrayed.
The Doctor looked toward him as the screen turned off. He responded with a bitter hmph sound. "I don't suppose you'll fix this before you leave."
Kiara tugged on James' sleeve. He looked down to find her rubbing her stomach again. "Laughing made it hurt more."
All eyes were on the small screen on the wall. It currently was showing a random redshirt trying to dance around airborne PADDs and tricorders, while still managing to keep the drink in his hand from spilling. When it was over, the image shrunk down to show Tom once more having a good laugh at what was shown. Not only that, the Tom in the room laughed with him and he was the only one.
"Well that's all we have time for. Tune in tomorrow for more laughs and hot off the press news," screen Tom tried to look serious. "Take care of yourself and others. Good night!"
When the screen finally turned off almost the entire table swirled around to stare at Tom with a mixture of expressions, not one was complimentary.
"I know, it's a bit lacking but it's only a pilot," Tom sighed despondently.
"Took the words right out of my mouth," Jessie said. Most of the table sniggered quietly.
Tom wasn't one of them, he gestured to her with his hand, "see. Jessie gets it."
"The question is, do you?" James asked him with a straight face.
"What a surprise!" Tom huffed and rolled his eyes. "James doesn't like fun. When's the next medicals Doc, cos someone needs a stick removing from their ass."
"Oh, it won't be your ass," James smiled back at him with a glint in his eye. It unnerved Tom enough to shut him up for five seconds.
Kathryn straightened up while trying to stifle a yawn, "thank you. Now, can anyone remember what this meeting was about before we were forced into watching some ego stroking?"
Chakotay nodded. "According to Astrometrics sensors we should've exited the nebula an hour ago, but..." Most eyes drifted to the window and its not very pleasant orange and green misty view. "The concentration of the cloud's a lot thinner here, so we're through the worst of it. Seven says there's a newly born star nearby that could be drawing the nebula's..."
"That's not exactly what I reported, Commander. I suspect that due to the proximity of the star, its gravity has..." Seven said.
"So what are you going to do for episode two, Tom?" Kathryn abruptly asked, startling almost everyone.
Tom though looked on in shock, "what, really?" Seven meanwhile huffed and folded her arms.
"Really?" Chakotay asked the Captain in a tired, almost bored tone.
"Actually, I have a fair few ideas on how to spruce up the show but I need extras, and lots of them," Tom eagerly said.
Kathryn stared at him harshly, "of course not really, but there's only so much ego stroking I can handle in one sitting. Now, how are we doing ship system wise? We haven't had a power cut in a few episodes, so I'd really like to know in advance this time."
"No problems on my end, Captain. Engines are running at peak efficiency, no power outages, no errors. Even the Holodecks aren't malfunctioning," B'Elanna replied.
"Great. I'd better pack my emergency power cut supplies," Kathryn muttered, prompting a few sniggers from all around the table. Most trailed off as she got up and hurried out of the Conference Room.
Tom sighed in relief before looking around at everyone. "So, if things are going to be quieter for a little longer then some of you will be free. I have a few new sketches in mind, should be a good laugh, and some may be juicy." Almost in sync everyone got up from their seats and started to file out while he was talking. He stared after them, slack jawed.
As soon as he was alone his bottom lip stuck out, quietly wondering what everyone's problem was. An earlier insult popped into the foreground, making him gasp aloud, "pilot." His shock soon turned into a bitter scowl which pushed him to his feet. "Lacking. Hilarious. We'll see," he grumbled on his way out.
For once the entire deck was breathable during lunch hours, so the majority of the crew were taking full advantage of the opportunity. While some merely ate their lunch at the never used tables next to the kitchen, others were clearing out dirty utensils and the weirdest of the food items into bags and boxes. When one item missed of the many bin liners, it flew over a few people's heads and splattered into the window. Everyone under its flight path were forced to pinch their noses to continue living.
Morgan glanced back over her shoulder, unintentionally getting a whiff of crusty socks and mint mixed in. She turned back, gagging all the while.
"I wonder what that's all about," Jessie said in between sips of her drink, ignorant to Morgan's reaction.
"I dunno. Rumour has it Neelix was following that Bolian guy around with a camera. Didn't notice he was walking into a bathroom," Craig chuckled.
James meanwhile looked at the gagging teen sitting beside him sympathetically, he slid his own glass toward her just in time for her to cough the remnants of the smell out of her system. Craig had frowned at it the whole time until he noticed Morgan's winded face and grimace.
"Ugh, smells like dad's booze stash that he thinks I don't know about," Morgan muttered after finally being able to take a drink without choking. She nodded a thanks afterward.
"What does?" Craig wondered.
"You okay, what happened?" Jessie asked more or less at the same time.
"Oh my word!" Neelix screeched from the closest door, rendering the Mess Hall silent. He stomped over to the substance on the window. "What are you doing throwing pie mix around. That was for Mr Chakotay's birthday, now it won't set!" He tried to pull the goopy pale green stuff from the glass but it had already solidified. He struggled with it for quite some time, giving the Mess Hall raiders more than enough time to scarper.
James watched him until he resorted to spitting into both his palms before trying again. He shuddered and returned his focus to the table. Their faces were similar, having heard it. "Of course Neelix would survive following Chell into the toilets, the confusing thing is why would he?" James asked, despite not really wanting to know the answer.
Craig shrugged casually, "maybe he was looking for inspiration."
Morgan and Jessie looked at him in utter disgust, he blushed furiously and stared down at the table.
"It's probably one of Tom's stupid sketches for his show," Jessie said.
Her comment got Neelix's attention, he tried one more time to pry the so called pie mix from the window before stomping over to her table.
"What do you mean, Tom's show?" he asked furiously.
Jessie frowned upwards at him. "You know, Dumbass TV Live, or whatever he's calling it."
Neelix stared blankly in the general direction of the table. "How come I'm only hearing about this now?"
"Dunno. It's not like anyone can really miss it," Craig said.
Morgan snickered, "speak for yourself."
James glanced toward her curiously. "Huh? He's broadcasting that crap through all the frequencies on the ship. How did you bypass it?"
"Yes please, that little spot caused my shopping list to expire. Had to start all over again," Jessie grumbled.
"Oh, I guess you could call it bypassing," Morgan smirked.
Seven puffed her chest out and smiled triumphantly down at the young girl standing in front of her. "Is that all?" she asked.
Morgan's eyebrow twitched, inside her rage was brewing. "I wouldn't say that's all. I have a computer and a PADD."
"Very well. I will purge the virus from your devices efficiently and perfectly. I'll call you when I am done," Seven said far too proudly for her own good.
"Wait, you asked Seven. I'm a little disappointed."
Seven's proud smile had a little devilish tint in her eye. "However my time is valuable. Since yours is worthless, you can pay me back by doing something for me."
Morgan looked a little sheepish, "sure. Why not?"
"And she did it without condescension or a jealous ragey hissy fit?" James asked suspiciously.
Seven walked into the Mess Hall complete with a padd shaped imprint on her left cheek. She spotted Morgan, scowled and walked off huffily. Morgan smiled in a similar smug fashion.
"I'd be lying if there wasn't some hissy fitting," she answered cheekily.
Neelix cleared his throat as loudly as possible. "Excuse me. Tom has created a rival TV show to mine, and everyone knows about it?"
"The Doctor's food poisoning slideshow last week doesn't count as a show," Craig said.
"No!" Neelix huffed, hands flying to his hips. "That cad, trying to copy off my brilliant idea and cheating too, as he knows he can't beat me. This explains why my ratings have taken a massive hit."
James' eyebrow raised, "I imagine that's a separate issue."
Jessie sniggered behind her hand. Morgan though was less discreet and stared up at him with a disgusted scowl, "are you drunk? No one's going to tune in at home and watch you waffle on about Leola and some crazy girl you dated, when we get the live version every meal time."
"Hmph, and I assume you enjoy Paris' tasteless hidden camera sketches and shameless gossip disguised as a news program," Neelix grunted.
Craig looked more than a little confused, "I thought you hadn't heard of it, but you've seen it?"
Neelix rolled his eyes, laughing derisively. "I don't need to. He's nothing but predictable, thanks for proving that to me. No wonder he has to cheat."
"So what's your program about?" Jessie asked.
"Oh?" Neelix's demeanour instantly switched to cheerful. "I share my wonderful recipes and..."
"Kettle is black, got it," Jessie giggled.
"Ohno," Neelix panicked and hurried off towards the kitchen, "I swear I turned it off this time." He almost bumped into a grumpy looking Harry on his way in.
Morgan turned her nose up. "Ugh, when Tom's crap is the better choice... if we actually had one."
"I wouldn't go that far," James said.
Craig was about to respond to that when an empty chair was slammed down between him and James. The whole table stared as Harry plonked himself down on it, firmly grasping a glass.
"Er... I thought you said there were no more Monkey Island sequels," Craig sniped a little too bitterly.
"Oh don't you start too," Harry groaned impatiently.
James glanced briefly between the two women at the table, then back toward Harry and Craig. "Can Tom not do his own dirty work anymore?"
"What?" Harry instinctively bit back. He shook his head and groaned tiredly, "no, Tom's on his own now. I'm washing my hands of him and his show."
One of Jessie's eyes narrowed while the other's eyebrow crept up, "really? So why are you sitting with us?"
Harry leaned his elbow on the table so he could slump his chin into his palm, lean a little to one side and rub his ear. "I figured this was the I hate Tom table. Am I wrong?"
"Yes and no, all tables hate Tom," Jessie replied.
"What did he do?" Craig asked in a bored tone of voice.
Harry sighed a little too loudly, "since no one has a choice, you'll see what he did for yourself. I've helped him plan this programme for months and the thanks I get is piss taking. I imagine I'll be watching with a drink in hand."
"A lesson for us all," Craig sniggered.
Morgan passed him a judgmental eyebrow raise. "Only one?"
"Yeah, I thought so too. I figured it's the only way to make it more tolerable, but then I thought; why not have some fun with it," Harry said.
"Smash his cameras over his head? You're right that does sound like fun," James said.
Harry did a double take, his initial glance went toward a lightened up Morgan who then frowned at him for his mistake. "What, no? What's the matter with you?"
"Me? I'm not Tom's ex best mate," James smirked.
"I like it. We can make a game out of it. How many cameras before he cries like a baby?" Morgan smiled.
Jessie stared at her blankly, "we already know. One, or more likely zero as he'd be knocked out."
Morgan pouted and folded her arms tightly, "no fun allowed."
"What?" Harry hissed. The others looked at him again, making his eyes widen. "No, I was thinking of something far less psychotic. A drinking game. By the time it's over, no one will remember his stupid show and he'd have to find some other way to amuse himself."
"Actually, that sounds good. I'm in," Craig said.
Harry rolled his eyes, Craig assumed he either expected no's all around or didn't want him taking part. Either way he sulked. Harry didn't notice and mumbled to himself before he spoke up and directly to the table, "I've already asked a few people on the way here. I've got a steady dozen so far."
"Hang on. I don't get it. How is drinking a game?" Morgan asked.
"It's simple. For example if one of the rules is drink one shot if Tom insults someone, when he does you drink one shot. Simple, isn't it?" Harry replied.
James laughed in dismay, "we'd all be dead five minutes in."
"You know what I mean," Harry said defensively. "You lose the game if you're too drunk, collapse, throw up and or quit on your own. The last one in the game wins."
"I get the picture," Jessie groaned.
"So, who's in?" Harry asked.
"Oooh, beer," he heard a girl's voice say moments before his drink was snatched from him. It took him a few seconds to really react, to which he looked over his shoulder to see his thief sit down on a nearby table.
"Something tells me Emma won't need persuading," Morgan sniggered.
From the same table, Tani shuffled her chair closer to theirs. "It'll be fun, count me in too."
"Okay," Harry didn't sound too impressed. His eyes shifted nervously. "How old are you?"
"Eighteen," Tani lied. She noticed Morgan roll her eyes and quickly elbowed her.
"Morgan's out by age default, then that leaves..." Harry said, glancing towards Jessie first, then James.
must be joking," Jessie scoffed.
James nodded, "yeah, if we take part I'm sure this little game will have a video camera in the corner."
"Oh come on," Harry protested while visibly twitching. "Why would there be a camera?"
"Why would there be a camera in the so called love themed club program, or in the Fair Haven pub, or in Tom's pocket?" Jessie grumbled.
Harry's face paled slightly, he looked a little apologetic. "Yeah, he can be extremely creepy at times." He grimaced and rubbed his ear. "And that's why I want to humiliate him. If he knew everyone watching were completely hammered after only ten minutes of his stupid show, his ego would be bruised."
"Like when his mutiny program was turned into a mockery of him and he proceeded to keep making holo novels. Yeah," Craig said.
Jessie scowled, "why do you keep rubbing your ear?"
"Huh?" Harry looked worried. "Oh, Janeway blamed me for the Coffee sketch because someone pointed the finger. Believe me, it was twice the size only half an hour ago."
"I'm not going to this get pissed game if there's going to be another hidden camera," James said.
"Do you think I'd stoop this low? I tried to stop him everytime he tried to film people. I wouldn't do something like that. I promise," Harry said.
"Promises are cheap coming from you two," Jessie said.
An annoyed sigh drifted out of Morgan. "I'm sure he won't. If he does I'll just beat the crap out of him again."
"Again? But you've never..." Harry stuttered. He winced, "duly noted."
"Fine I'll come, as long as I get to help you beat him up if this gets filmed," James said.
"Deal," Morgan giggled. "We'll take turns."
Harry started to sweat, fortunately for him it was mainly his neck and only he noticed the uncomfortably soggy collar he currently had.
"Oh fine, you all go and have fun. I'll have fun on my own," Jessie said huffily.
"Jess, why don't you want to come? You know we're going to be smacking someone here," Morgan asked. Harry barely repressed an audible whimper.
"Because I don't want the same thing to happen that happened last time," Jessie replied.
Morgan frowned while Craig nodded knowingly. "Upendi makeout session," he said stupidly aloud. The back of his head was immediately slapped by a furious Jessie.
"And?" Harry said without thinking, he stopped once more with widening eyes.
James adjusted his chair so it was closer to the table, doing so he purposely pushed his elbow out into Harry's leaning arm. The slight bump made Harry's own elbow slip backwards, nearly face palming the table. He recovered and glared at James accusingly.
"Oh sorry, I forgot you were there," James smiled coldly.
Harry's face whitened further while shuffling his own seat closer to Craig, not there was much room to.
"Look um, you're not going to do that everytime you're drunk. So why not?" Craig asked.
"No," Jessie snapped and shot to her feet, "and that's final." She stomped off before anyone had a chance to get a word in.
nothing that persuasion can't fix, what?" Harry muttered in
distaste. He briefly poked the same ear, then noticed the rest of the
table looking at him. "It's okay. I have other people to ask. No biggie."
"It's Voyager. I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding people eager to get drunk," Morgan said.
Harry's face scrunched up, letting out a tired quiet groan. "I dunno, this seems a little pathetic."
James stared, then laughed in disbelief. "It was your idea."
"No, not that, I mean..." Harry stammered. "Not pathetic, sad that Jessie doesn't want to come cos Tom's a pervert with video camera footage under his pillow."
"Look if she doesn't want to come who are we to force her?" James grumbled.
Harry half rolled his eyes. "I'm not doing that," he mumbled irritably under his breath. Another sigh which sounded more defeated than the last. "You're her friend, can't you talk her into it? Maybe promise not to make up with her this time." He grimaced and mouthed, "out."
"Your definition of the word friend doesn't match mine. That's why I don't have an annoying little yappy dog gnawing at my ankle, trying to suck the personality and free will out of me. So no, I'll pass," James said.
Harry scowled but meekly at him, he looked more like a huffy ten year old that had been grounded. "You don't have to be so rude in every line you have. Also tone it down, you convoluted oaf."
Lucky for him James found that funny, "actually I was being polite. You never had personality or free will." The rest of the table sniggered quietly.
"Oh, you hurt my feelings," Harry tried to sound sarcastic, ignoring the sting making his eye feel a tad watery.
"If you don't shut up they won't be the only things that hurt," James said.
"There he goes again. Can't insult someone normally, so tries to be witty with it. Really is the perfect example of all talk," Harry grunted.
Tani gasped, then looked toward James in full expectation of a comeback.
"Harry, give it a rest before we do," Morgan groaned to her friend's disappointment.
"All right, all right. Anyway I have the perfect plan to convince Jessie to come," Harry said.
"I thought Morgan told you to zip it," Tani said.
"I'll do it for him, in the literal sense," James said.
"That's gotta hurt," Craig muttered to himself.
Tani giggled, then glanced toward Harry. He sighed signalling his giving up.
"Hey, I got a better idea anyway," Morgan smiled. Harry looked at her, almost relieved. "I can take part, Jessie can without fear of grossness being filmed..." She made sure to glance at James at the last part, but was a little disappointed that he barely shrugged. "We use non boozy drinks; Cherry Coke, other crappy soft drinks, juice, whatever's your poison."
"So the tea-total version of a drinking game," Harry said with little feeling to it.
Morgan pulled a disgusted face, "ew no, tea's gross."
James laughed, she didn't know it was partially at her. "I was having second thoughts about going, but I'll go to this. Seems harmless." Tani nodded in agreement.
"Oh I don't know. Janeway will coffee binge herself to victory, or is it los..." Craig warily said.
"You don't have to convince me further, I'm already in," James cut in.
Craig wasn't sure if he was serious, he still blinked rapidly in shock though. "You really are an odd duck."
"That goes without saying," Harry mumbled to himself. "Look, I don't think this will send the same message as a drunk fest..." He frowned, "ok ok. You are right. If we drank everytime Tom did something offensive, we'd be painting our hair in rainbow order and flying into stars within five minutes."
With that sorted, Harry quickly stood back up and began to walk off. He remembered something and hurried back, "oh, show starts at 1800. I'll nab Tom's old television and bring it here. Meet you then."
"I thought Tom had one of those two inch boxes from the Captain Lame era," Morgan said.
Harry chuckled, "he does, he keeps that in his bathroom. I'll nab the sixty inch 4000 or whatever he called it, he won't notice till after the show that it's gone." He then attempted to leave again.
"What do you think?" Craig asked the table once he was long gone.
"I think as long as there's limited Cherry Coke and Janeway doesn't bring espressos, there'll be nothing to really film," James replied.
Morgan huffed, "pfft, I thought you were fun."
"Your mum can get high after a few Lattes, don't you worry about that," James smirked at her.
"That's not what I mean and you know it," Morgan groaned, then stuck her tongue out at him.
Harry wiped the sweat he imagined he had on his forehead as soon as he was alone in the turbolift. It still didn't feel enough so he was still doing it when he stepped out. He reached his destination and pressed the door chime, still dabbing his left temple.
"Yeah?" Tom's voice called from the other side.
Taking that as a come in, Harry walked straight inside. He noted the massive flat screen TV attached to the wall on his right, wincing a little, before walking the rest of the way in.
"I tried. You're going to have to find something else for the Straight Face slot," Harry said.
Tom nonchalantly looked up from the computer sitting on his lap. "Oh no worries. I think I can salvage this, somehow."
James was getting ready in his room, aka The Mess. He heard a scream coming from outside, seconds later frantic bashing which left his door vibrating. He rushed forward to allow the door to open. A panicked Jessie ran by him and to the other side of the room.
"What the hell is going on?" James asked on turning to face her.
"Spiders," she stuttered.
Where?" James frowned.
Jessie shivered and wrapped her arms around herself. "My room. Eeew, they were so big and creepy, do something."
James sidestepped away from the door so it would close. "How big are we talking?"
"Oh god," Jessie shook even more. "Big enough. You should have seen it. There's probably about twenty in there." James' eyes widened a little as they drifted in the direction of the door. "I locked my door so they couldn't follow me in here."
"So where are you going to sleep tonight?" James asked.
don't know, the Living Room, another quarters, Deck Fifteen. I'm
never going in there again," Jessie squeaked.
A phaser on wide beam instantly sprung into James' head but thought better of it, since it wouldn't affect anything living behind or inside the furniture. Thinking that made him start to shake as well. "What about all of your things?" he stupidly found himself saying.
Jessie burst into sobs and sat down on the edge of the bed. "They'll be in my wardrobe too. And my duvet, and my drawers. And my shoes!" The thought of all those had her tumbling from her sitting position into a nearly foetal position at the foot of the bed.
"You can replicate more until somebody gets rid of those things," James suggested, hoping the idea of shopping would cheer her up.
Jessie did sat back up and wipe away her tears, so he assumed it worked. "Who would want to get rid of them? Anyway if they did manage get rid of them what's stopping those things from coming back?"
"Good question. What I would like to know is how spiders managed to get on the ship at all," James replied.
"You don't mind if I stay in your room until you get back?" Jessie asked sheepishly.
The question left James looking a little bemused. "You don't have to. Morgan suggested that the drinking game should be alcohol-free. The only one that'll be off her face will be Janeway, but what else is new?"
Jessie smiled a little, although she was still trembling. "I dunno. You could almost see the puppet strings floating above Harry."
"Yeah, when Morgan snipped at them he looked a little lost. I think as long as we replicate the drinks, there's nothing really Tom or him can do," James said. He looked a little guilty as Jessie nodded meekly and glanced out the window. "You don't have to go, I just thought you should know."
"Hmm," Jessie's attention drifted back to the door. It gave her a few more uncontrollable shudders. "With those things only two doors away, I'll show up to almost anything."
"Are you sure? You could always just watch us possibly make a fool of ourselves," James asked with a smile.
Jessie climbed back to her feet. "We'll see. I need to get a new set of clothes first though." She reluctantly, very slowly walked back to the living room, darting her head around to make sure it was safe.
Tani squinted her eyes at the screen in front of her, grimacing all the while. "It doesn't look right."
"It's fine!" Harry protested near breathlessly, his face a bright red. He clutched onto the massive television like he was scared it would topple over, despite its sturdy stand.
Morgan shook her head while scoffing popcorn into her mouth. "Nuh uh, it's too diagonal, anyone sitting in the corner will get glare."
"I said it's fine! It's LED, you can look at it any angle," Harry grumbled.
"If you say so," Morgan said absentmindedly, then popped some more food into her mouth.
Harry looked at it again, paranoia raced through his mind. On the opposite of the screen Neelix had turned around and leaned against it for support. Harry panicked, thinking it would topple over from his weight.
Thankfully instead he toppled over. The TV itself didn't notice he was gone.
"Sheesh, you two are a bunch of pansies. It's barely half an inch thick, the base is this piddly thing," Morgan said, clicking her tongue. "It's a faffy length sure, but..."
"I'd like to see you lug this around a starship full of turbolifts and twisty corridors!" Harry snapped defensively.
Tani sniggered obnoxiously, "oooh no Morgan, you prodded his masculinity. Look at all those cracks."
Morgan giggled as well, "I can't, it's already glass shards on the floor. Though I am curious as to how that thing fit into a turbolift."
"The TV or his imagined masculinity?" James asked.
Morgan and Tani jumped and looked behind them to find him standing there with Jessie. Morgan didn't look too happy about it, Tani though sniggered and blinked far too many times. Jessie noticed the latter and rolled her eyes.
"How long have you been... you could knock or something," Morgan grumbled.
James tried not to laugh at her. "You mean tap on the shoulder, right?"
"Eeew no, keep your mitts to yourself," Morgan replied. She noticed quite a few more crewmembers were filing into the Hall, grabbing the nearest tables to the TV, each of them filled with pitchers of different drinks and glasses. "We'd better."
Jessie nodded. The pair wandered off to a nearby empty table. James began to follow them, Tani insisted on walking along beside him. "You can tap me anytime," she said with a wink. Naturally James' pace increased.
"It's almost show time," Harry said, grabbing the remote from one of the tables close by. He didn't have to worry about tuning it in, the opening titles were already playing. Tom stood to the left of the screen, posing moodily while pre-recorded clips were silently floating around him. The theme music seemed to be a clarinet playing an improvised upbeat tune which no one liked.
Everyone quickly reached for their drink of choice to fill their cups or glasses. While doing so anyone who still had their eye on the screen noticed one of the clips had Tom bowing and taking in an audience giving him a standing ovation. Those members of the group downed half of their drinks, and it was only twenty seconds into the show.
The credits over, Tom walked onto his far too colourful stage with a chirpy grin on his face. "Hey guys, welcome back to VTV Live. The only show on board." He leaned in too close to the camera, making everyone in the room back away from the massive close up. "Worth watching, am I right?"
Neelix scowled, meanwhile everyone else sipped their drinks. Morgan and Seven finished theirs and put down the glasses at pretty much the same time. Their attention jumped straight to the other, ferocious glares instantly on their faces.
"Yeah, you wish life in plastic," Morgan grumbled and jumped to her feet.
"Ohno you don't," Seven snarled.
The two stomped over to one another. A few people turned around to watch, hoping an epic fight was brewing. Instead they bolted for the nearest door, each trying to grab the other and pull them back, until they reached it and started a pitiful shove fight.
"Uh... what was that about?" Jessie asked with a raising eyebrow.
"We had a lot of fun yesterday, didn't we?" Tom stated. Lots of people shook their heads. "That was only the beginning. In the next hour look forward to pretty much everything, guys. Drama, humour, music, dance and romance," he said with a flourished wink. "But first, lets see what's been happening on Voyager today with our veteran news anchor, Mister Harry Kim."
Everyone looked a little confused when the screen changed to show Harry sitting at a news desk, with a Voyager image as its backdrop.
"Pre-recorded? He was just here a sec ago," Craig said while looking around for the real thing.
"Good evening, this is Voyager News. The main headlines; invasion!" Harry read from a PADD in his hands, occasionally making eye contact with the camera.
During his pause a little window appeared to his left showing a frazzled Harry with a pink pair of knickers on his head, holding the Q kid he had been looking after. Despite that he carried on with a straight face and voice, so the viewers figured he hadn't seen it, "half a dozen tiny creatures called Qlings were spotted causing chaos and carnage wherever they went."
"Hey, that's mi... bedroom!" Jessie roared. The majority of the room grimaced.
"We'll get more on that story as it develops. Speaking of, we have some further developments on the designated Idiot Fever that swept across an entire system in a matter of hours," Harry continued. "We go live to our on site reporter with this breaking scoop."
The screen changed as he turned to look at it, he barely got a glimpse of the previous one which made him do a double take. The next screen had Tom standing on a beach with a microphone.
"Thanks Harry. This is pretty huge. Our suspect for this quite odd illness which has people who look on death's door buying pink tutus in bulk, has been arrested," Tom said while walking to a nearby modern building which looked very out of place literally on the beach. "We have managed to negotiate our way into the court room for an interview with him."
Harry firmly ground his teeth, "you don't say." Tom's screen took over completely.
Tom walked into a courtroom where he was immediately greeted by a grumpy looking Harry cradling a phaser like it was a baby, his hand stroking it lovingly.
"So, Mister Shooten," Tom started off.
"Shooty," the other Harry snapped.
"Like there's a difference," Tom groaned. "Now, you've been accused of infecting an entire planet with a possibly fatal illness. What do you say to that?"
Harry 2's face hardened even more than it had before. "Well, on my last trip here there was a guy who wouldn't help us until we created crappy incidents for his paper, so I shot him. Then there was a bloke who wouldn't hand over his ship so I shot him too. Since I shot the paper guy, I didn't need to deal with the idiot with the dolls or the twats in the bar, but it wasn't fair to leave them out so shot them too. Don't get me started on that vague cow who keeps setting Buck onto us for her amusement."
"Oh what a tease, so what happened to her?" Tom asked.
"After I shot that doctor fruitloop for having the worst fake French accent, and for trying to chop Craig's hand off I suppose, she tried to give me a compass to find her boyfriend. He was in a space whale so I couldn't resist, biggest kill ever right my precious?" Harry snickered darkly toward the phaser.
It squeaked in protest, "save me."
Harry didn't notice it, but Tom shared a knowing glance to the camera. "Then this weirdo started fawning over me, cos I'm so awesome and badass. I'm like, duh I know! But, there's only one lady for me and..."
"You then shot her too?" Tom asked in a bored voice.
"Ohno," Harry sounded shocked at the accusation. Tom looked thrown off. "She was hot and fancied me, so I saved her till last. Had to use wide beam to shoot that voodoo cow though."
Tom's eyes shifted from side to side, he quickly turned to the camera. "Oookay, he's gonna fry and no one will care. Back to the studio. Harry?"
Back to the newsroom, Harry had long gone, leaving behind a swinging chair. Tom repeated his name over and over.
"Okay, maybe Harry really was pissed off with him," Craig said with a frown. He looked at Jessie sitting on one side of him. She shrugged her shoulders with a bored look on her face, which was buried in one of her hands, and mumbled a closed mouth I dunno.
The clip switched back to Tom on the stage laughing so much he had tears in his eyes. "Oh Harry, always a pleasure," he chuckled and wiped a tear away with his finger. "Now it's ten minutes in, and you know what that means?"
"Oh god, we've got another fifty minutes," James groaned.
Jessie giggled into her hand which was starting to sway a little side to side.
"NO! I lost first, I put my glass down first!" Seven meanwhile screamed in the background, shoving Morgan enough to make her stumble back a step and wobble.
Morgan growled, "no I did, and better too, like I am than you at everything."
Seven stared at her blankly, "what?"
Morgan stared back at Seven thoughtfully, all while struggling to keep balanced. Her face brightened up, "oh! That's right. I lost thirst," it immediately frowned on saying that. She rolled her eyes impatiently and shoved Seven enough to make her topple over. She barely had time to smile triumphantly before passing out on the floor.
On the viewscreen Tom clapped far too eagerly "Why yes, it's Tom's Rumour Rush!"
Kathryn groaned in disgust, "ugh I knew I made the right call not going to that drinking game. I'd be up for two weeks straight after an hour of this rubbish." She lifted up a pint sized mug and started to guzzle it.
Chakotay watched her, struggling not to break his straight face. "Yes, me too."
The disappointed moan told everyone that the cup was empty. Kathryn dumped it on the floor, making a brief clatter as it bumped into two similarly sized cups. "I mean come, on look at this crap," she said, gesturing to the screen.
Tom ran through the corridor until he found crewmembers walking in his direction. They tried to turn around and get away but weren't fast enough. He stopped them to chuck a microphone in their faces. "Quick. Janeway and Chakotay, a thing or not?"
"Uh..." one crewmember looked pale as they noticed the camera. "Not?"
The second was unintentionally rescued by someone walking towards the camera. Tom stopped them quickly, obscuring the audience of the view of the new arrival. "Janeway and Chakotay, doing it or not?"
"Eeew!" they cried in horror. To everyone on the Bridge's amusement, Tom's whole frame trembled viciously. The cameraperson appeared to be backing off. "They're my parents. What's the matter with you, you dirty git!"
Tom ducked down, allowing them to see a fist belonging to a furious Morgan hurtling towards them. It quickly went to static.
"Okay, it's not that bad," Chakotay said warily.
Kathryn rolled her eyes when the Tom on stage reappeared looking sheepish on purpose. "Proves my point. No wonder Tom has to force this onto every screen on the ship. No one in the right mind would enjoy this."
Most of the tables erupted into laughter as a clip from Captain Proton was playing on the screen.
The villain cackled fiendishly at his captors tied to ridiculous torture devices. Harry had to lie on a table with robotic arms labelled Tickle Machine TM. While the now two identical blonde secretaries were suspended over a pit filled with bunnies.
Dr Chaotica pressed the launch button, expecting the two women to fall but nothing happened. "Grr, what have you done!"
Harry smiled smugly in response.
"Proton!" Chaotica shouted overdramatically, with the dramatic hands in the air pose.
Tom, or rather Proton, leapt onto the screen, turned to the audience and shrugged with his arms extended. "Must be their time of the month."
The whole room erupted into laughter again, despite Harry's clear distaste and confusion over the joke. He even mouthed I don't get it.
Jessie returned to her table with more drinks, her eye immediately went to the rabbits. The resulting scream overpowered the secretaries, most of the room though didn't notice anything amiss until she dropped the tray and hid behind the back of her chair.
"It's okay Jessie. Jessie's it's okay," James said frantically, leaping up from his own. He only got frightened whimpers in return. He ran over to the TV, cueing groans and boos from the room. Ignoring them, he used his arm and a hand to cover the rabbits.
Craig's eyes widened in shock, "oh my god, look! The bunnies have poof!" he gasped.
Jessie peeked out from the top of her chair, noticed in her perspective they had gone. She sighed in relief and returned to her chair like nothing happened.
The shot though changed to focus on one of the secretary's faces, making James recoil in shame. "Oh my god, I'm sorry. So sorry." He ran back to his seat to fold his arms on the table and bury his head in them.
Jessie shook her head, "tut tut James. What did I tell you?" she pretended to scold him but she was smirking while doing so. She and her chair wobbled. "Stop trying to be a hero, look at what it does to you!"
James briefly looked up at her, whimpering for a second, then re-buried. Jessie pat him on the back sympathetically, "aaw, you're okay. I know you mean while... well rather."
Craig bit his lip but burst into laughter anyway, snorting too. "Oh my god. God, you two are so wasted," he cackled while leaning his chair dangerously too far back. "And only on Cherry too, you lightweights." Another centimetre and the chair gave up, toppling him backwards onto the floor.
"Oh, looks like I lost the game," he said from the ground. "Where's my prize?"
Meanwhile the credits for the Proton sketch rolled, confusing a lot of people into thinking the show was over. They stumbled out, or in most cases attempted to but ended up falling over or walking into the wall.
Instead of returning to Tom on the stage, the credits faded into a studio audience clapping and hooting. The words The Michael Sullivan Show appeared in glittery lights. The camera zoomed over to the stage in time for the Fair Haven bartender to stroll out wearing a sharp black suit and tie.
"Mikey! Mikey! Mikey!" the audience started to chant.
Sullivan raised his hand up, they settled down immediately. "Thank you, and welcome to the Sullivan show!" The crowd clapped at him once more. "Our first guest claims that jealousy is the reason she's being bullied. So sad. Let's meet her shall we?"
"Mikey! Mikey! Mikey!"
"That's a yes," Sullivan winked toward the camera. He gestured his arm toward one of the side doors beside the stage, "lets give a warm welcome to Seven of Nine."
Seven walked in an almost zigzag path towards the chairs. The audience started with polite applause but turned into laughter as she struggled with sitting, opting to only place half of her butt onto each chair she tried. Eventually she chose two chairs and sat on the edge of both.
"Okay well," Sullivan chuckled. "Welcome to the Sullivan show, my dear. Now tell these nice people what's happening."
"Everyone's irrelevant and they blame me for it, because I'm so perfect," Seven huffed and folded her arms.
Sullivan chuckled nervously, "we might need more context than that."
Offense smacked her across the cheek making her gasp. "What? Look at me," she gestured to her outfit, "then for example look at that homely Morgan, or her old hag of a mother Janeway. That voice, it's like when the Borg pronounce futile wrong. So annoying the both of them. I'm much smarter than all of them put together since I was Borg, and not a poser kind like that brat Morgan and that girl I can't remember the name of, with the makeup everywhere."
Most of the audience started to doze off, Sullivan repressed a yawn. Seven clenched her fists and snarled, "oh and don't get me started on that James guy, because..."
"Okay," Sullivan groaned.
Seven clearly didn't hear him and continued, "he thinks he's so funny and soooo tough, but just a big crybaby. Big bully and meanie, with a chip on his shoulder. There's only room for one cute blonde on this ship and it's not him."
Sullivan quickly saw his moment to say more than okay, "do you think you come off a bit vain and needy, which can put people off."
"It's not vanity if it's true," Seven grumbled.
"Actually..." Sullivan tried to counter.
"They pretend I'm not there, talk over me. That's really annoying," Seven continued.
"Yes," Sullivan agreed impatiently.
Seven was too on a roll though and didn't notice his answer let alone his tone. "If they listened to me, I'd be saving this stupid ship every week but they won't let me. How rude is that? It's almost like they don't care."
"Care, about being saved?" Sullivan questioned.
"No," Seven grunted in a patronising voice. "About me, aren't you listening? This is what this interview's about, is it not?"
Sullivan bit his tongue to keep his thoughts from reaching his mouth. Still they were coming anyway. Fortunately for him the little cue screen was telling him to address the next lines to the audience. "I'm afraid we'll have to take a quick break. We'll be right back, folks."
The screen changed to show Tom sitting in the newsroom instead of Harry. The words Breaking News scrolled across the bottom of the screen. "We interrupt your program to give you a much more important breaking news scoop," he said urgently, his eyes wide with panic. The screen on his left appeared again to show a picture of a random tricorder lying on somebody's coffee table. "Ensign Wildman has reported her precious tricorder has gone missing, possibly kidnapped by some heartless thugs."
He raised his hand above his shoulder. "I know, I know try to stay calm. We don't need any vigilante justice, just yet. For now this reporter asks you to stay calm and we may find this tricorder alive yet..." Harry walked onto the screen holding a PADD, he handed it Tom. After reading it he breathed a huge sigh of relief. "Never mind, she found it under the sofa. And so we return to our scheduled program."
The show returned to the Michael Sullivan studio just in time for the viewers to see Seven throw a chair into the audience, screaming hysterically, tears streaming down her face. The crowd still chanted their usual Mikey over and over. "You're just like them!" she sobbed before running out back the way she came.
"Okay," Sullivan said very awkwardly. "And we'll be back in half an hour for Part 2 where we'll return to the ole' classics for our theme." The audience went wild for this, bringing a normal smile back to his face. "That's right. If you ship a couple or two, please leave a text message for VTV Live or contact us directly via Holodeck frequency 47. In the meantime, I'll get the Cupid arrows stocked up."
The audience laughed a little too much, then started their Mikey chants again. "Thank you, you've been wonderful. Now it's time for Voyager's Got Talent," he announced with a flourish.
Neelix gasped in horror at the first clip that took over the TV screen; the tea woman who guested on his show, juggling full cups of tea over her head. "Livnomor, you traitor!" he cried out while reaching for a tub of his homemade icecream, which looked far too green and gooey to be edible. Still he stuffed his face with it, quickly curing his bad mood. "Oh Leola icecream, how do you never run out? So good."
He was too busy drooling to notice Morgan dragging some of the tables toward the kitchen, one still had someone sitting at it. They merely whined, grabbed their glass before it was out of arms reach, and remained seated in the middle of the room.
Once done she climbed on top of the last one she dragged over. "Hey, all you losers come over. I got something more funner to do." Most of who she was addressing were passed out already, so only a couple walked over to her. "Took your time!" she snapped at the two of them.
"Sorry," Craig said sheepishly.
Jessie glanced between them both with a confused frown, "wait, this is the losers table? Then why do you have so many of them?" she asked, pointing at Morgan's feet.
"It's not a table, it's a stage. We're gonna start a band, okay?" Morgan replied. Craig and Jessie mumbled okays. "Great, you two stand behind me and sing stuff." The pair used the chairs that had been dragged along with the tables to climb up and join Morgan on top of them, doing as she said but standing directly behind her. She groaned and turned to look at them, "no, like this!" a little push separated them a little, forming a triangle.
"Oh, of course," Craig laughed.
"Great. I'll lead, you back me up," Morgan said. She then stood there for a little too long humming along to a random tune in her head, occasionally doing a shimmy with her torso. Craig tried to copy her every move, while Jessie did her own dancing thing; rolling her arms, striking poses and clapping her hands above her head.
James wandered over looking a little offended. "Hey, I'm a loser too."
Morgan whined pathetically as he climbed up to join them. "But, if it's even I'm not lead." Somebody chose the wrong time to walk by within arms reach, she grabbed their arm and pulled them up. "There, got a fifth."
"What, I can't sing," Lilly protested.
"So, neither can he," Morgan said, pointing back at Craig. He nodded as poor Lilly was pushed into the far back between Morgan and Jessie. James meanwhile shrugged and took the parallel position.
More of the same, except with two more people doing very little, went on for five more minutes until Jessie grew bored of her dancing. "What song are we doing?" she asked, which stopped anyone who was doing anything.
"Oooh, how about da da da na na, lets go girls," Craig sang tunelessly, making the entire group cringe.
"There's two boys in the group though," Lilly reminded him.
Morgan's face twisted further, "that's the only problem?"
"Huh?" Craig was confused until he looked at James. "Oh yeah, forgot about him, ha. He's open minded, he won't mind...ed. Ha, that rhymed."
"Well yeah, if you feel like a woman that's fine, but I feel like that song sucks," James said.
Jessie looked around with a frown, then she nearly spat out a non existent drink and laughed. "I got it. Open mindeded. You idiot." Craig pouted.
Lilly shook her head, "no, you guys gotta pick something with a hook. Something that'll stick in your head whether it's annoying or not."
"I dunno, when is a hook in your head not annoying?" Craig mumbled. Jessie continued giggling, his pout only grew bigger.
Morgan rolled her eyes, "like what?"
"Top of my head, uh..." Lilly stammered. A song finally came to mind. "I feel like the only girl in the world. The only..." Lilly scream-sang but in a flat tone.
"Oh god!" Morgan snapped at her, cutting her off. "That was terrible."
"I liked it," Craig said.
Morgan chose to ignore him, "Jessie said what song are we doing, not what torture. Jesus, that song sucks and you can't sing!"
"I told you!" Lilly snapped and stormed off, forgetting she was raised onto a table. She ended up lying on the floor.
In what looked like an office filled with screens and computers, Tom watched the one with the so called band arguing with growing interest. Harry sat next to him watching a different monitor showing the Talent show.
"Finally, we have our musical finale," Tom sniggered.
Harry looked up at him, his eyebrow shot up. "It took us hours to clip together that Janeway singing montage."
"Pfft, we can always use it next episode. If we don't nab them, we never will," Tom said far too enthusiastically.
Harry looked far from it, glancing over to the same screen he was watching didn't improve it one bit. "When Janeway has more star quality," he muttered.
"This isn't X Factor, Har. This is VTV Live, we're here to entertain," Tom said.
"Oh how could I forget?" Harry said in deadpan.
Tom nodded and grinned. "Now, I'll take over while you collect them."
"Wha...what?" Harry's face whitened. "I'm not going in there."
"Don't worry," Tom hand waved his concern off. "I'll turn it off for you. They're all too pished to notice the air change for a few minutes. Besides, you need to show your face sometime."
"I thought they were too pished," Harry grumbled.
Tom chuckled and clasped his shoulder, "they will be, but best be safe. Make sure you're back before Part 2 of Sullivan, I need someone to man the guns."
Harry let out a tired groan but got up to leave anyway. Tom watched him, then turned to a different console which showed a schematic of the Mess Hall shaded red with the text Vents On flashing below. "Okay, time to clear the air a bit," he chuckled to himself. The musical number at the end of the Talent Show startled him and his head turned toward it. He tapped the current console without looking at it and pushed his chair over to Harry's previous post. The text on the screen changed from Vents On to Vent Re-Aligned for a moment then changed back again.
A few taps to Harry's previous station brought up the Mess Hall as well, however unlike the one Tom had been previously watching, everyone were still sitting at the tables watching the earlier sketches of his show. He sniggered with his finger hovering over pause, another finger loaded up a separate file.
Chakotay watched with great amusement as Kathryn shook what looked like a salt shaker over her mug of coffee, only the contents was brown not white. A few minutes it was empty so she tossed it over her shoulder, striking an unfortunate Lieutenant in the bum. She then proceeded to sip at what looked like soup with coffee beans floating around.
"Aah yes," she sighed in contentment. "One extra dash of coffee gravy makes all the difference."
Chakotay laughed at her, "coffee gravy? You're not even trying anymore, you tea bag in a crackpot."
Kathryn gasped, accidentally inhaling one of the beans almost down the wrong way. "What did you call me? How dare you."
"Crackers in a tea pot rather," Chakotay mumbled to himself, oblivious of the impending danger. He did though notice the growls but they didn't bother him. Instead he reached over to nab the cup and take a long sip. She was so shocked she didn't grab it back for a whole two seconds. The Commander shuddered and laughed, "oh, I get it now. That hit the spot."
"Touch my cup again and you'll need to wear one," Kathryn snarled.
"Shhh!" B'Elanna hissed at them. They looked around to where she usually sat, couldn't see her, looked again and found her sitting in the helm glaring at them. "If you two don't stop this nonsense, I'm turning this ship around and we're going back to Kazon space."
Kathryn and Chakotay looked at each other, they burst into childish sniggers. "Joke's on her, I turned us around earlier. We're flying upwards," Chakotay whispered.
"Oh upwards, you're so naughty," Kathryn giggled while slapping him playfully on the arm.
B'Elanna groaned and turned her chair back to the viewscreen to continue watching the earlier footage of the Mess Hall. Neelix fell asleep in his half full icecream container. Everytime he breathed out people nearby were being sprayed by gross icecream. B'Elanna giggled hysterically for a good five minutes until she forgot what she was laughing at.
Kathryn groaned when Michael Sullivan reappeared on the viewscreen. "Don't forget, if you have a favourite couple who just won't get the hint, are in denial central or have even picked the wrong character to be with, give us a bell and you could be seeing your dreams come true right here in ten minutes."
Harry returned to the control room sporting a flummoxed frown directed towards the floor. The newly formed group behind him were trying badly not to laugh.
"What the hell, are you drunk?" Harry asked bewilderedly.
Tom looked up at him with a fierce stare. It would've seemed mildly intimidating to some, if it weren't for the fact that he was belly flopping over his much lower chair, still spinning from his frantic feet kicking earlier when Harry walked in.
"Am not!" Tom barked.
"Are so," Harry groaned.
"Are not!" Tom shouted.
"Are so!" Harry snapped back.
"Are not!" Tom screeched. There was a thud. Tom was in a big heap on the floor.
Harry looked on with growing panic, his eyes fell on the station Tom had been monitoring earlier. "Ohno."
James sniggered at him, "can't beat the classics."
Jessie though looked disappointed, "aaw, I like beating."
She wasn't the only one, Morgan looked back at her bandmates to count them yet again. She got to three, lit up momentarily until she counted herself. "The band's even, not odd. I can't work like this."
"Diva," Jessie snickered louder than she meant to, so her hand flew to her mouth.
"Will you idiots help me up? Fu..." Tom screamed.
"Five, it was five before," Morgan grumbled at the same time.
"I can't get up!" Tom squealed.
"This looks familiar," Morgan muttered as she looked at Tom swearing his head off on the floor.
"How do you know, you weren't in Aggressions," Craig asked.
James groaned, "you moron, it's called aggressive now. Past tense! No, single thing. Yeah that's it; Aggressor." Craig gasped as if someone had explained to him the meaning of life.
Morgan counted again by pointing her finger, starting with herself. "Me, Jessie, Craig, James, Seven. Oh five!"
The rest of the band's attention darted to the newest member of the group, standing their drunkenly swishing her long blonde hair and pouting.
"Oh shite, I landed on a microphone!" Tom cried.
Harry hurriedly tapped on the console displaying the vents and a shaded red Mess Hall. Instead the whole ship looked red, while the Mess Hall had returned to normal. Vents Off flashed across the screen once he was done.
"Then again, two girls and two boys, plus less people mean more lines," Morgan mumbled thoughtfully. Her mind made up she casually shoved Seven to the floor and turned to her relieved bandmates. "Okay Cherry Cokers, ready to rock this joint?"
"We decided on pop though," Craig pointed out, leaving her confused.
Harry turned to them with a look of disgust, missing Tom crawl out of another door. "Cherry Cokers?"
"Nobody calls it Coca Cola with Cherry," Jessie scoffed, her bandmates nodded. "Or is it Classic Cherry Coca Cola, I lose track."
"Uh... maybe, you're the end of show act. Give the name some further thought," Harry stammered.
Tom crawled back the way he came, grabbed the microphone he had landed on, and crawled back outside.
Morgan flew around to glare at one of the group, "no we're not going with Team Rocket!"
Craig pouted, "what's wrong with it?"
Harry sighed and shook his head. He decided to go help Tom and sober him up, but he wasn't where he last saw him.
"Hey, what's up Voyagerettes!" Tom screamed from one of the screens. Harry groaned and reluctantly glanced at it. "We're back and live in my man Sullivan's studio, let me hear it!" he put his hand by his ear.
"Mikey, Mikey, Mikey!" the audience chanted.
Sullivan joined Tom on the stage to thunderous applause. "I'm sure we can be much louder than that!" Tom bellowed. The Mikey chant volume more than doubled.
"That's better. Lets welcome our next guests, Kathryn Janeway and Chakotay!" Sullivan announced, gesturing to the doors. Only he spotted the chairs beside him already in use. The audience clapped anyway.
"Ha, what a chump. You got to be quicker than that," Kathryn snapped at him, then snorted into drunken laughter.
"Um... okay?" Sullivan murmured.
Tom jumped to the rescue, a little too literally. "Chak and Jane, my best buds, welcome!" Despite being completely hammered, the command duo still looked at him in disgust like they would if they were sober. "Now you're here because you want us to play matchmaker with someone. Mind filling us in?"
"Oh sure!" Kathryn giggled, jumping to her feet.
Tom didn't know what got her so excited until she started rolling up her sleeves. He backed off with his hands raised, "no no, I mean tell us." Kathryn pouted and sat back down. "Are you hoping to find someone for Craigy so he keeps away from your daughter?"
"Pfft, I'm not that drunk," Chakotay scoffed.
"Yes and neither is any of the women," Kathryn snickered.
Tom laughed with them, "ouch! Okay, so who then?"
Kathryn stared at him like he had asked a very stupid question. "Us, who else?"
The answer threw Tom and Sullivan off. The hologram was the first to recover, "I see. So why do you think this pairing should hook up?"
"Well, I'm tired of all the hints and the avoidy crap. It's like we'll have a date one week, but he's hooking up with some blonde bimbo the following one. Either get us together or don't!" Kathryn grumbled.
Chakotay glared at her, "me? I'm not the one reprogramming holograms and moving in with some Mark lookalike after five minutes of amnesia."
"How dare you," Kathryn gasped but she was mostly overwhelmed by Mikey chants. "At least I didn't make out with a Species 8472."
"What, that never happened! Are you drunk?" Chakotay snapped.
Kathryn stood up to tower over him and roar, "yes that's the joke!"
"Excuse me," Tom coughed. Two angry glares pointed at him. "I think I see the problem. You both are waiting for some puppy master to do this for you. If you want this to happen, only you two can."
"Hmm," Kathryn sighed, sitting down. "The attention seeking dweeb is right."
"Uncalled for," Tom whimpered.
Chakotay nodded, "yes, maybe we should just do it."
"Okay," Kathryn smiled. They got up and walked to the side stage doors leaving the hosts and audience flummoxed.
Tom laughed awkwardly, "you thinking what I'm thinking?"
"We have no other volunteers and five minutes to waste?" Sullivan whispered.
"No, I think I need to find somewhere to puke in," Tom mumbled. Sullivan hurried to the opposite side of the stage.
A member of the audience jumped out of their seat screaming, "I volunteer!" The rest of the audience erupted into cheers and hoots.
Tom and Sullivan looked up in that general direction. All they saw was almost an entire row slumped over the back of the row directly below, then they spotted a woman enter the aisle and run towards them.
"B'Elanna?" Tom's eyes widened.
"Hi honey! You know that we're engaged, why don't we get married now?" B'Elanna suggested.
The audience members who weren't assaulted by her let out a near deafening aaaaaaw in unison.
"Oh, that'd make such an awesome finale. Awesome," Tom giggled, stretching out his arms. B'Elanna ran into them, cueing further aaaaws. Once done he turned to the camera, "look forward to our explosive finale. For now, it's time for a quick break and when we return, we're gonna get a bit friend-ly."
"Ooooooh, Tommy, Tommy!" the audience chanted to Sullivan's dismay. For everyone watching, his sad face was the last thing shown before further clips from the drinking game in the Mess Hall were shown.
Tom in the meantime grabbed B'Elanna's hand and lead her to the control room just in bad time to hear Craig rehearsing his lines.
"Going home, I just can't... uh, line?"
"Make cake all alone. I really should be eating it," Jessie whispered to him with a glint in her eye. James laughed quietly.
Craig grinned, "thanks!"
Morgan rolled her eyes, "you don't have to learn the whole thing. And you idiots, it's you, eating you." James and Jessie exchanged worried glances.
"Okay guys, I need four volunteers for my sitcom thingy starting in five minutes," Tom said. B'Elanna raised her hand. "Thanks honeybun."
"Don't we need to learn lines and junk?" Morgan asked.
Tom smirked, "nope, that's the beauty of it. It's an improv sitcom. I give us a theme and we make it up. I call it The Coffee Nebula Theory."
Harry sighed tiredly, "I told you, that title is far too long and it doesn't sound like a sitcom. We decided on Improv'ing Pals."
"Oh Harry. Some of us are born to entertain and some just aren't. Guess where you fall," Tom sniggered.
"Well we're in, I've already memorised my lyrics," Morgan said.
"Me too, but I only had one," Jessie said with a side eye to the young girl.
Morgan noticed it, "nuh uh, two. I sound better on the chorus, while James suits the higher build into the chorus."
"That's up for sober debate," James muttered.
"You just want to be the only singer, and us the backing dancers. I'm doing the first verse and you can't stop me," Jessie said defiantly. Morgan's jaw dropped. "And we're all on the chorus." Morgan's gasp nearly take her breath away.
"Ladies, ladies please," Tom clapped his hands. Both stares he got for that nearly turned him into stone. He soldiered on anyway, "we all know what's really bothering you. You both want James and to dump Craig cos he sucks..."
Craig pointed at the ceiling and wailed, "when my stomach cries and I had no gas, it's time..." Morgan cringed.
"When you say want him," Jessie said with narrowed eyes.
Tom groaned, "oh relax. We all know James is so, so gay anyway. What does it matter?"
James' eyes narrowed, "I'm so, so what?"
"Oh James can do the high bits, cos duh of course he can, the big girl," Tom snickered. He quickly turned serious, "so who else is up for my sitcom?"
"Do you die in the end?" James asked.
Tom's face turned whiter than a sheet, "uh... it's improv?"
"So yes. I'm in," James smiled.
Harry shook his head, he would've felt a little sorry for the extremely sweaty Tom but after that earlier insult he no longer cared. "One minute and we're on. Craig, you watch the cameras and don't touch anything. I'll go get the set ready. Whoever's starring, come with, quick." He walked through the door Tom and B'Elanna had came in from.
Morgan and Jessie followed him. Tom tried to but B'Elanna chose the wrong time to fawn over him, her grip on his arm kept him in place.
"Uh babe, the sooner we get this sitcom done, the sooner we can..." Tom winked as a hint.
B'Elanna nodded and ran out as well. James walked over to him before he could do the same. "What's the theme then?" he asked to his relief.
"Oh well..." Tom began to explain.
In another section of the Holodeck studio, one of the rooms was decked out to look like a sitting room only with three walls. Where one would've normally been, there were a barrage of cameras.
The computer's voice echoed around the set. "Pals is sponsored by Cherry Coke, the most addictive thing in Fifth Voyager." B'Elanna hurried in and plonked herself down on the sofa. "It even gets you saying Cherry Coke when you're supposed to say something Cherry Coke."
Tom walked through the door sporting a brand new swollen eye. B'Elanna gasped briefly, then played it off as if she never saw it.
"Hi B'Elanna. I hope you don't mind me watching Cherry Coke, it's a great Cherry Coke program," Tom said.
"Of course not, Cherry Tom, I wouldn't mind watching something Coke," B'Elanna replied.
Tom sat down on the sofa next to her. The TV switched on, it was actually Coronation Street.
"Did you know that Cherry was attacked by Coke. He was arrested by the Cherry Coke?" Tom asked.
"Really? I must have Cherry'd that Coke," B'Elanna replied.
Tom shuffled closer to her with a smirk on his face. "By the Coke, do you realise that nobody else is here in the Cherry, B'Elanna?"
"Yes I do Cherry Tom," B'Elanna purred. Typical cheesy love music flared up a few seconds too late.
"Me and B'Elanna all alone in the Cherry. I feel as though, I'm going to Coke her," Tom said toward the camera.
"Coke me, you Cherry Coke," B'Elanna smiled. The two were about to coke, er I mean kiss when Harry and Morgan walked into the flat.
"Hi everyone," Harry said.
"Did you say Cherry Coke?" Morgan stuttered. She rushed into the kitchen.
"You know that weird disease that people get if they drink Cherry Coke, well they've found a cure. Two Doctors are coming over to cure Morgan," Harry said.
"That's great Cherry, it'll be Coke if we can talk Cherry again," Tom said.
Harry winced, "ohno, not you too. I told you not to touch that last glass on the bench."
"Cherry, Cherry, what makes you think such a coke?" B'Elanna snarled, jumping to her feet and folding her arms. Tom joined her in her overacted outrage.
Harry's eyes drifted to the kitchen. "It's all gone," everyone heard Morgan cry over an empty glass.
There was a knock on the door. Harry answered it. Jessie and James, who had thrown white coats over their outfits, strolled in.
Tom gasped, "oh my Cherry. Who are you Coke people? And please let it rhyme."
James faked a smile, "oh stupid comments and Cherry Coke delirium. We're going to have to put him down." Tom squeaked and sat back down meekly.
"I take it you're the doctors who have the cure for Cherry Coke Syndrome?" Harry asked.
"You assume correctly," Jessie replied.
"Where are the suckers... er patients?" James asked.
Morgan ran over, grabbed James arm and roughly shook him, "are you the delivery Cokes? Where's my Cherry Coke? Don't tell me they've stopped selling Cherry again for that crappy Diet Lemon junk!" She dropped to her knees and sobbed, "you monsters, Zero still tastes exactly like Diet. There's Coke reason to live."
"Hmm, the will to commit suicide. That's the final symptom," Jessie said.
"She'll be dead by tomorrow," James added.
"But you said you had a cure," Harry grumbled.
Morgan tried to rummage through Jessie's pockets, she stepped back all while trying not to laugh. "She's too far gone."
"That's Coke! If you cure her she'll have nothing to Cherry suicide about!" B'Elanna yelled.
"Hmm, misplacing words with the Cherry and/or Coke. She's in stage two, she's treatable," James said.
"What do you do to Cherry us?" Tom asked.
"We must give you the most vile drink in the world, something that's so incredibly addictive but cheap it'll make the body forget Cherry Coke exists," Jessie said.
Everyone gasped in astonishment.
"What drink is that?" Harry asked.
"Asda's Orange Juice," Jessie replied. Everyone gasped in horror.
"From concentrate," James added. Another gasp. Tom collapsed from his shock.
"Oh sorry, I meant Juice Drink," Jessie giggled.
B'Elanna's hands flew to her face, "my god. That is vile."
James frowned, he turned to Jessie, "wasn't it the Smartprice brand?"
"Yes you're right, this is an emergency after all," Jessie replied.
Craig burst through the doors, making Harry nearly give up and go home. "Oh my god, do you have any Smartprice Orange Juice Drink? Everyone's out, I could die!"
James and Jessie exchanged worried glances. James quickly shoved him back the way he came. Everyone heard the resulting thud and ooph.
"Sorry, we only have two cartons and that's how much we'll need to cure you," Jessie said sheepishly.
The pair each brandished a white carton from their inside coat pockets. Harry brought down glasses from a shelf so they could be filled. Tom, B'Elanna and Morgan took one and sipped them. While the former two tried to hide their disgust, Morgan didn't bother and pulled some interesting faces.
"Aaah, another lot cured from the money grabbing hands of the Coca Cola company, lets go," Jessie said. She and James left the set.
"That's not very Orange," Morgan muttered.
"Hmm, but it is very Smartprice," Tom said.
"Come on lets get to Asda and get Orange more," B'Elanna said. They ran out as well, leaving Harry behind with his little will to live. Anybody watching couldn't tell he didn't need to act it.
Armed to the teeth with hyposprays in every orifice in his outfit, as well as a briefcase, the Doctor ran through the doors ready to strike. The only targets he found were unconscious and drooling.
"Great. Where did they all go?" he murmured.
"It's been a fun show, hasn't it folks!" Tom's voice got his attention from the TV. That wasn't the only thing that did though, a rowdy audience cheered in the background, most of which he recognised. He hurried back out.
"That's right Tom," Harry sighed, unable to hide his relief. "We're ending this on a high. Crapfaced Tom is insisting on marrying his equally drunken beau, and I have no strength left to stop it. But first..." he turned to Tom.
Tom slapped him on the shoulder a little too hard. "We're going to get musical! Please welcome for their first performance, Virus!" He and Harry pointed their arms to a parallel stage with four microphones on stands.
The audience turned around to watch that instead. It was a little too much for some, the slight turn lead to a few drunken crewmembers stumbling to the floor. The ones still standing clapped furiously and cheered.
Lights dimmed briefly, confusing the same odd few who thought VTV Live was over when the Proton credits ran, into thinking the show was over and walking off. Spotlights instead shone on each of the microphone stands. Three of them were occupied, the second stand by two people. James and Morgan looked on from stand three and four respectively.
"Verse two," Jessie muttered, pushing Craig away to her right. He stumbled to the empty first stand.
No one heard the exchange as organ music started to play what sounded like the wedding march with bells chiming in the background. Tom smiled and hugged who he thought was B'Elanna, but was still Harry. He groaned and walked off.
The music started to pick up, with different instruments taking over the organ and bells. The audience clapped along, though a few were impatiently. As that was happening, Morgan swayed her microphone stand side to side.
"Here I fly, in a lost and lonely part of space," Jessie sang with a forced attitude she may as well have spoken it. The crowd ate it up anyway.
Craig jumped over to make oooh ooh noises into her mike. Without looking she pushed him away. One last microphone stand sway from Morgan bumped James in the cheek, making him stumble a bit to one side. She mouthed a sorry then giggled.
"Once again, Tom is a creep, I'll smash his face," Jessie this time sang normally. Tom danced along as if he never heard the line to everyone's amusement.
James took over, and to Tom's disappointment wasn't as high as he imagined. "Going home, I just can't hold it back no more. I really should be judging you, ignoring you."
"Take it off!" Tani screamed at him.
Craig shrugged and took off his jacket. He then started waving one of his arms around in a circular motion. Jessie looked at him in disgust while Tani booed at him. Somebody in the crowd did hoot though and tossed their own jacket into the crowd. Ignorant to all that Morgan did a upward hand motion to egg on the crowd.
"Mocking you, throttling you!" James continued, the last word stretched out surprisingly not out of tune despite how wasted he was.
The group's arms stretched forward and slowly, rhythmically raised into the air almost in synch with the rising beat.
"Tragedy!" the entire group sang, while everyone but Morgan had their hands flat by their faces. She did a pretend shocked cheek touch instead. She looked a little annoyed afterwards.
The Doctor arrived with a look of pure horror on his face at the task ahead of him. It looked to him like the entire crew were intoxicated, he hoped he brought enough.
"When the coke is gone and Tom is pissing you off it's tragedy." Jessie repeated her earlier arm rolling and clapping over her head, which Craig thought was good enough to copy.
"Ooooh oooh!" Craig tried again. Jessie was about to slap him but somebody throwing a plastic bottle beat her to it. "Ow!"
Despite that and the clearly made up on the spot dance routines each member were doing, the crowd were loving it. Except for a few at the back who were too busy dropping to the floor.
"When Seven cries and you don't care why, it's hard to hear." Some of the crowd loved that even more and shouted approvals, Morgan waved in response, setting them off even further.
"With so much annoying you, we're going nowhere!" While singing that part, James noticed Seven pouting in the middle of the crowd and promptly threw up his middle finger, the crowd screamed like they were schoolgirls watching a boyband. Seven stomped off in a huff, right into the Doctor's waiting trigger finger. Down she went.
"Tragedy! When aliens invade and Thirteen's on fire, it's tragedy." This time the entire group did the same hand by face bit. Morgan tried to follow that with shaking hands while slowly pushing out her arms, but Jessie did her arm rolling and the others did that instead. This time though Morgan nodded in approval and joined in. "When Harry phasers an alien's puppy, it's hard, don't stare."
Harry scowled from his podium, "it wasn't a puppy. It was a poodle," he mumbled the last part.
"With no piece of..." the group all pressed a finger to their lips and made an actual shush before continuing, "we're going nowhere."
With the first chorus over and the music building back to the verses, the band awkwardly switched stands. Craig once again tried to take stand two so Morgan had to push him to three. During the steady build up to the verse Jessie clapped above her head along to the beat, most of the crowd copied her. The rest of the group cottoned on and did the same.
A few more rows of the audience dropped in the meantime. Tom started to notice this and scanned the crowd. Two went down at once, revealing the Doctor to him. His eyes widened in blind panic. He tried to grab a dancing B'Elanna by the hand and lead her away, she pulled away effortlessly. "We have to get ready for the wedding," he improvised. She pouted but still went with him.
"Sight of you, there's a yearning down inside of me," Craig sang next a little flatly.
Jessie leaned over to take over his microphone, "eeeew, eeew," she sang in a similar manner to his oooh's earlier. The audience had a good laugh over his resulting frown.
Nevertheless he continued on, "oh burned the cake," cueing icy glares from Morgan. "With mould as icing, Neelix wants us dead."
Morgan's stare relaxed into a not bad smile before turning back to face the audience. "Down they go..." Cue further hypospray related collapses. "I just can't take your crap no more. I really should be hating you, ignoring you, slapping you, smacking you."
They all did the arm raising routine again in preparation for the chorus. The crowd, what's left of them, were cheering in anticipation.
"Tragedy! When the coffee is gone and Seven's wanting attention it's tragedy. When the power is off and you don't know why, it's hard to care. With Janeway binging buckets, we're going nowhere." James and Jessie pushed out their right arm, with the palm upright and flat. Morgan quickly copied and shook her left shoulder as well. Craig was too busy wearing out the arm waving over his head routine to notice.
"Tragedy! When I lose control and Tom won't shut up, it's tragedy."
The Doctor meanwhile had managed to thin the majority of the crowd, and was nearing the stage. Jessie spotted him first and started to hurry over to James, only she went back for her microphone stand to continue the song.
"When stupid stuff happens and no one asks why, it's hard to fare." Jessie reached James and pointed toward the Doctor, who had sedated two people at the front by the time she got to him.
"Leg it," James mimed. The pair hurried off, Jessie took her stand with her. Craig and Morgan continued completely unaware.
"With no end in sight, we're going nowhe..." The Doctor nicked Craig in the ankle while he was shuffling his feet. While it did manage to spray the contents into one leg, the other kicked his second spray from his other hand. It went hurtling into the crowd and had to conk Seven on the head.
Morgan scowled toward the hologram. "Hey!" she grunted, "you're ruining my gig."
The Doctor quickly rearmed his left hand, "you'll thank me later." He climbed onto the stage to gun for her. She squealed and ran off. The hologram gave chase.
"Pfft, didn't work on me, sucks to be him," Craig said whilst swaying, eyes drooping. No sooner had he said that he tumbled to the floor.
Elsewhere in the Holodeck, Tom and B'Elanna hurried into a Vegas style chapel, B'Elanna with her uniform jacket wrapped around her head like a veil. The holographic cameramen and women were right on their tail, eager not to miss a moment.
Once inside they giddily went to the desk. "Hey hey, I'd like a Bic Mac with milkshake please," Tom said.
B'Elanna looked at him, he looked back a little disappointed. "I'm not that pissed," she said.
The woman at the desk was even less impressed than she was. "Choose your wedding package and sign."
"Okeydoke," Tom laughed. He handed it over to B'Elanna to fill in, which he expected her to swoon over but she instead grumbled about second thoughts. Ignorant to that he turned to the cameras. "All right folks, this is it. The wedding of the century. Ending the show on a high, we'll never top this."
The doors behind him and B'Elanna opened up, and another couple stumbled through them. The camera crew gossiped amongst themselves.
"What?" Tom frowned and looked over his shoulder. His eyes bugged out as he frantically tapped B'Elanna on the shoulder.
"How do you want to do this? You have no surname," Kathryn giggled.
Chakotay grinned back at her, "how 'bout we merge them like Chakway or Janetay."
B'Elanna overheard, dropped the pen and looked around as well.
"Oh god that's terrible, good thing you're cute you dumbass," Kathryn laughed.
Squealing from outside drew most people's attention. The doors hurtled open again, this time Morgan ran in and slammed them closed behind her.
Tom laughed nervously, eyeing the cameras. "You're getting this, aren't you? Oh this is much better than I planned." B'Elanna glared at him.
"Oh sweetie, just in time," Kathryn smiled. She turned around, ready to toss the bouquet. Kiara ran out from behind her and over to her big sister.
"Huh?" Morgan's panic turned into bafflement.
Kathryn tossed the bouquet over her shoulder. Despite Kiara's frantic jumping up and down it landed in Morgan's hands. She screamed and tossed it down to her.
"Yay!" Kiara giggled.
Kathryn and Chakotay then strolled by the pair, arm in arm, laughing far too much. Morgan still stared at where they previously stood, unable to process what just happened. Unfortunately for her this allowed the Doctor to sneak up from behind and hypo her.
"Okay, that's all we have time for on VTV Live. Join us next time for more fun and hijinks. For now, take care of others and yourself. Good others!" Tom grinned, also seemingly unaware.
The Doctor moved in to finish the job.
Despite his head throbbing so much it felt twice as large as usual, Tom poured over the previous night's show, hoping to jog some of his memory and figure out what went wrong.
Little did he know B'Elanna had wandered over to watch silently behind him sometime around Part 2 of the Sullivan show.
"Uhoh," Tom stuttered after B'Elanna's wedding proposal. He quickly forwarded it.
"Doesn't seem like such a bad idea," she said, startling him. "We have been engaged a while."
Tom swung his chair around so eagerly, he accidentally went in a complete circle before he faced her. B'Elanna chuckled at him. "Are you serious?" he asked.
"Why not? It's not like I wanted a flourish OTT wedding anyway. A little service, and a party with our friends later. Assuming you have any left after this," B'Elanna smiled.
Tom didn't hear the last sentence, the rest of what she said had left him very giddy. "Oh, are you sure? That sounds very lowkey."
"Not Drive lowkey, but you can't get much lower," B'Elanna teased.
A grin spread across Tom's face, he jumped to his feet to give her a hug and kiss. "This day can't get any better."
The quarters doors opened, Tuvok and a Security team stepped in. "On that note, you're under arrest."
"Huh, what for?" Tom whimpered.
B'Elanna couldn't help but groan, "oh Tom."
Tuvok's eyebrow raised, he merely pointed at VTV Live playing on Tom's computer which was up to the concert portion of the show.
"What, it's a crime to get everyone to have a good time?" Tom asked at the same time the cameras changed to an audience shot. They all got a good glimpse of topless Tuvok sitting on a clearly struggling Foster's shoulders, waving his shirt around and cheering.
B'Elanna nodded, "not bad." Tom's head jerked toward her, she smiled and shrugged.
"It's er, not my fault, er..." Tom struggled to explain himself. "Pop's infectious you know."
"Let's go," Tuvok said, with a look in his eye that told the helmsman he had very little choice. That and the armed team behind him.
Tom pouted and followed him outside leaving B'Elanna to quickly rewind the show to watch the Tuvok bit again.
Kathryn groaned and rolled over onto her side, her eyes struggling to open. A warm puff of hair in her face did the trick. They widened as far as they could go and they weren't the only ones.
Chakotay meanwhile jumped in shock so much he fell backwards out of bed with a loud thump.
"Oh my god, Chakotay! What are you doing here?" she stammered, bolting up into a sitting position.
Chakotay stood back up, wincing and prodding his back. "I have no idea. Do you remember anything after the Bridge?"
Kathryn peeked under her covers, sighing relief since she was still wearing her uniform. She noted Chakotay was as well. "No," she answered painfully. "I hope this isn't another amnesia one, I hate those."
Kiara scampered into the bedroom, tossing petals from the bouquet everywhere. "I'm getting married, mummy look!"
"Um," both of the command duo were speechless.
"Hi daddy," Kiara grinned.
"Hi sweetie, what do you mean by you're getting married?" Chakotay asked gently, crouching down to her eye level.
Kiara tilted her head and stared quizzically at him. "I caught it. Okay Morgan did, but she's me so."
"Caught it where?" Kathryn asked, dreading the answer.
"Mum!" Morgan's voice shouted from the other room. Kathryn groaned, hoping she would stay there. She wasn't so lucky, Morgan walked in grimacing and holding her head. "I don't feel well, can I have some..." she noticed her dad, then her mother in bed and her eyes widened. "Ohno."
Kathryn groaned into both of her hands, "it can't get more embarrassing." Chakotay was about to point out something but she glared at him to cut him off, "it can't, okay!"
Meanwhile in another quarters, dozens of empty Cherry Coke bottles were littered all over an already messy bedroom floor and in the bed. Two figures were also in it, one of which had gotten a tad mixed up and was slumped with his head over the foot of the bed, feet near the pillow. The other had the right idea, right way up and snuggled into the duvet with her fingers loosely around the neck of a bottle pressed against her cheek.
A door chime woke the upside down sleeper with a start, he scrambled into a kneeling position, only noticing then his company. His face drained of all of its colour. "Oh god..."
His movement knocked a bottle into a roll, it clattered to the floor beside the still sleeping one. That woke her up, she shuffled around, merely groaned and closed her eyes again.
"Jess, do you remember...?" James asked shakily.
Jessie groaned again, "no, and no. You're fine, look at yourself."
James frowned and glanced down at himself, which made him even more confused since he would never buy a white jacket. He took it off and tossed it to the floor.
Jessie meanwhile went to drink the bottle in her hands, regretting it immediately. "Ugh, flat."
The door chime went off again. James had forgotten about it in his panic. He got up and walked into the living room to answer it. To his surprise and disappointment Tom was on the other side. "It's way too early for this." He went to close the door.
"Ensign," Tuvok's voice said from nearby. He stepped into view, Tom shrunk an inch or two. James though brightened up considerably. "Mr Paris would like to explain, apologise and I quote fix something."
James smiled in Tom's direction, he meanwhile looked away to avoid it. "Really? Okay, will you wait around outside until Jessie's ready and I've replicated a camera?"
Tom twitched. "Yeah, enjoy it while it lasts Lames." Tuvok cleared his throat. "Fine. I'll wait."
"Oh my god, my hair, what's happened to my hair!" Jessie screamed from James' room.
James cringed, "uhoh. I thought I had more time."
Tom looked on far too curiously for his own good. "Oh, is that your room? Her hair's a mess huh, I had you pegged all wrong." Tuvok rolled his eyes.
James stared at him blankly, "unfortunately I got you right." His eyes narrowed suspiciously. "How would you know which bedroom is which?"
Tom started to sweat since he could feel both Tuvok and James' eyes drilling into him, not to mention the growing threat of Jessie and bad hair in the next room. "Lucky guess," he lied.
"Uh huh?" James stare intensified, shrinking Tom a couple more inches.
To make him feel even worse Jessie stumbled out of her room, tears streaming down her face. Neither Tuvok or Tom noticed that detail, their eyes went straight to her newly bright red hair. Her face soon matched it, she scampered across the room to her own bedroom so fast they only saw a blur.
"Perhaps er, you can pass on a messa..." Tom started to say.
"Nope nope," Jessie stammered, running back the way she came in a panic. "Not going in there, god." She ran into the bathroom instead.
"Oh yeah, that," Tom snickered. Tuvok raised his eyebrow curiously, while James stared at him again with a frown. "While we wait, I'll go fix that something."
"What?" James asked.
Tom glanced back at Tuvok for a little help. The Security Chief shook his head, "perhaps you should explain."
"Perhaps I'd like to be alive on my wedding day," Tom chuckled nervously. He heard Jessie whimpering in the bathroom, he shuddered. "But that ship's sailed." He hurried off toward Jessie's bedroom, James lurched forward to stop him but Tuvok hinted for him to wait.
"What is happening?" James stuttered impatiently.
Tuvok shook his head, "what is the Human expression? Ignorance is bliss."
Jessie peeped her head out, looked relieved Tom had gone and stepped out with her hair still red but neater. "It better tone down," she muttered.
Tom stepped out holding a plastic tub, full of what looked like plastic spiders. Jessie panicked for more reasons than one. He did as well, so hurried over to Tuvok's side.
"Are you fricking kidding me?" Jessie screeched once she noticed the plastic part.
"Yeah so, sorry about the booze, and the spiders, learned my lesson, toodles," Tom stuttered and ran out. Tuvok groaned and followed him.
Jessie's fists clenched, "James, get me the biggest knife there is."
"Only if you leave some for me," James said.
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