Watching the DetectivesDisclaimer: Paramount owns all, not that they’d let their officers discuss such fun things. Title is of course from the Elvis Costello song.
Summary: Tom, B’Elanna, Neelix & Harry try to find out if the Captain and First Officer are really having an affair.
Tom sat in the mess hall, quietly chewing his lunch while staring out the window into the distance. Staring into the distance was one of Tom’s hobbies when it wasn’t convenient to be in a holodeck. He quite enjoyed the fact that it allowed his mind to go blank and unfocussed, not that he really needed help in that respect.
B’Elanna rushed in through the mess hall doors. She was late for lunch with Tom, but she was also in a hurry because of the news she had to break. On the many occasions that space travel itself was less than interesting, gossip was a precious commodity. Juicy gossip was plated in latinum. B’Elanna’s gossip was juicy enough to bribe a Ferengi. She rushed up to Tom, who broke out of his digestive trance just in time to look up and see her.
"You’ll never guess what just happened."
Confronted with such a statement, Tom felt it was his duty to make a wise crack. Not that they were ever particularly wise, or overly funny for that matter.
"What?… You saw Tuvok smiling?"
A glance over to the corner of the room where the aforementioned Vulcan was sitting seriously by himself revealed that Tom certainly had not guessed what just happened.
"Don’t be stupid," ordered B’Elanna, though she might as well have told him to stop breathing.
"I just went to hand my engineering capability report to the captain."
"I can see why you’re so excited," interrupted Tom.
"Be quiet and listen," barked B’Elanna with a look suggesting that if he didn’t do what he was told, Tom would soon be paying the doctor an unscheduled visit.
"As I was saying, I went to give the captain my report. She was in her quarters so I went up there and rang the chime. After about ten or fifteen seconds the captain finally answered and I went in. Chakotay was in there with her, and they were both on her couch looking at pads. It all appeared quite innocent until I went to hand the report to the captain and noticed the state that Chakotay was in."
"What do you mean?" asked Tom somewhat densely.
"Let’s just say that judging by the bulge in his pants, Chakotay was extremely happy to see someone in the room and I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t me. Those pants that you guys wear don’t leave much to the imagination. How do you think I knew you were interested in me, apart from those puppy dog eyes of yours?"
B’Elanna reached over and tweaked Tom’s cheek like a doting auntie.
"I think that Janeway and Chakotay are having an affair."
Tom was in the mood for a bit of a verbal stoush so he thought he would argue the case for the negative.
"Sure that’s interesting and pretty suggestive, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re having an affair. Any man can tell you that our members are not always entirely under our control, and on occasion , pop up without warning or provocation."
"That’s true I suppose," replied B’Elanna. "As a Vulcan, Vorik may be good at keeping his outward signs of emotion under control. But I’ve noticed that sometimes he goes up and down like a yo-yo all day."
"I’m not sure I want to know why you’re paying attention to the contents of Vorik’s pants, B’Elanna."
"Let’s just say that it’s a bit hard not to notice on occasion. Besides, a girl likes to keep her options open," replied B’Elanna, counter punching with Tom.
This exciting conversation about the contents of men’s pants was interrupted by the arrival of Harry in the mess hall. He rushed up to Tom and B’Elanna’s table. "You’ll never guess what just happened."
Tom was never particularly good at cutting his losses.
"You saw Seven of Nine laughing."
Nor was he particularly creative. Rather than an aggressive response, Harry settled for the scornful look he reserved for Tom’s facetious replies.
"No, it’s much better than that. I was just up in the Jeffries tube above deck three checking on a gel pack that was giving off funny readings. Anyway, down the tube I could hear strange noises coming from the ventilation duct that goes into the captain’s quarters. I went over to check what it was, thinking it might have something to do with the problem. When I got over there I realised that the noises were actually coming from inside the captain’s quarters."
Unbeknownst to Harry, Neelix had walked up behind him carrying the coffee jug that appeared at times to be welded to his hand. Harry jumped as he turned slightly and realised that there was someone standing over his shoulder.
"Sorry for startling you Harry," Neelix apologised. "Please continue with your story."
"OK, not that I have a basis for comparison or anything, but the sounds coming out of Captain Janeway’s quarters… err, sounded like she was having an orgasm." Harry flushed bright red at having to say the word. "And judging by the other sounds from her quarters, she wasn’t alone. I think it might have been Chakotay with her."
The interest of the other three was well and truly peaked by the time Harry finished his story.
"How long ago was this?" demanded B’Elanna.
"Only a couple of minutes ago," Harry said. "I came straight here as soon as I heard it."
"I was in the captain’s quarters not more than fifteen minutes ago, and Chakotay was in there with her, in rather an excited state. So that pretty much settles it, they’re having an affair."
"Hang on a minute," chirped in Tom, feeling a little more belligerent than usual. "We still only have circumstantial evidence that Janeway and Chakotay are together. Not enough to convict in my court of law. Even if it is a pretty juicy rumour. I want to see some hard evidence first."
"Well the evidence I saw was pretty hard Tom," B’Elanna smirked. "If it’s evidence you want then we’d better think of a plan to gather it before we confront either of them."
"We could just ask one or both of them," said Harry.
"What would be the point of that?" asked B’Elanna giving Harry a derisive look. "Without any hard evidence of our own, they would just evade the question and probably tell us to mind our own business. But if you want to ask the captain, go right ahead."
"I’ve got an idea," piped in Neelix, who was becoming increasingly excited by the conversation. "We could use both holodecks and put a holographic Janeway in one and a holographic Chakotay in the other. Then we could call the captain to the holodeck with the holographic Chakotay and vice versa. Then we could observe them. If they thought they were alone, it would quickly show if they are having a relationship or not."
"I think that plan requires a bit too much work Neelix," retorted Harry. "First off we’d have to create the two holograms. Then we’d have to explain why we did it once they discovered what happened. I can’t think of any possible reasonable excuse for doing that. We need a plan to gather the hard evidence that will look like an accident."
"I have an idea," announced Tom as if it was a rare and remarkable occurrence, which, of course, it was. "You said that you were up in the Jeffries tube looking for the cause of a gel pack malfunction, Harry. Did you find it?"
"No. After I heard what was going on in the captain’s quarters I came straight here."
"Very professional," replied Tom. "Well how about you leave a tricorder up in the Jeffries tube under the pretext of taking readings to try and find the cause of the malfunction. If you leave it close enough to the air vent into the Captain’s quarters it should also be able to pick up any noises coming from there. That way when we confront them with the evidence we could claim it was an accident. But seeing as the evidence would be rather incriminating we thought we should let them know about the recording. Then they would have to confess. How does that sound?"
"Not the best plan I’ve ever heard," said B’Elanna. "But if no-one can come up with anything better I say we run with it."
Neelix and Harry both nodded their consent and Tom just sat there and looked proud. His plans were usually only the best in the room if he was alone.
"Right then, well given the great consensus I suggest we get to it. The sooner we get to work, the sooner we find out what’s really going on," ordered B’Elanna as if the other three were her engineering subordinates. With that B’Elanna, Harry and Tom got up and left the mess hall leaving Neelix to his kitchen.
In the corner of the room, Tuvok raised an eyebrow and began furiously typing on his padd.
The four co-conspirators went about implementing their plan over the next few days. They regularly checked the data from the tricorder each day, but much to their disappointment, the most interesting conversation to be heard in Janeway’s quarters centered around data integrity problems in astrometrics. Chakotay had not visited Janeway’s quarters even once since they had planted the tricorder.
After another few days B’Elanna went to visit the captain in her quarters to present her with another relatively mundane engineering report. As she walked down the corridor towards the captain’s quarters, she was startled to see Tuvok leave the captain’s door. He nodded and said "Lieutenant Torres" as he went past.
Frowning, B’Elanna walked up to Janeway’s door and activated the chime. Almost immediately Janeway answered. The door slid open and B’Elanna saw that the captain was sitting at her desk working on her computer. Janeway looked up from the screen.
"Good morning Lieutenant, what can I do for you?"
"Good morning captain. I just came to drop in my latest engineering report".
B’Elanna handed Janeway the padd that she had been clutching.
"Pretty mundane stuff captain, but I have made a recommendation for a few shift changes in engineering."
"Thankyou B’Elanna. Commander Chakotay is due here for a meeting in a few minutes. I’ll discuss it with him then. Is that all?"
B’Elanna had meant to engage the captain in some idle conversation hoping that Janeway might choose today to confide in her with some good old fashioned ‘girl talk’. However, with the news that Chakotay would be in Janeway’s quarters, and soon, B’Elanna felt that she had to get out of there straight away and let the others know.
"Yes that’s all captain. I’ll talk to you later."
B’Elanna wheeled around and left the captain’s quarters as quickly as she could while trying to look casual. Janeway smiled at the sight of B’Elanna’s hastily departing back.
As soon as she got out of ear shot of Janeway’s quarters, B’Elanna hit her comm badge.
"Torres to Paris, Kim and Neelix. I think I have found the problem in the Jeffries tube. Meet me in the tube immediately and we’ll see if I’m correct."
B’Elanna hoped that she had been sufficiently cryptic that anyone else who heard the transmission would think nothing was amiss. She opened the hatch and crawled into the Jeffries tube.
It wasn’t long before the other three arrived. B’Elanna signaled them to come over to her position.
When they arrived she said, "You’re just in time. Chakotay hasn’t arrived yet. I called you here because I wanted to hear for myself and I thought you might like to as well."
Just then they heard a conversation starting in the captain’s quarters.
"Thankyou for coming Tuvok. We haven’t got long before Chakotay is due here for a meeting. How is the ponn farr going?"
Tuvok responded. "I have thus far been able to keep it a secret captain. I would like to thank you for your assistance in sating my more – primal - urges."
In the Jeffries tube, three jaws fell open simultaneously.
"That’s quite alright Tuvok. In fact, to tell the truth, I’m quite enjoying myself. I had no idea that Vulcans could be so, passionate. And so good at it too," she cooed.
By the end of that sentence, even Tom had worked out what the captain was talking about. An involuntary reaction caused him to recoil and hit his head on the top of the Jeffries tube. A large hollow sounding thud reverberated along the tube. The conversation in Captain Janeway’s quarters halted.
"What was that?" asked Janeway looking up towards her air vent.
"It sounded like it was coming from the Jeffries tube, captain," Tuvok replied matter of factly.
In the tube B’Elanna was already rushing for the hatch, closely followed by Harry and Neelix. Tom was lagging behind as he could only crawl with one hand, the other nursing the increasingly large lump on his head.
B’Elanna reached the hatch and threw it open to be confronted with a pair of legs. The pants she recognised, and as she looked up she confirmed that they belonged to Commander Chakotay.
"Can I help you Lieutenant?" he asked with a raised eyebrow and a displeased expression that let them know that the game was up.
As the four climbed out of the Jeffries tube, B’Elanna attempted to come up with a plausible answer.
"We, err, were just doing some maintenance work on a malfunctioning gel pack in the Jeffries tube, Commander."
"You mean the one I repaired myself a few days ago?"
Before Chakotay could further continue the interrogation, Janeway and Tuvok arrived on the scene. Janeway did not look at all happy.
"All of you, in my quarters, now," she ordered in her raspiest voice.
They fell into line behind her.
As they filed into Janeway’s quarters, the captain sat behind her desk and Chakotay and Tuvok stood behind her, facing down the misbehaving four in front of them.
"First off, I’d like to know if you four enjoyed the performance that Tuvok and I just put on for your benefit?"
The room remained silent, everyone correctly surmising that the question was rhetorical.
Tuvok broke the silence. "I’d like to report that I, thankfully, am not experiencing the ponn farr. Secondly, I would like to remind the four of you that Vulcans have an acute sense of hearing. So next time you plan to invade the captain’s privacy, make sure I am not in the vicinity."
The captain resumed. "I could throw the proverbial book at you. However, you apparently know some things about me that I would not like to go into general circulation. So in exchange for your silence I will forget that this little incident happened."
They all readily agreed to Janeway’s terms.
"There is one more thing I would like to know," Janeway said in a milder tone of voice. "If you wanted to know something about me, why didn’t you just ask?"
The silence of the other three indicated to B’Elanna that she had just been elected as spokeswoman for the group.
"Well, we thought that you would probably just say that it was none of our business."
Then you know what I’m going to say to you now then, don’t you?" Janeway replied calmly.
"That it’s none of our business?" Tom responded like an obedient (speaking) puppy.
"Very good Mr. Paris," Captain Janeway said, as she crossed the room and patted him on the head.
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