Christmas Cheer Voyager Style or “This” Explained

Summary:A piece of light hearted nonsense inspired by Camryn’s hysterical “Explain This….” fiddle. Thanks Cam.

Voyager is home, its time to party, but for Chakotay, things don’t quite go to plan.

Rated R for language.

Disclaimer: CBS/Paramount own everything. No infringement intended.

Merry Christmas 2006 to all the Vambies. Thank you all again for a wonderful year. It’s such a pleasure and a joy knowing you all.

A special thank you to Kat Lady for her wonderful betaing over the last year. Hugs m’dear.


Chakotay rolled over and groaned. He knew that feeling. Jackhammer head, mouth like the inside of a Malon garbage scow and no memory of most of the previous evening. Level ten hangover. Damn it.

It was all Paris’s fault. Spirits, he should have known better, but they were home, it was Christmas, they were ecstatically happy and they’d been full of beer. After eight or so glasses of amber ale it had seemed like a brilliant idea. In the sober light of day, perhaps it hadn’t been such a clever thing to do. Out of the corner of his eye he spied the pink hat. Oh God! He rolled over and buried his face in his pillow. Unfortunately it didn’t stop the entire nightmare from replaying in his mind in horrible garish flashes. He groaned. Paris was a dead man. How would he ever face her again?

It had started out innocently enough when he, Tom, Harry, Ayala, and Dalby decided to go to a bar to celebrate. They’d met at a saloon that Tom had remembered from his Academy days. It was out of the way, somewhere in the isolated back blocks of the Midwest where they could relax without hoards of hovering reporters. The idea had been that they’d have a few drinks together, reminisce for an hour or two and then head home to get ready for the fancy dress Christmas party scheduled for that evening. Nice simple plan, but like most plans that had the Paris name attached, it went pear shaped fairly quickly. They made the disastrous mistake of not paying attention to how much they’d been drinking. Each of them was taking turns buying jugs of beer and it was going down very easily. Several games of pool and half a dozen games of darts later, they were all very relaxed…. in other words, drunk.

Things started to deteriorate rapidly when Ayala began ribbing Harry about his relationship with Tal Celes and asking him when was he going to start wearing the Bajoran earring? Harry countered with the comment that Ayala should perhaps pay more attention to which twin was which. It was an old trick of Megan and Jenny’s to exchange places. Was Ayala sure he was dating the right twin? This then turned to a rather drunken discussion about what you would be willing to do to keep the woman you loved happy. Tom regaled them with stories of pain sticks and Bat’leths, and then showed them the scars. Dalby confessed to reading poetry and giving flowers and chocolates to Marla Gilmore. Chakotay had snorted out loud at the mental picture of Ken reading poetry and they’d all stared at Dalby wide eyed. This wasn’t the ‘Punch first, ask questions later’ Dalby they all knew and loved. He’d said that a little embarrassment was a small investment and had already paid big dividends. Marla was charmed and as a couple they were very happy.

Then it had been Chakotay’s turn. Ayala told him to dish. He’d blinked a few times and said he wasn’t sure but maybe the flowers were a good idea. “She’s not overly fond of chocolate, but perhaps a never ending supply of coffee. I don’t know, probably something traditional. She did grow up in the country after all.”

Tom had turned to his swaying companion. “Seven doesn’t drink coffee and I didn’t know she came from the country? I thought she came from Sweden via the Collective.”

Chakotay frowned and shook his head, regretting it instantly as the world spun. “Not Seven, you moron. Kathryn. I love Kathryn.”

They were all silent and then Tom took the initiative. “But what about Seven? Weren’t you dating her?”

“A couple of dates, yeah, but she’s with the Doctor now.”

The friends all looked at one another. “Does the Captain know this?”

“Huh? I…. I don’t know. She didn’t know about Seven and me.”

Ayala shook his head in frustration and cuffed Chakotay lightly on the side of the head. “Uh, Commander Dumbass, we all know, so I bet she knows too.”

Chakotay’s eyes widened in horror. “You think?”

Dalby gave him a shove. “Yeah, we think.”

Chakotay tried to scramble to his feet but Ayala shoved him back into his seat. “Steady on, Chief. You’ll be seeing her tonight and you can explain it all then. Besides I think you need to sober up a bit.”

Ayala was right, but even to his befuddled mind it all made sense now. Kathryn had been very remote and standoffish since their arrival home. He’d put it down to exhaustion and debriefings but this explained her attitude so much better. Shit! While he sat and mulled over this disturbing revelation, and beat himself up over the whole Seven debacle, the conversation had moved on. They were now talking about what they were going to wear to the fancy dress party this evening.

It was a Voyager only affair. Arranged by Paris. And that should have been warning enough, but no, he listened to what they had to say. More fool him.

“B’E and I are going as Samson and Delilah. What are you going as, Mike?”

“I think Jen has organised a Tarzan and Jane theme.” He shrugged, not quite sure what that entailed.

Tom nodded sagely, trying to suppress a smile. He couldn’t wait to see Mike squirm in his loin cloth. Trust Jenny. He turned to the Commander. “Chakotay, what are you going as?”

“I was going to go as a cowboy.” They all looked at him.

Paris blinked. “An Indian going as a cowboy? Well it’s different. What’s the captain going as?”

They all shook their heads. All of a sudden Tom smacked his hand on the table and looked at his friends. “I’ve just had a brilliant idea. Chakotay, I know how you can show the Captain how you feel.” He sniggered to himself. “Oh, this will be good. I’ll be back in a minute.” He scooted out of his seat and moved to the bar. Chakotay watched, but couldn’t hear what he was saying. The barmaid pointed to a doorway to the left.

Dalby was very enthused, which translated to very tanked. “It has to be something that she wouldn’t expect.” He looked at his companions who were all swaying and slouching drunkenly in their seats. “Don’t you think? Something unexpected. Now if only I could think of something.”

At that moment Tom arrived back and plonked a large bag in the middle of the table. “There you go, Chakotay. Your costume’s all sorted.”

Chakotay looked up at the grinning helmsman and then looked suspiciously at the bag. “What have you got there, Paris? I’m going to regret this, I just know it.”

“Ach, calm down, Commander. It’s just your cowboy outfit.” Dalby was peeking in the bag. “Oooo, classy.” He pulled out a bright pink cowboy hat and showed it to the rest of the table. They all nodded, looking at one another, very serious in their agreement.

Chakotay looked at the hat and shook his head. “I’m not wearing that, Paris, so you can forget it.”

Tom plonked it on Chakotay’s head and sat back to assess the look. “I have it on good authority that the Captain is wearing this colour pink tonight. B’Elanna didn’t know what sort of costume it was, but it’s definitely this colour.” Chakotay was frowning at him. He couldn’t see the significance. Tom rolled his eyes. “If you’re wearing the same colour, people are going to automatically assume you’re together and … it’ll look cute.”

“I don’t want to look ‘cute’. I want to look debonair and dashing.”

“Oh, don’t you worry, Commander, you’ll be debonairing all over the place once I’ve finished with you.”

“Why doesn’t that make me feel better, Paris?”

Tom looked aggrieved and Chakotay looked around the table at all the frowning faces. His shoulders slumped and he heaved a resigned sigh. “Alright, Paris. You win. What have you got in mind?”

“Welllllll….” All the swaying heads huddled in close and stared at Tom with bleary eyes. He whispered loudly. “I’ve arranged for a stretch limousine to collect the Captain, but it’s a special one. It has an interior to match that…” He flicked Chakotay’s hat and Chakotay grabbed it before it fell on the floor. “Once she’s safely ensconced in the limo, you’ll beam in and surprise her.”

Chakotay looked unsure, but all his cronies thought it was a great idea. He should have listened to himself. He really should have. He rarely steered himself wrong. But he hadn’t, and look where it had got him.

He peeked out from under the pillow again. Yep, the pink hat was still there. “Arrrgh.”

The nightmare continued.

After Tom had regaled them all with his plans for the night, they all got ready to beam back to their prospective homes. Chakotay noticed Tom pull Harry aside and whisper something to his partner in crime. Harry beamed and then stifled the grin. Chakotay should have known that they were up to no good. Why did he think that just because they were home, that they wouldn’t continue with their diabolical pranks? He was a fool.

They beamed home. Chakotay was staying with B’Elanna and Tom so they both staggered through the front door together. B’Elanna was less than impressed with them, but after a detox hypospray and a shower, both were feeling much more human, although still a little under the weather. They put on their outfits and made their way to the Transporter station.

They made an interesting threesome. Tom was sporting a long black wig with a leather thong wrapped around his forehead. Underneath a large cloak he wore a short ‘dress’, tied at his waist with a rope cord. He was scuffing along in sandals. B’Elanna looked beautiful with her hair piled on her head and a gold rope woven through the tresses. She was also wearing a long cloak that hid a beautiful toga style full length gown in a pale blue. It too was tied around the waist with a rope cord and she wore gold bracelets and a necklace with a pair of scissors attached.

Chakotay, also sporting a long cloak, was ever so grateful for the cover it provided. There was no way he was going to be caught parading around the streets of San Francisco wearing his pink cowboy outfit. He did have something of a reputation to maintain. When he’d seen himself in the mirror he’d almost reneged, but both Tom and B’Elanna had cajoled him into keeping it on. He was regretting it now. There was this awful sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. He just knew this was all going to go to hell in a hand basket. His inner coward had bellowed at him and he really should have listened. When would he ever learn?

They hovered in the shadows of the transport station, waiting for Harry to give the word that Kathryn was in the limo. He was acting as chauffeur this evening. Tom’s combadge chirped and Harry’s whispered code came through. “The eagle has landed.”

Tom swung into action. He grabbed Chakotay and hauled him into the brightly lit transport station, whipped off his cloak and pushed him up onto the platform. He gave the co-ordinates to the operator and then yelled “Wait!”

He rifled in the bag he was carrying and then jumped up on the platform. “Sit down, Chakotay.”

“What?”

“I said, sit down. Unless you want to materialise half in and half out of the limo. It would be grizzly.”

“Oh, yeah, good thinking.” Chakotay sat on the transporter padd and just before he dematerialised, Tom slammed the hat on his head, shoved a glass of pink champagne in his hand and said, “Bon Voyage.”

Tom’s grinning visage faded from view to be replaced by Kathryn’s look of horror. “Ahhhh!” She yelped and jumped backwards in her seat.

Chakotay took all of two seconds to realise he’d been had. He’d been had big time and Paris was going to die. Slowly and painfully.

He was sitting on the backseat of the pink upholstered limo, in his underwear with a glass of champagne in one hand, a bowtie around his neck, and that fucking pink hat on his head.

Kathryn’s eyes were nearly popping out of her head. She stared and then snorted a laugh. “What the hell are you doing, Chakotay? Get out of here.”

“Kathryn… I… We… This…” He dropped his head and swore under his breath. “Shit! Paris, you’re a dead man.”

He looked up at her again and she was trying ever so hard not to laugh. This wasn’t quite the reaction he’d anticipated. He looked like a fool and the only way he could think to get out of this with a skerrick of pride intact was to try and be as nonchalant as he could. With as much bravado as he could muster, he tipped his hat and said, “Howdy, Ma’am. Merry Christmas.”

She burst out laughing and shook her head. “This is Tom Paris’s doing, isn’t it?”

Chakotay’s shoulders slumped and he nodded his head.

Kathryn couldn’t stop laughing. “I knew when B’Elanna contacted me this afternoon that something was afoot. She wanted to know the colour of my dress. I told her hot pink, but never dreamed she would believe me.”

Only now did Chakotay realise that Kathryn wasn’t wearing pink at all. She was wearing a white and gold flowing gown, with a white and gold wrap. His eyes swept over her. She looked beautiful and even though the situation was grim, he couldn’t help but ask. “Who are you?”

She looked down at herself and gave a self deprecating shrug. “Helen of Troy. It was Phoebe’s idea.”

He nodded and looked at her. “You look beautiful.”

“Thank you.” She held his gaze for a moment and then looked him up and down. “I’d say the same but….”

He looked down at himself again and groaned. “It’s alright, Kathryn. I’m going.” With that he slugged down the champagne in one gulp, tossed the glass on the seat, opened the door and leapt out of the limousine. He slammed the door shut on her cry of “Chakotay!?” and took off into the night.

He heard the thud of running feet and Harry’s call. “Commander?”

Chakotay stopped. He was seething. Turning slowly he glared at the ensign-come dead man and bellowed. “What?”

Harry had the good sense not to get within arms reach of the angry man. “You might need these. Sorry.” He tossed Chakotay a package and then scurried back to the car. Chakotay stopped himself from tossing the package back towards the limousine and had a look inside. It was his cowboy outfit. Knowing that he couldn’t wander the streets dressed, or rather undressed, as he was, he snuck into an alley and donned the clothes. Now he didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t face her, but he was expected at the Christmas party. He figured that if he waited an hour or so, there would be so many people at the party that he could sneak in without being noticed. And he wouldn’t have to stay long. Just time enough to be seen by a few people and then he could escape. The walk to the venue would give him plenty of time to think up some suitably painful punishment for Paris and his cohorts.

Damn, damn, damn. He’d blown it completely and felt like a total fool. Not only had he embarrassed himself, he was sure he’d embarrassed Kathryn and she would have lost any respect for him thanks to that stupid stunt. Fuck!

He stomped along the pavement with fantasies involving gruesome tortures and helmsmen floating through his mind. He reckoned Paris was a screamer and he was going to make him pay.

Eventually he arrived at the reception centre where the party was being held. There were people milling around outside in all manner of costumes and the noise from inside was deafening. The Voyagers were having fun.

He strode around to the side of the building and swung himself up onto a low balcony. The doors were open and he could see inside. Many of the crew were dancing and the rest were either sitting or standing in groups and talking. There was plenty of laughter and good cheer. He still felt like smacking someone though.

Peeking inside the door he found Walter Baxter standing with Mariah Henley next to the drinks table. “Hello, Commander. It’s good to see you.”

They were dressed as clowns, so Chakotay didn’t feel too ridiculous, although…. He nodded a greeting and grabbed a drink from the table and slugged it down. Huffing out a breath, he grabbed another but sipped a little slower.

He hugged the edges of the room trying to look inconspicuous but all the time knowing that he looked like a giant pink wallflower. He looked at his drink. Whatever it was, it was delicious. He grabbed another. It was after his fifth that he realised that Paris was probably responsible for them too and no doubt they were laced with some sort of killer liquor. His head was spinning again. This was a disaster. He’d said a quick hello to several of the lower decks crew, but he was taking every precaution to avoid any of the senior staff. He knew Kathryn would be with them and besides he didn’t think that the Voyager Christmas party was the place for bloodshed.

He was leaning against the wall, hiding behind a potted plant when someone touched his arm and said. “Hello there. I’m glad you came.”

Jolting upright, he managed to spill his drink all over his hand and sleeve. “Shit!”

It was Kathryn. He’d done so well avoiding her, but she’d found him. “Are you alright, Chakotay?”

He could feel the flush of embarrassment creeping up his cheeks. “Um, yes, thank you. I’m fine.”

She frowned and leaned in to look at him more closely. She reached to take his drink. “I think you’ve had enough, don’t you?”

He snatched it away from her and took another deep draught. “No. Tonight there isn’t enough alcohol anywhere for it to be ‘enough’.”

“What’s wrong? Has something happened?”

Glaring at her, he couldn’t believe that she wasn’t aware of how nightmarish the evening had been. “No. Everything is just hunky dory. If you’ll excuse me, Captain, I have an appointment at the drinks table.”

He wandered off unsteadily and threw down another couple of drinks. That’s the last thing he remembered until waking up here in his bed. He had no idea how he’d gotten home, but that was the least of his worries just at the moment.

His head was still pounding and if he didn’t get up and clean his teeth, they were all going to up stakes and move out of his mouth. He felt like hell.

Sitting up tentatively he swung his legs over the edge of his bed, and looked down and groaned. He was still wearing his socks and those damn briefs. Something itched around his neck and lifting his hand he found that cursed bowtie. He yanked it off and threw it on the floor. He bent over, which turned out not to be a good move, and removed his socks. Closing his eyes for a moment he waited until the world righted itself again before he attempted to stand. With a giant heave he got himself upright and once his inertial dampers kicked in, he staggered to the bathroom.

By the time he exited the bathroom he was feeling a little more human, but still a bit wonky. With a towel wrapped around his waist, he held another in his hand as he dried his hair and walked back into the bedroom.

Standing just inside the doorway, he had the distinct feeling that he wasn’t alone. He pulled the towel away from his head slowly, then jumped back with a yelp. “Arrgh. Kathryn!”

He shook his head and scrunched his eyes closed. Maybe it was that damn drink from the night before. He wouldn’t put it past Paris to put hallucinogens in the punch. He looked again at the bed and she was still there. Large as life and wearing….. not much at all. She was perched up against his pillows in black panties and a bra, and that damn bowtie was around her neck. She had a cup of coffee in her hand and she was wearing ‘the’ hat.

The towel in his hand dropped to the floor. “Uh, Kathryn?”

“Good morning, Chakotay. How are you feeling this morning?”

“I… I’m not sure.” He blinked slowly, still not quite believing what he was seeing. “Uh, Kathryn?”

“Yes, Chakotay.”

“What are you doing here?”

“Returning the favour.” She held out her coffee. “Here, you look like you need a sip.”

He teetered over to the bed and sat with a thump, taking the cup from her and swallowing a big gulp. A bit went down the wrong way and he coughed out a “Thanks” as he handed it back to her. Coughing hard, tears started to blur his vision, and then he felt her slapping him on the back.

“God, Chakotay. Are you alright?”

Finally he got his breath back and nodded. “Yes. I’m fine.” He couldn’t think of anything else to say and just sat there and stared. Flabbergasted was the only word that came to mind and then he frowned. “What are you doing here, Kathryn?” He shook his head. “I already asked that, didn’t I?”

She nodded.

“Did you give me an answer?”

She nodded again.

“Do you mind repeating it? I’m not quite firing on all thrusters yet.”

This time she smiled. “I said I was returning the favour. You jumped out of the car so quickly last night that I didn’t have a chance to thank you for the surprise and then you were a little, shall we say, pie eyed for me to thank you at the party.”

“Kathryn, don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t remember very much of last night. What happened?”

She wriggled up a bit higher on the bed and crossed her legs at the ankles. Chakotay was having a hard time concentrating thanks to his hangover, and having her almost naked in the bed next to him wasn’t helping.

With a chuckle she patted his arm. “Don’t worry, you were an absolute gentleman. A semi conscious one, but a gentleman nonetheless.”

He gave her a pathetic smile and she laughed. “After you downed those last three, or was it four drinks, you were very inebriated. I didn’t want you to make a fool of yourself…” He snorted at that and she patted his arm again. “I didn’t want you to make more of a fool of yourself, so I got Harry to bring the limousine around to the back of the reception centre and we bundled you in and brought you home.” Her eyes were twinkling, so he knew there was more to the story.

“I didn’t do anything terrible, did I?”

Kathryn shook her head, but there was still this enigmatic smile on her face.

“Well then, what did I say, Kathryn? I can tell I said something.”

“Ah, you know me too well, Commander.”

He was thinking that he knew her a hell of a lot better now than he’d ever done, but with effort he dragged his mind back to the here and now.

Her face broke into a warm smile. “You were very candid on the ride home.”

“Oh.”

“Yes. It was something of a revelation for me, but a welcome one.”

He really didn’t want to think about what he might have said, but she told him anyway. “I didn’t know you felt that way about me, Chakotay.”

He closed his eyes and then opened them to find her staring at him with an endearing look on her face. He gave her a sad smile. “Didn’t you?”

She shook her head. “I thought I did, but for years I haven’t been sure. Have you really loved me for that long?”

Taking a shuddering breath, he nodded his head. “Like… forever?”

Again she smiled. “You said that too.” She leant back against the pillows with a dreamy look on her face.

“What else did I say?” He hoisted his legs up onto the bed and leant back beside her. His heart missed a beat as her hand stole over towards him and she wove her fingers through his.

“You said that you’d loved me from the very first moment I appeared on the viewscreen. I was standing in the middle of the bridge with that hideous bun, all Starfleet spit and polish and all you wanted to do was leap through the screen and kiss me.” He gave her hand a quick squeeze of affirmation. She turned towards him and her voice hitched slightly. “You also said that when you finally stood in front of me and I pressed my hand against your chest to stop you killing Tom, that it was then that I stole your heart, and ever since that moment you’ve loved me more and more each day. Even when we were at odds with one another and I was driving you crazy, you still loved me.”

He turned towards her and smiled. They were his thoughts alright. There was no denying it. They were all the things he’d wanted to tell her for years.

She let her head drop onto his shoulder but the damn hat was in the way. He lifted it off her head and tossed it onto the bedside table. Draping his arm around her shoulders he pulled her close. “Kathryn, I’m sorry about the stunt in the limo. I had no idea.”

She grinned up at him. “I’m not. It’s not everyday that a woman has a man in his underwear beam into her car. I was rather flattered.”

“You were?”

“Well, it was a little unexpected, but I appreciated the gesture. It was certainly a novel approach.”

“Paris is still a dead man.”

“Oh, don’t be too hard on him. Subtlety has never been his forté, and it did the job. I’m here, aren’t I?”

He huffed out a laugh. “Yes, I suppose you are. And I’m so glad.” He tugged her closer and then looked out through the bedroom door. “Uh, Kathryn? Where did you sleep last night?”

She patted her side of the bed. “Right here with you. I was worried about you. You were making some rather ghastly noises and I didn’t want you doing yourself any damage.”

He cringed. “Sorry.”

Kathryn shrugged. “I think we’ve seen each other at our worst more than once. It wasn’t a problem.”

“You slept here with me last night and I had no idea?”

“I’m afraid so.”

“Paris is so dead.”

Kathryn laughed.

He turned more fully towards her. “Do you know for how long and how many times I’ve dreamt of sleeping with you, and now I have, and I don’t even remember.”

“Don’t pout. It was hardly ‘sleeping’ with each other. I dozed and you were unconscious. I figure it doesn’t really count.”

He shook his head. “Negated on a technicality.”

“It can be remedied though. I’m in your bed now and we’re both awake, we’re pretty much naked and neither of us is drunk. I think, technically, we could count this as the first time we slept together.”

“But I’m not sleepy.”

“Oh, good. ‘Cos neither am I.”

“Kathryn?”

“Yes, Chakotay.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

They drifted towards one another and their lips met in a soft kiss. They both sighed. How perfect could something be? Her body sidled closer and the first touch of flesh on flesh dragged another sigh from them. Hands began to stroke and bodies started to move against one another. Small grunts of delight and moans of desire filled the room.

Chakotay pulled away for a moment and looked at Kathryn. He smiled. “Welcome home, my love, and Merry Christmas.”

Reaching past him she picked up the pink hat and put it on. Grinning up at him she tugged at the brim. “Howdy partner. Merry Christmas.”

With a laugh he grabbed her and rolled her under him, hat and all. A moment later the hat went sailing across the room and amidst the laughter, Chakotay groaned. “Paris is still a dead man.”

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