"Some Things Will Never Change"
Time-scale: Late Season 6
Summary : Fed up with sales emails clogging your inbox? Janeway and Chakotay get their first taste of spam
Gilly notes: Just for laughs! Written for fellow VAMBie, Kat Lady on her birthday, after a comment she made about spam email. The story title is a general comment on such things rather than on J/C or this story.:)
Disclaimer: Paramount and the Viaborg own all the characters taking part, but the story is mine.
Captain's Ready Room, 07:30am
From his seat on the couch, Chakotay watched Kathryn over the rim of the report PADD he was pretending to study. She was at her desk, completely engrossed in the latest data-stream from Earth, muttering to herself as she scrolled through the data. Occasionally, she would punctuate whatever it was she was muttering with tutting noises and progressively harder stabs at the keypad on her desktop console. She was obviously becoming increasingly irate about whatever it was she was reading, but Chakotay resisted the urge to ask what was wrong. He knew how she liked to be the first one to look through everything and see who had messages from home, although she never read the messages themselves, just the headers, and that she'd tell him all about Starfleet's latest bureaucratic red-tape or regulations update when she was done - and in no uncertain terms. Telling him about those was a part of her venting process, so he knew from experience that it was better to let her build up a good head of steam and get rid of it all in one go. That way, they would both eventually roll their eyes and laugh about it and go out onto the Bridge in a good mood, having put Starfleet to rights. In the meantime he'd just sit back, sip his coffee, and take the opportunity to enjoy his favourite pastime ; Kathryn watching.
The data-stream arriving this morning had been pure happenstance, but he always enjoyed this private, companionable start to their shift, especially when all was right with the ship and their crew. There was something of a lazy Sunday morning feel to it, no matter what day of the week it was... a sort of easing into the day, quietly reading over reports from Gamma shift or catching up on things they were particularly interested in from the day before. Nothing was nicer than a cup of strong coffee and some uninterrupted Kathryn watching to get the day off to a good start as far as Chakotay was concerned, and Kathryn was looking particularly lovely today. A bit grumpy just now of course, with a frown creasing her forehead and tightening her mouth, but that was temporary. Her hair looked very soft and shiney today, and longer too, if he wasn't mistaken. Was she growing out the bob-cut? He hoped so. He liked the bob, but he'd liked the ponytail more. A lot more. He smiled to himself as he remembered the bitter-sweet temptation of those ponytail days... standing just behind her in a turbolift with a full view of the back of her neck... so pale, so delicate, so elegant, and oh, so kissable. The temptation to dip his head, to lightly brush his lips over the fine kiss-curls and tiny strands of hair revealed there had sometimes been over-whelming. On several occasions, it was only the turbo-lift coming to a sudden halt at a requested deck that brought him to his senses in the nick of time.
He was pulled from nostalgic reverie by Kathryn slamming her console shut with a disgusted-sounding, "Oh, for goodness sake!"
And, we're off! he thought. Aloud, he said, "Starfleet again? What 'wonderful in theory, but unworkable in practice' red-tape procedures have they come up with this time?"
"Not Starfleet," Kathryn scowled, "although somebody in Deep Space Communications Security is going to get a snippy memo from me in the return data-stream. I shouldn't have to put up with this. I shouldn't have to wade through stuff like that before I can do my job! And I swear, if I find out that this... this rubbish has taken up space that could have been used for personal messages for any of the crew, heads are going to roll!"
Before he had a chance to ask what she was going on about, she waved him over, angrily opening her console again with her other hand. Putting down his PADD and his coffee he got up and joined her, leaning on the desk as she half-turned the console screen towards him.
"Just look at this, Chakotay... just look at all these sales headers! Have you ever seen anything so puerile? Someone's obviously found a way to piggy-back these sales messages onto the data-stream as it left Starfleet." Increasing the text size, she pointed to one header in particular and read it out loud. "Download the new holodeck mesh for sexy Sirena and get red-hot Ruby for free! Great 3-way action option! And, this one.... New Brett - the sexy new holo-masseur with a magical touch and no inhibitions. Good for what ails you! And look, this one's a doozy... I've received this one about twenty times in my personal inbox. Read it. Go on, read it!"
Seeing how offended and put-out she was, Chakotay didn't dare laugh, although he dearly wanted to. This had 'Ferengi Initiative' written all over it. Was there anything they wouldn't do in order to make latinum? Deftly smothering the urge to grin, he tugged on his earlobe and concentrated on reading the message header she was pointing to.
When she guessed he'd had enough time to read it, Kathryn snapped the console shut again. "How the hell could Starfleet let this happen?!" she fumed. "Of all the ridiculous messages for anyone to send me - me, the female Captain of a Starship lost in the Delta Quadrant for six... nearly seven years! I ask you, do I look as if I need an eight inch penis?!"
Her words reverberated in the air between them, hanging there as their eyes met and locked, and their brain's processed, interpreted, and mis-interpreted what she'd just said.
Kathryn's cheeks blushed scarlet, but like a rabbit caught in on-coming headlights, she couldn't seem to break eye contact.
Chakotay bit down hard on his bottom lip, his face contorting as he fought to keep from laughing out loud. He might have been okay if the corners of Kathryn's mouth hadn't twitched when they did, and if she hadn't made a small gurgling sound as she tried to keep from laughing herself. Just getting in under the wire before the timing was lost, he licked his lips, unleashed his dimples, and said, "Well, now that you mention it... and I might just happen to know where you can lay your hands on one."
Image courtesy of my good friend Delta Story :D