The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea - part 6

'B'Elanna, try to stay calm.' Tom put his hands on her shoulders, preventing her from pacing anymore. 'Everything is going to be fine.' He looked around, anxious that they should not draw any further attention to themselves. 'We've planned this down to the last detail, well, with a little help.'

She stopped struggling and pulled herself out from his grasp, her eyes sweeping the chamber where the wedding guests were waiting for the ceremony to begin. Satisfied she turned back to him, 'you're right; I just don't want anything to go wrong.'

'Nothing will, and I'll still love you when you're only a lowly Ensign as well.' She shrugged as if the loss of rank was unimportant to her and tapped her comm badge.

'Torres to Voyager; is everything all right?'

'Everything is working as it ought to be. Are you ready to start?'

'No, Chakotay is going through the pre-ceremony ritual in private and the Captain is nowhere to be seen.'

'She's still on the ship,' their co-conspirator reported, 'on the Bridge last time I checked. Let me know when you're ready to precede, Doctor out.' They hadn't really had a plan until last night and once they knew what they were going to have to do it became apparent that they would need some help. The Doctor was the obvious choice and he had proved nowhere near as difficult to persuade to help as they had feared. After all, as he had observed himself, the Captain was hardly going to throw him in the brig.

Neither Tom nor B'Elanna expected to be given the same consideration.

The rest of the senior staff was here, although the Captain was still missing. They mingled with the Mulbari guests, appearing to make polite conversation. B'Elanna couldn't help wondering if they sensed something was going on, she had expected Tuvok or Seven to be on to them by now and wasn't sure if their silence was due to luck or complicity.

She looked up, startled as Captain Janeway stepped past her just as the great doors at the other end of the chamber opened and the wedding party entered. Had her arrival at the very last moment been a deliberate ploy or coincidence? It was impossible to tell. What she did know was that Janeway's face was carefully blank as she took her place with the other guests and what she noticed was that Chakotay's expression was almost exactly the same. Interesting.

As Tom reached down and clasped her hand in his she tapped her comm badge, 'Torres to Sickbay, activate the holo-projectors now.'

As the Magistrate began the official ceremony the two holo-projectors that B'Elanna and Tom had secretly installed just a few hours earlier were activated and an image as large as Voyager's viewscreen filled the hall. The puzzled frowns and mutterings of the guests at being faced with the bridegroom sitting on the floor of his quarters were silenced when the door opened and Voyager's Captain stepped into the room.

B'Elanna squeezed Tom's hand - whatever happened now their actions were irrevocable.

'Let me guess, you were just passing?' Chakotay drawled, looking up from his position on the floor, but not moving.

'I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing here.' Janeway replied, 'I was on my way to the holodeck to play a game of tennis or two.'

'Well, I don't want to interfere, you are the Captain after all, but the last time I looked the holodecks were two decks down from here.'

Suddenly she seemed ill at ease, turning on her heel, about to retreat. 'You're right, this was a mistake, I don't know what I thought I could say to you.'

'Don't lie.' He got to his feet in a single, smooth movement. 'You know exactly why you're here, you never do anything without a reason.' He took a step closer to her, invading her personal space with confidence and ease, 'we both know why you're here. Don't go.'

Under other circumstances B'Elanna thought she'd probably be embarrassed to be witnessing their intensity, the first time she'd watched this projection she'd been astounded at the way Janeway had simply stepped into Chakotay's arms and pulled his mouth down to hers in a searing kiss.

Tom's guess that they wouldn't be able to stay apart the night before the wedding had paid off spectacularly. Although they had planned to end the projection after the first kiss, there was a fascination in watching it, in seeing two people claiming each other as though nothing else mattered. As the enthralled room watched, the two people on the projection stumbled towards the door on Chakotay's bedroom, mouths still eagerly devouring each other.

'Stop!' A clear voice rang out, shocking everyone back to reality. 'Stop the projection now!' Kathryn Janeway, angry, aghast, her face as white as a sheet, was still a force to be reckoned with. Through the open comm channel the Doctor obeyed without question.

TBC