Fic: Captainella - Trek - Janeway/Chakotay - PG
Author: elfflame and foodie
Summary: The crew of the Voyager holds a series of balls.
Disclaimer: Voyager and all its inhabitants are owned by Paramount. Despite the fact that they seemed to allow certain storylines to go unwritten. Therefore, we decided to write something to set our favorite couple on the right path.
A/N: The story is set shortly after the destruction of the Kazon and Seska in season three. Yes, it is vaguely based on Cinderella (like you couldn't tell). This was our first attempt at fan fiction, and is a bit crackish, I'm afraid.
Once upon a time, there was a lonely captain named Kathryn Janeway. She and her crew were far from home. Since they had recently retaken their ship from the Kazon, Neelix decided that the crew deserved to have a celebration. The Captain agreed that it would cheer up the crew to have a series of dress-up masquerades.
And so, the first ball was announced. Neelix decided that the theme for the first ball would be a Chinese masque. The crew was excited. All free time was spent planning for the ball, and thinking of costumes to wear.
Kathryn, however, decided that she was simply too busy to go. She had reports to read, and evaluations to write. She told everyone that she would take the final bridge shift for each of the parties so that everyone else could attend for at least part of the time.
Neelix tried to convince her to come. "You would have a really good time, Captain."
"Thank you, Neelix, but I'm just too busy."
Kim tried to convince her to come. "It wouldn't be the same without you."
"I appreciate the sentiment, but I'm sure that everyone will have a wonderful time whether or not I'm there."
Paris tried to convince her. "Captain, everyone is coming. You should at least come for a few minutes."
"I do not think it is that important, Mr. Paris"
Kes tried to convince her. "The doctor thinks that the ball would do you some good, Captain."
"Unless he makes that an order, I'm afraid I have other things to do that night."
B'Elanna tried another tact. "If you don't have to go, I don't have to go either, right, Captain?"
It didn't work. "Don't make me make it an order, B'Elanna."
Tuvok did not try to convince her. He assumed that she had already thought things through, and had her reasons for not going.
Kathryn appreciated his restraint.
Chakotay tried to convince her to come. "Perhaps we could go together. After all, we are the ship's commanding officers, so we should make at least an appearance."
"Commander, I have already made my position clear. I will not be going to the masquerade."
And so, everyone went on with their plans without her.
Kathryn sat in her ready room, lost in thought. This was the perfect opportunity to talk with her crew as one of them. She would go to the ball, and since Neelix mentioned that he would have holographic people to dance with as well, no one would be the wiser. Visions of music, dancing, costumes and dresses filled her head. She could see herself in Chakotay's arms, spinning about the dance floor. Looking up at him as he smiled down at her, his grin lighting up the room. A kiss on her cheek as he walked her back to her quarters…
What was she thinking? Kathryn shook her head and sighed. She had to get her mind back on her plans, and forget about any possible romantic involvements. It just wasn't possible. She turned to the computer, and began to look for an appropriate costume for the first masquerade. She scanned through several databases, then leaned back grinning as she examined her selection.
In the mess hall, Tom, Harry and B'Elanna were making their plans for the masquerade.
"So how many bottles of my Aldebaran whiskey should I bring?" Tom asked.
"One ought to be more than enough to knock everyone on their butts." Harry looked a little worried. Tom always got so out of hand when it came to this stuff.
"If we get in trouble for this little prank of yours, I'll tell the Delaney sisters you've decided to become celibate," B'Elanna purred.
"Don't worry, B'Elanna. One bottle won't hurt." Tom grinned as she purposefully turned to Harry to avoid answering him.
"So, Harry, what are you going to wear for the masquerade?"
"I'm not too sure yet, B'Elanna. Maybe I'll go as Bruce Lee."
"He was a famous actor from the twentieth century who brought Karate to America. He did a lot of movies and TV shows," Tom answered for him.
B'Elanna glared in his direction. "Is there anything about the twentieth century that you don't know?" she growled.
Chakotay leaned back in his seat, his mind lost in thoughts of which costume to wear. As the next most senior officer, he felt it was his duty to attend, at least to keep the peace. But, his heart just wasn't in it.
He had really hoped that Kathryn would be going. She had been keeping to herself so much lately, and he had been looking forward to spending some time with her at the masquerade. He only hoped that she would change her mind.
The evening of the ball arrived. Neelix had set holodeck three to look like a Chinese garden. Strings of Chinese lanterns marked the paths through the greenery. Holodeck characters mingled with crewmembers, each dressed in wonderful costumes. The Captain arrived an hour after the party began. She slipped in behind a large group, and began to mingle with her crewmembers.
She was dressed simply in a red robe, with a golden over-tunic. Her hair was covered by a black wig that was piled in a loose knot on top of her head, and over her face, she wore a red dragon mask. Most of the crew were dressed either as warriors or Chinese ladies. There were a few creative costumes though. Neelix was dressed in a robe with astrological symbols all over it, and huge conical hat. B'Elanna was dressed as a warrior as well, and the captain shook her head. When would B'Elanna ever let go of the anger that seemed to run her life?
As she wandered through the room, her eyes fell upon a specific warrior across the room. He wore a gold shirt and black slacks, and an emerald green sash around his waist. He had a simple domino mask that just failed to cover the elaborate tattoo that covered the upper left side of his face. The Captain decided to see if she could fool him, and moved over to stand next to him. Chakotay turned to face her.
"Hello. What a beautiful costume."
"Thank you. You look nice as well."
Chakotay smiled. "Have you had a chance to get a drink yet?"
"Not really. I only just arrived."
"Well, let me escort you to the bar." He took her arm and together they walked down the central path of the garden, chatting amiably until they reached the refreshments. Chakotay reached for a cup, but bumped into Tom instead.
"Hello, Commander. Just …getting myself some refreshments. I'll be out of your way in a second." The Captain and Chakotay watched as Tom dipped a cup into the punchbowl then moved aside. Chakotay took a cup and poured the Captain a drink. He turned and handed it to her. She took a sip, then quickly spit it out again.
"This punch has been spiked."
Chakotay turned to where Tom had been standing a moment before, but he had disappeared. "Mr. Paris, I assume." He took the cup from her hand. "Computer, cup of non-alcoholic punch, please." The punch appeared and he handed it to her. "Sorry about that. I'll have to have a little chat with him later."
"You're not going to do anything about it now?"
"Why spoil their fun? It is a party, after all. Don't worry about it. The captain and I will make sure that he can't do it again �" at least for a very long time."
The Captain quickly took a sip to hide her face while she worked to control her expression. "That's good."
"Just a fact of life as the Commander of Voyager. Would you like to dance?" he held his arm out to her.
"Certainly." The Captain put her cup down, and together they walked out onto the floor.
As they danced the crew watched. The two seemed caught up in each other, oblivious to everyone and everything around them.
B'Elanna was disgusted. "Look at him. He's drooling all over her."
"Why not, B'Elanna? She's not hard on the eyes. If he wasn't dancing with her, I would be," Tom replied.
"Pe'tahk!!" B'Elanna turned to growl at him.
"Come on guys," Harry interrupted. "Doesn't she look familiar? Somebody ask her to dance. Tom, you do it."
"Aw, Harry, I was just about to see if I could get one of the Delaney sisters to dance. Why don't you do it?"
"I don't know, Tom. I'm not sure Chakotay would let her go."
B'Elanna growled, "It doesn't matter anyway, they've disappeared."
The Captain and Chakotay were walking along the brook that ran through the garden.
"May I ask who you are?" Chakotay asked.
The Captain demurred. "I'm kind of enjoying the anonymity."
"Oh? Do you have a lot of fans or something?" He smiled down at her.
"I just like being someone else for a little while."
"Oh? So you have some desire to be veiled?"
"Do I look like I'm wearing a veil?"
"I can't see your face…"
"Why should you?"
"I like to know my dancing partners." He smiled.
"I see. And when you don't?"
"It's never happened before."
"Ah. Well, there's a first time for everything, isn't there?" She turned away from him and began to move back to the party.
"Wait!" The Captain turned to face him once more. "At least one hint?"
She smiled. "Perhaps. But what could I tell you that wouldn't give away who I am?"
Chakotay's eyebrow rose. "Do I know you that well?"
"Oh, but that would be telling, wouldn't it?" She grinned, and turned back towards the party.
Chakotay hurried to catch up to her side. "Is that a hint?"
The Captain continued to walk, a small smile on her face.
When they reached the party, he was distracted by a couple of ensigns who were fighting over one of the Delaney sisters. While his back was turned, the Captain slipped out of the holodeck and ran to her room. Once inside, she tried to catch her breath. As she changed into her uniform, she thought of how she had totally forgotten why she went in the first place. She smiled. Oh, well. It wasn't that important anyway. She left her quarters and went to the bridge to relieve Tuvok.
The next day, all anyone could talk about was the mysterious woman who had spent the ball with Chakotay, then disappeared on him. Everyone was wondering who she could be.
The second ball was announced for the following week, with a bird theme. Everyone wondered if she would show again. People tried to decide what to be this time, and new costumes were made.
Kathryn couldn't decide what she should do. She shouldn't go this time. After all, Chakotay or one of the other crewmembers might figure out who she was. Then she'd have some serious explaining to do. She decided that it would be better if she did not attend this time.
Everyone else, however, wanted to make sure she attended this ball.
Neelix tried to convince her to come. "The ball was such a hit. You would have really enjoyed yourself. You should come this time, Captain."
"Thank you, Neelix, but I'm still very busy."
Kim tried to convince her to come. "I really missed you at the last ball, Captain."
"I appreciate that, Kim, but I'm afraid I'll be missing the next one as well."
Paris tried to convince her. "Captain, everyone is betting on who that woman was. You should come and unmask her. It would be great!"
"I don't think so, Mr. Paris"
Kes tried to convince her. "The doctor still thinks you need some time off, and that the ball would do you some good, Captain."
"Again, unless he makes that an order, I'm afraid I have other things to do that night."
B'Elanna tried not to go again. "I went to the first ball, Captain. Do I still have to attend this one? I could cover your shift for you."
Janeway quailed at that idea. "I don't think that's necessary, B'Elanna. Besides, the balls are to help you relax. You are going to go, Lieutenant."
Tuvok still didn't try to convince her.
Kathryn didn't even notice.
Chakotay came to her for advice. "Perhaps you could tell me how to approach this woman. I'd love to get to know her better…"
"Commander, I really don't think that I should be involved in your love life. You'll have to solve this one on your own."
And so, once again, everyone went on with their plans without her.
As Chakotay left Janeway's office, he couldn't get the woman from the ball out of his mind. B'Elanna was out of the question to ask, he could just imagine her reaction: "Are you dense or something?" No, definitely not the right person to ask. He eventually found himself outside the hydroponics bay, and decided to get Kes's opinion.
Tom was in the Holodeck imaging chamber. As punishment for spiking the punch, Chakotay assigned him to help prepare for the next ball. He and Harry were discussing what songs they should play. They had just input "Lullaby of Birdland", "Bird on a Wire" and "Rockin' Robin" and were trying to figure out what else to use when B'Elanna burst in.
"What the hell am I supposed to wear? Why should we have to dress like birds? Neelix is such a moron!"
"Calm down, B'Elanna. It's not that bad. Maybe you could be a bird of prey."
She calmed down a little. "I suppose that could work. What are you guys going as?"
Tom grinned. "Heckle and Jeckle!"
"Cartoon magpies from the mid-twentieth century," Harry said.
"Ask him," Harry shrugged.
"They're funny. And they're birds. What other reason do we need?"
Harry looked pleadingly at B'Elanna. "I couldn't think of anything else to be."
Kathryn decided she had to go. If for no other reason than to see if anyone could tell it was her. She began to look through the database for an appropriate bird.
The night of the ball, a hugely plumed white bird entered the room. Janeway was dressed as the most exotic bird she had found on the database�"a bird of paradise.
The room had been made to look an English garden, with a framework all around that made holodeck three look like a giant golden bird cage.
Now she looked around to see if she could find Chakotay. Many of the crew came as different black birds�"Tom and Harry as well as the doctor, and even Neelix was in black�"as a penguin. Finally, she saw Chakotay standing next to Kes, who stood out in her yellow plumage. He was dressed simply in all black, with a small black mask with a beak on it. She approached him casually.
"What if she doesn't show this time?" he was asking Kes.
Kes smiled. Though they had talked for many hours, nothing she had said had calmed him down. "Commander, if she doesn't come, what would you do?"
"I don't know. I don't even know what I'll do if she does show."
Kes smiled. "Don't worry, Commander. I'm sure you'll think of something."
Chakotay turned, dissatisfied with her answer, and then noticed the white-plumed woman walking towards him. Could it be? As she advanced, she smiled, and he knew. He closed the few remaining steps between them. "I was worried that you wouldn't show."
"And miss seeing you as a crow?"
He smiled. "A crow? Excuse me, Raven is a very important Native spirit."
"Oh, I'm so sorry, Commander. I didn't mean to upset you. Let me make it up to you. Dance with me?"
They moved to the dance floor and began to dance the night away once more.
Harry and Tom stood over in the corner trying to avoid B'Elanna. She was in an especially foul mood, and they really wanted to stay in one piece. Tom had bullied Harry into helping him play a joke on her, but the joke backfired, and now her nightclothes were all green.
"Thanks," Harry glared at Tom. "Couldn't you have at least warned me?"
"I had no idea that would happen. Honest. Look, why don't you go and talk to her. You can explain that it was an accident, and that we didn't mean it."
"No, we only meant to hang the balloons over her bed and have them drop on her. No thanks. I'd rather keep my head."
"Fine. Guess we'll just have to avoid her for a few days. Hey, Harry, is that the commander dancing with that white bird?"
"The lady in the white bird getup."
"Oh, yeah. I think it is. Do you think that's his mystery lady?"
Tom grinned. "Has to be. Should I break in?"
Harry grimaced. "Are you sure that's wise?"
"Come on, Harry, it'll be fun."
Harry sighed, "Oh, all right. But this is it, okay? No more pranks, Tom."
"Maybe we should get B'Elanna to help us."
"You want to loose your head? She's still fuming. Do you really want her to goad the Commander into killing us?"
"Oh, come on, Harry, where's your sense of adventure?"
"Back on Earth?"
"Just come on." Tom grabbed Harry's arm and dragged him to where B'Elanna stood, glaring at them.
Tom pushed Harry in front of him. "Say something," he whispered.
"Uh, hi, B'Elanna. How are you doing? You look really great tonight."
"Heh, sorry about that."
"Sorry? You don't understand sorry yet, but you will." B'Elanna grinned at them evilly then turned away.
Harry chased after her. "Come on, B'Elanna. It was an accident. We didn't mean any harm by it."
"So we were wondering if you could help us with something."
"Why should I?"
"'Cause it'll be fun, B'Elanna," Tom broke in.
"Fun? Your idea of fun is bungee-jumping on the holodeck with the safeties turned off. Why would I want to do anything you consider fun?"
"Come on, dance with me." He dragged her out onto the dance floor and began to dance, moving towards the Commander and his dance partner.
"Let go of me right now, you stubborn ass," she hissed at him.
"It'll just be for a second. I want you to distract the Commander while I figure out who the mystery lady is."
"So why didn't you just say so?" B'Elanna stopped pulling against Tom's grasp.
"Because we didn't have time." They reached the couple, and Tom and B'Elanna quickly switched partners.
Janeway was rather amused. "Can I help you with something?"
"I just wanted to get to know the woman who has captured the Commander's heart."
"His heart? Are you sure?"
"He's been looking for you all night. Why else would he be so distracted?"
"I could have stolen his mask right off his face," Tom grinned.
"But wouldn't that breach the trust the captain has in you?"
"I'm sure she'd understand it was just a joke. After all, she knows how much I enjoy provoking Chakotay."
Janeway would have responded to this, but at that moment, Chakotay finally returned to claim his dancing partner. "Thank you for holding my spot, Paris, but I'll take over from here." He pushed Tom aside and whirled Janeway away from him across the dance floor.
Tom walked back to where Harry was standing and B'Elanna soon joined them.
"Did either of you learn anything?" Harry asked.
"I spent the whole time trying to prevent him from going back to her." B'Elanna rolled her eyes.
"How about you, Tom?" Harry turned to his friend.
"I don't know. I'll have to think about it. She does seem familiar, but I haven't quite figured it out yet."
B'Elanna sneered. "You may be an idiot, but you'll probably still figure it out before Chakotay. He's totally blinded by her and has no idea who she is."
The next day Tom sat at his console, piloting their way through a nebula, when the answer came to him. The nebula stood in their direct path home, and spread out seven light years in either direction, so the captain decided that they needed to go through. "After all, Lieutenant, we trust your piloting skills."
It was the word "trust" that caught his attention. It was the same word that the woman in the white bird costume used the night before. But it was the way the bird woman used the word that suddenly revealed her identity to him. No one but he and the captain knew about the deal that they had made when he'd first come aboard. Anyone else on board would have simply asked if he would have gotten into trouble for it, or egged him on, not asked how the captain would feel about it.
After he piloted them out of the nebula, the shift was over and he pulled Harry into the lift. "I've figured it out."
"Figured what out?"
"What is the only thing that people on this ship have been talking about for a week?"
"Harry, how can you be so dense? The woman, Harry, the woman that has been dancing with Chakotay at each of the balls. The one that he has no idea who she is.
"You know? Well, don't keep me waiting, tell me who she is!"
"Why should I? After all, you didn't seem to be that interested just a few minutes ago."
"Come on, Tom. Tell me."
"I don't know, she might have a good reason to keep her identity secret."
"Why do you think I know?"
"All right, Harry. But you have to promise not to tell anyone."
"It's Captain Janeway."
"What!? Are you sure?"
"She said something last night that no one else on the ship would have said. Trust me, it's her."
"What did she say?"
"That's not important. What's important is that she's doing this to the Commander."
"So you want to tell the Commander?"
"Actually, I think it would work better if we worked behind the scenes."
"What do you mean?"
"We've got one last ball coming up at the end of this week, and I think we should help the Commander out, so that he can figure it out for himself."
Kathryn did not even think about not attending this final ball. After all, once it was over, she wouldn't be able to dance with him again. The only thing that she couldn't figure out was whether or not to tell him. After a lot of thought, she decided that it would be better if he never knew.
Of course, no one else knew of her plans, and so they came to convince her to appear.
Neelix tried to convince her to come. "The balls have been so popular. And there is only one more to come. It would really mean a lot to everyone if you showed up."
"Thank you, Neelix, but I'm sure that everyone will have a great time whether or not I attend."
Kim tried to convince her to come. "I would love to have a dance with you Captain. You never know if we'll have a chance like this again."
"I appreciate the sentiment, Mr. Kim, but I'm afraid I'll have to turn down your offer. Maybe some other time."
Paris tried to convince her. "Captain, we're all counting on you to come. Everyone would love to see you there. After all, trust is a two-way street."
That gave her pause. "And what is that supposed to mean, Mr. Paris?"
"Just that we really want to see you there. How can we trust someone we can't see?"
"I see." As Tom left, she worried just what he could have meant. Had he figured out her secret?
The Doctor tried to convince her. "Please, Captain, don't make me make it an order to get you to go. You need to get out among the crew. They need to see that you are there for them, and with them."
"I'm sorry, Doctor, I simply don't have the time right now. Besides, I see many of them in the mess hall every day."
B'Elanna was in trouble for a mishap that caused her to loose her temper and strike one of her coworkers again. Now she was certain that she would not have to attend the final ball. "At least I won't have to figure out what to be for the ball."
Janeway was not amused. "On the contrary. You obviously need socialization. You are ordered to go to the ball, and have a good time."
"So, is that my punishment, then?"
"Hardly, Lieutenant." B'Elanna stormed from the room.
Tuvok came to tell her of something that had come to his attention. "Mr. Paris seems to be up to something, Captain."
Kathryn was concerned. "Do you have any idea what?"
"No, but I can investigate if you wish."
"I do. Let me know what you discover."
Chakotay didn't come to convince her to come this time. He was too busy making his own plans.
Tom, Harry, B'Elanna and Chakotay were in his quarters making plans for the final ball. They approached the Commander and told him that they wanted to help discover who the mystery woman was. Each had been given a task to do. Harry would stand in wait at the door until she arrived, then run to let everyone in their group know that she had arrived. Tom and B'Elanna would dance together so that they could separate the woman from Chakotay so that he could unmask her from behind.
Unfortunately, when Kathryn arrived, their plans went awry. The theme of the ball was fantasia, or the fantastic, so she came dressed as Titania, and she wore three veils over her head as part of her costume, covering her face and mask. The group quickly converged to figure out how to get the veils off her so that Chakotay could gain access to her mask. The plan quickly changed. Tom, Harry and B'Elanna would each grab one of the veils while Chakotay danced with her, then he would take off her mask.
Kathryn was having trouble finding Chakotay. Holodeck three was decorated as the Grecian countryside, and was filled with fairies, nymphs and fauns. Tom was dressed as Pan, with pan-pipes and legs covered in fur.
She searched the entire hall, but had yet to see him when she felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned to see a man in a cloak, a simple old-fashioned eighteenth century tux, white gloves, a top hat that shadowed his eyes, and a white half-mask on the left side of his face. "Yes? Can I help you?"
Chakotay said nothing, but offered her his hand, and when she took it, he led her out onto the dance floor. Kathryn could not tell whether or not this was Chakotay, but she could not help being charmed by the way he swept her up in the dance. He spun her around, not once, but several times, then pulled her into his arms. However, she could not assume that he was Chakotay, so she continued to glance around for him while they danced.
After a few dances, Tom cut in. He had already taken off one of the veils she was wearing, without her being any the wiser. Chakotay took the chance to disappear into the crowd. Finally, after weeks of wondering, he had a feeling that he knew who his mystery woman was. The woman's profile seemed very familiar as she looked off into the crowd for him. Tom had also given him a hint when he had cut in: "Excuse me, but I think I'll take command now." He had grinned at Chakotay, but the comment gave him another thought.
"Computer, location of Kathryn Janeway."
"Kathryn Janeway is on holodeck three."
Chakotay smiled and moved to the refreshment stand and retrieved two drinks, then returned to the dance floor just in time to see B'Elanna ease the last veil from Kathryn's face. Tom spun her across the floor, distracting her from noticing the missing veils.
Harry and B'Elanna appeared next to Chakotay and showed him the veils as they grinned. "You keep them. I'm going to go retrieve her before Tom gets any ideas."
He walked to them and tapped Tom on the shoulder. He handed her a drink and took her by the arm, leading her out into a quiet garden area.
She took a sip, then looked at him questioningly. "You haven't said a single word yet. You are Chakotay, aren't you?"
He smiled, then pulled off the mask that had up till now hidden his tattoo. "Yes. And I've finally figured out who you are, too."
"Oh?" She shifted nervously.
He began to reach towards her face, and it was not until he touched her mask that she realized her veils were gone. "Wait!" She tried to pull away from him, but he already had an arm around her waist.
He pulled off her mask. "No running away anymore…Kathryn."