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Santa's Little Helper - Voyager
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Title: Santa's Little Helper
Author: Ky (Venom_69)
Fandom: Voyager
Category: Humor, thoughts, holidays
Pairing: Janeway/Chakotay
Summary: What do you give the Captain that has everything?
Rating: Mature
Archive: My site. Anywhere else, sure, just let me know where so I can come visit.
Disclaimer: Don’t own them, never will. Promise to put them back in the state I found them. Song’s not mine either.
Author’s notes: Fic 3/5 of the “Official Lisa Yaeger Christmas Challenge 2005.” I must confess to having cheated a bit. Lisa said smut and this one only has a briefly smutty paragraph. Oh well.
Date: 21/12/2005
Copyright to Venom, 2005

***

It could have been me
Standing there with you
It could have been me
With my dreams coming true
Those dreams move on,
If you wait too long…

***

Neelix has been so authentic this year.

I'm not sure that I fully understand the reasoning or the significance behind it, but it has been largely decided that all of Voyager's crew will make a concise effort to make Christmas special. Perhaps it's Naomi's growing presence that was the deciding factor, I don't know.

Christmas doesn't mean much to me, it never really has. The absence of a ‘real’ family or any place to truly call home has lowered my tolerance for anything to do with the Hallmark Holiday from Hell. I'm not bitter about it, not really, I just don't feel the need to celebrate the ideals behind giving gifts when all I ever really had to celebrate was another year survived.

I'm more than a little surprised that the Captain has gone along with it, to be perfectly honest. Of all of us, she is the most determined to get home, the most determined that we should maintain protocol and remember exactly what we're trying to achieve. I would have thought that she would see Christmas as a forbidden luxury. But the crew needs something to keep their spirits up.

I suppose I can understand that mentality, to a point.

I may not like Christmas or what it represents, but the opportunity to see my friends relaxed and happy is one that I would never pass up. Especially not out here.

It's not nice being stuck so far from familiar stars, but at least I'm surrounded by people who care about each other. I miss being on solid ground, but at least here I have the chance to be part of something bigger and better than ever before.

These people are like my family.

When Neelix had obtained the Captain's permission to 'Officially' - which meant that there could be alcohol involved - celebrate Christmas, he had decided that we would indulge in a tradition known as 'Secret Santa.'

Apparently, to save everyone replicator rations, we would pick a name of only one person and get a gift for them, as opposed to the potential 147 gifts we would have to produce. The idea behind the secret bit was that we didn't tell anyone who we had, so the gift could be as extravagant as we liked. Or as humorous.

Neelix had dutifully toured the entire ship and ensured that everyone got to pick a name. I had anticipated that we would be given a list of names on a PADD to choose from. I was wrong.

When he entered my quarters, he was carrying a large red... thing. I had thought it looked like a sock for Big Foot whereupon he had informed me that it was a traditional stocking, right down to the white fluffy trimming.

The whole process had been rather authentic - he'd replicated some paper and carefully hand-written everyone's names out and then folded them up neatly.

I had reached into this 'stocking' and pulled a piece of folded paper out. He had asked me to read the name on there and ensure that I hadn't pulled my own name out, before leaving me to ponder my choice of gift.

We were given a week to think of, replicate, wrap, and produce a gift for our Secret Santa to be placed under the over-decorated Christmas tree in the Mess Hall.

I pulled the Captain's name out.

***

It was mutually decided not long after we all obtained our names, that the gifts would be housed in the Mess until Christmas day and then would be delivered to the appropriate recipients, to be opened in private.

This has given me much more leeway when choosing a gift for the Captain.

In truth, I had known what to give her no more than thirty-seconds after I saw "Kathryn Janeway" written in calligraphy on crisp white paper.

It's no secret that I have a bit of a thing for our dear Captain. She's beautiful, sexy, smart, compassionate, caring, the list goes on. My dreams are filled with thoughts of slowly peeling off the uniform and truly discovering the woman beneath. Of loving her long into the night.

All I ever wanted was for her to be happy. I know that if I ever went to her and offered my services towards making her happy - in the bedroom and out - she would reject the overtures with a gentle speech about protocol. How I hate the word.

So, in the absence of my own ability to bring a smile to her lips, I had to give her a gift that I thought would.

Normally, I would have opted for something considered 'safe' and 'respectable.' But Neelix had unknowingly given me the opportunity to give her something she truly needed when he decided that it would be Secret Santa.

Six years alone in the Delta Quadrant was tough, after all.

***

There's a certain amount of fear associated with giving anonymous gifts, I've found, especially those of a slightly controversial nature. It's not a habit of mine to require other's approval, but on this one, I slowly sought people out to ask their opinions.

"You're mad." Was the first response I got.

"She'll kill you. I love it." Jenny had replied. I had thought to myself that there was no way for her to know it was me, but didn't voice this to Jenny. Too much logic makes her brain hurt.

"You're braver than I am."

"Yeah, best of luck with that."

"Whatever it is you're putting in your tea, I want some. That's crazy."

Most of the responses I got were along the same lines.

I couldn't let it deter me though, I knew that this was exactly what she needed. It made me feel almost proud to be the one giving it to her.

***

As the final day for gift submissions dawned, I snuck into the Mess Hall early to leave my gift under the tree. No one saw me, I hope, and I took a moment to smile at the innocently wrapped box.

If nothing else, I'm sure that the Captain will appreciate the manner in which this gift was chosen.

Other presents, all brightly wrapped, lay around the tree and I see name tags on them. If I were a kid, I might be tempted to look for my own, but I don't.

I slip out of the Mess Hall just as quietly and thank the days I spent in the Maquis learning the art of silence.

***

When Christmas Day arrives, I refuse to let myself dwell on the possibilities of my gift. It has been given now and, like it or not, I have no chance of changing it for something else.

It will either be appreciated or I will be thrown in the brig. (Despite my earlier confidence with Jenny, I know that the Captain could pin it on me if she tried.)

I open my gift when it arrives; someone has thoughtfully presented me with a decorative set of religious figurines. They're lovely, and I place them on my desk with tenderness.

In a perfect world, I would be able to sit back and bask safely in the knowledge that she has her gift already. But in a perfect world, we wouldn't be stuck in the Delta Quadrant, I wouldn't be in love with a woman that barely knows I'm alive - not true, but still... - and I wouldn't be walking out of my quarters right now.

***

It's impossible to tell how long I stood in the middle of the corridor staring at the Captain's closed doors. I certainly don't recall anyone passing. It wasn't until Tom appeared at my side and nudged me that I really realized where I was and what I was doing.

"You OK?"

"Fine."

"Sure?"

"Yep."

"Is Chakotay around?"

I can't help but smile. "Nope."

"Where is he?"

"Captains Quarters."

I think it was the way I said it that prompted him to stare at me intently. "And...?"

"They're testing out her Secret Santa gift, I hope."

"Testing?"

"I think the Commander may have discovered just how kinky our beloved Captain can be."

A choked sound comes from the back of his throat.

“You're her Secret Santa?"

"I am."

"And you gave her..."

"A large pink dildo." I think the sound of Tom's jaw hitting the deck will stay with me for a while.

I might not be able to get close enough to making her happy, but at least my gift will help bring two people together. Smiling, I nod, pleased with myself.

Christmas isn't so bad after all, I must say.

***

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