By Jade East (jadetrekeast@yahoo.com)
Rating: PG
Series: Star Trek: Voyager
Award: , ()

These characters belong to Paramount. I am merely borrowing them for fun. Also I am borrowing a scene from Hollywood Pictures' While You Were Sleeping. I love the movie and was inspired while watching it recently to write this subtracting Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman and adding Kathryn and Chakotay.

Captain Janeway heard her door chime as she was ready to leave her quarters for the New Year's party on the holo-deck. She wondered if it were her date. Neelix had come up with a new idea to mix people up. Each of the male crew members drew the name of a female member from Neelix' chef hat to escort to the party. The senior staff with the exception of Tuvok and Seven liked the idea. Janeway gave Tuvok and Seven the option of manning the bridge that night. It was an option they accepted.

She was wearing a beige sleeveless tunic over beige leggings. Neelix had made everyone promise not to come in uniform. She picked up the matching jacket from a chair and walked to the door.

Standing in the corridor was Tom Paris. "Good evening, Captain, you look lovely." He was holding a small corsage made up of pink carnations which he offered to her.

"Thank you, Tom." As she took the flowers from him, she saw something beside the flowers. There was a little broach in the shape of a puppy nestled in blooms. "Oh, Tom, how sweet." She was so touched by the gesture that she hugged the young lieutenant.

At that moment Chakotay rounded the turn in the same corridor. When he saw the embrace, he stopped, took a step back, and watched in silence. Jealousy was plain on his face.

Janeway pinned the flowers on her right shoulder and said, "Let's go."

Smiling, Tom offered his arm to the captain. The two walked toward the turbo-lift. Chakotay leaned back against the wall, so that he would not be seen. When the doors to the lift closed, he walked to the lift and touched the pad. Upon entering, he gave the order for the deck and section where Sam Wildman lived. He had drawn Sam's name.

When Sam and Chakotay arrived at the party, almost everybody else was there. Tom and Kathryn were chatting with Harry Kim and his date, Susan Nicoletti. Chakotay had not seen the captain so relaxed in quite a while. He tried to put her out of his mind as he guided Sam to the refreshment table.

Neelix had programmed an orchestra to play music for dancing. Throughout the evening different acts appeared; everything from a comedy act to a sultry blues singer. As midnight approached Neelix called for quiet. He handed out noise makers.

"I have been told by a reliable source that on Earth it is the custom to greet the New Year with a countdown." He looked at his chronometer and said, "Ten, nine . . ." The rest of the crew joined in the countdown. "two, one. Happy New Year!" Everyone shouted and made as much noise as they could with their noise makers. As the band played Auld Lang Syne, several of the couples kissed.

Without making a conscious decision to do so Chakotay searched the crowd for Kathryn and Tom. He found them just as Tom kissed his captain on the cheek. Another pang of jealousy ran through him. Trying push down the feeling, he said, "Happy New Year, Sam!" and planted a quick peck on her forehead.

Couples began to dance again. Some of the "dates" wondered off to find their actual sweethearts. Sam told Chakotay that she was going to check on Naomi, and she would not allow him to escort her home. After he mingled for a while, he noticed Tom dancing with B'Elanna.

"Did you enjoy yourself, Chakotay?" Kathryn's voice startled him. She stood beside him.

"As a matter of fact, I did." He tried to take his tone light. "You seemed to be enjoying yourself with Tom."

"Yes, he can be charming."

They began to walk around the room, watching the crew. Finally they stopped near a window that overlooked a holographic vista of New York City. Kathryn chatted easily, commenting on the party and the entertainment. Chakotay answered only in monosyllables because he kept remembering the embrace he had witnessed.

"Is there something on your mind, Chakotay?" Janeway asked. "You have been awfully quiet."

He decided to speak his mind. Looking around to make sure he would not be overheard, he said, "It's just the whole Tom Paris and leaning thing."

"What leaning thing?" She looked puzzled for a moment, then she responded, "You mean when he gave me flowers."

"Then you leaned," he said softly.

Kathryn laughed as repeated, "I leaned?"


"How was I leaning?"

"How were you leaning? It's a lot different than hugging. Hugging is very different. Hugging involves arms and hands. Leaning is whole bodies moving in like this," he moved closer to her. "Leaning is involves wanting and accepting. Leaning!" He said as he stepped even closer as if to demonstrate.

Kathryn's breathing became rapid and shallow. Chakotay's face and body were mere centimeters from hers.

"Hey, Captain, is this guy bothering you?" Tom said from several feet away.

"No, no," She laughed as Chakotay moved away.

"Are you sure," Tom replied, "because it looks like he's leaning."