RULE FIFTY-EIGHT, SUBPARAGRAPH C

By Shayenne

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Paramount, the order of the words belongs to me.

Rated PG-13

 

A sequel to "Conjugal Rules", which needs to be read first. You can find it here. Inevitably, Kathryn finds out that her list of rules has been tampered with.

As always, a million thanks and chocolate bars to Brianna-the-Wonder-Beta.

Kathryn lay on the bed in her quarters and watched Chakotay fold his shirts neatly, placing them in the second drawer of her dresser. Really, she should get up and help him--he still had most of his possessions to move into her quarters--but she was sated and boneless after his lovemaking.

It had been two days since he had moved into her quarters and into her life and everything so far was smooth sailing. Chakotay had signed her agreement without a murmur of protest. He hadn't even objected to the division of rations. And the lovemaking... Kathryn closed her eyes and remembered. He had barely let her sleep for the last two nights. Four times the first night, three the second, and that didn't count the amazing things he could do with his mouth and fingers.

It was 1100 hours and she was still naked on the bed. Luckily, Chakotay was on beta shift, and she had the day off. Kathryn planned some holodeck time later, maybe a game of velocity with Seven, if Chakotay left her enough energy.

He finished folding his shirts and closed the drawer. "Computer, what is the time?"

The time is 1104.

Chakotay grinned lasciviously. "There's just time for a quick one," he said. He lowered himself onto the bed, pressing her back into the covers. His fingers found her nipple and started to manipulate it.

She gasped. "So soon?"

"I'm not complaining, if you're not. And if we're to make the requisite number of times you stipulated in the agreement, then we need to get a move on." He lowered his mouth to her breast.

His mouth was working magic on her breasts, and for a moment she couldn't think straight in the haze of arousal.

"Wait a minute. There's no requisite number of times..." He bit gently on her nipple. "Don't stop..."

He tongued her a few moments longer. "Sorry, but there is. I distinctly remember it, as I was so delighted that you were willing to put sexual activity above ship's business. Otherwise there's no way we could fit in the required number of times."

Kathryn pushed at his chest. "And exactly what would that number be?"

"Three times a day." He sat up, his mouth glistening, but let his fingers remain on her belly. "Luckily you had the foresight to allow us to build up credit for when one of us is on an away mission."

"Three times a day!" Moving away, she sat up and pondered. "I didn't write that. I thought about making it three times a week, but certainly not a day."

He lowered her back down, his mouth moving down along her body. "Well, it's in there. Now if we're to get this finished before I have to go to beta shift, you'll need to give me a hand here." Pointedly he looked at his pants. "We can't do this with me still dressed."

He did have a point. Her hands worked at the fastenings of his pants, easing them over his hips. Instead of filling her, as she expected, Chakotay worked her legs up into the air. What on Earth... she thought, then coherence fled as he put his mouth...there, and twisted his... Spirits! He must be as supple as a plasma hose if he could get into that position. She'd only heard of that before.

"Chakotay, what are you doing?" she asked, when she had stopped screaming enough to speak. His move had seemed faintly familiar, as if it was something she'd heard of.

He lifted his mouth. "Rule fifty-eight, subparagraph C. Very creative, Kathryn. I think I like it."

She didn't remember any such thing, but she was too far gone to care. And he was probably late for beta shift too, but there was no way in hell she was going to remind him. Not just yet anyway.

***

Later, alone in their quarters, she remembered his odd words. She hunted around until she found the PADD--how sweet of him to store it next to his underpants at the very back of the drawer--and thumbed it on.

After reading it, her first thought was to space the entire crew. The document was obviously her original agreement, heavily amended by someone - and judging by the spelling, she thought it must be Naomi. But, she suspected the involvement of more than one pair of idle hands. Tom and Harry came to mind, but then they came to mind for most nefarious things.

Kathryn's eyes narrowed. She'd been set up. No wonder Chakotay had been so eager to put his thumbprint to this. Well, although there were distinct benefits, three times a night being one of them, she wasn't going to stand for it. Or lie down for it either. Tapping a thoughtful finger against a cheek, she paged Naomi.

The child sounded nervous. As well she might, thought Kathryn.

"Naomi." Deliberately, she kept her voice calm. There would be time to terrify her later. "I was wondering if you would like to meet me in the holodeck in an hour? We could visit Flotter in the enchanted forest."

There was a pause. No doubt Naomi was thinking frantically for an excuse. When she answered, her voice was about an octave higher than normal. Panic did strange things to one, Kathryn thought.

"Um...I er... have to help Neelix peel leola root for supper."

"Oh, I'm sure he can manage without you," purred Kathryn. "In fact, captain's order. No leola root for dinner tonight!" Or indeed, the rest of the journey, if she had anything to do with it. That stuff was only good for feeding people in the brig. Although, come to that, the brig could be rather full for the next few months.

Naomi gulped audibly. "Is that an order, Captain?"

"No," said Kathryn sweetly. She heard Naomi's gusty sigh of relief, and continued, "unless you intend refusing, in which case it is."

"I'll be there, Captain. Naomi out."

Kathryn could hear her panic over the comm. Smiling to herself, she made her way to the holodeck and started making a few adjustments to one of Tuvok's training programs.

When Naomi entered the holodeck, fifty nine minutes and fifty nine seconds later, Kathryn was ready.

Naomi paled and looked around. "Where's the enchanted forest?" She gulped audibly. "What have you done with Flotter? Why am I in the brig?"

Kathryn lounged against the security station on the far side of the holodeck. "This isn't really the brig, Naomi. It's a holo-brig. I thought we could give Flotter the day off today."

Naomi looked wary. "This won't be a very exciting program if I'm in the brig and you're guarding me."

"On the contrary." Kathryn advanced to the forcefield. "It could be extremely exciting. After all, this is what's in store for you unless you care to tell me a few names. People who might perhaps know about a certain PADD that was altered the other day."

To her credit, Naomi didn't try to prevaricate. Maybe she saw the walls of the brig closing around her for longer than an hour on the holodeck. "TomandHarryandNeelixandCelesandMartyandChellandSusanandGerronandVorikand..."

"You were doing well until you said Vorik," said Kathryn. "I don't think he would be in on this scheme."

"But he was, Captain." Naomi's tone was eager and she kept glancing towards where the arch had been. "In fact, he suggested the amendment to rule fifty-eight, subparagraph C."

Kathryn's eyes widened like Harry's when he was asked to sit in the big chair. "Vorik suggested that? Hell, I had no idea Vulcans are so inventive. Remind me to thank him."

"You're not supposed to say 'hell', Captain. And Tom suggested part of it too."

"I don't think I want to know which part," Kathryn muttered. No wonder B'Elanna was so supple.

Luckily, Naomi was too busy blaming the entire crew and didn't appear to be listening. "And the rule about holograms was Tom as well, although Celes insisted that he amend it so that duplicates of each other were permitted."

Kathryn shuddered at the mental image of multiple bonking Harrys.

"And who actually entered the amendments, Naomi?"

The child didn't hesitate. "Seven."

"Seven? Really? Obviously the Borg never assimilated a dictionary. Some of the spelling was rather unusual. Are you sure it was Seven? I'd hate to have to punish her for something she didn't do. I've heard that Seven takes rather creative revenge, and it could be hard explaining the mutilations to Starfleet."

Naomi's face was as pasty as if she'd seen a whole hive of Borg advancing. And maybe, in her mind, she had. "Well, maybe it wasn't Seven. Maybe it was..."

Idly, Kathryn tapped the security panel, so that the forcefield around the holo-brig flickered, once, tantalizingly.

"Mortimer Harren?" Naomi offered hopefully. "Harry? Joe Carey? Mike Ayala? Gerron?"

"Naomi Wildman?"

"Possibly...But if you tell my mum she'll make the holodecks off limits to me."

"Don't worry, Naomi." Kathryn smiled a falsely reassuring smile. "I'll speak to her. In fact, I'll make sure you have some extra holodeck time." She flicked one of the switches, and the forcefield snapped firmly into place. "Starting now if you'd like. I don't think I'll use the rest of my two hours." Smiling to herself, Kathryn called for the arch. Pausing at the door, she ignored Naomi's wail. "Would you like the extra time, Naomi?" She dropped the forcefield. "I can leave the program running for you, if you..."

She was nearly bowled over as Naomi sped from the holodeck like a plasma bolt.

"Guess that means no."

***

On the way back to her quarters, Kathryn startled Joe Carey as she strode around a corner.

"Captain!" he squeaked. "I thought you were in the holodeck!" Backing up against the wall, he tried to hide the toolkit behind his back.

"Naomi had to leave the holodeck early," said Kathryn, sweetly. "Is there a problem with someone's quarters?"

"No! Not at all. Just a bit of routine maintenance. If you'll excuse me, Captain, Lieutenant Torres wants me back in Engineering as soon as possible."

Kathryn let him go, ignoring the thundering feet as he made good his getaway. Continuing around the corner to her quarters, she was confronted with a bright and shiny plaque outside her own door. "The Command Team's Boudoir", it said, in rainbow lettering.

Rule three. She wondered which of her creative crew had come up with that. But, more to the point, how they had the balls to carry it out? Tapping her communicator, she paged Chakotay.

"Yes, Captain?"

"Would you know anything about a new name plate that has just gone up outside my quarters?"

"Our quarters, Captain. And yes, I do. There were quite a few items on your conjugal agreement that required Engineering's help, so I handed the list to B'Elanna and told her to get on with it."

"You gave the entire list to Engineering? Didn't it occur to you that it was of a private nature?"

Chakotay sounded amused. "Nothing on this ship is of a private nature," he said. "And B'Elanna said she'd need time to make the changes to the holographic parameters--although she's done it before, at Harry's request--and she needed to see about strengthening the deck plating above our quarters to allow for the weight of the mirror and the ..."

"The what, exactly, Chakotay?" The words hissed through her clenched teeth.

The silence drew out. "Kathryn, I'm on the bridge."

She'd forgotten. At least he still had some small sense of decorum.

"I'll check that damn PADD."

A small silence. "You found it then?"

"I didn't know it was hidden. But it bears little resemblance to the document I drafted."

A long sigh. Then Chakotay said quietly. "We need to talk about this, Kathryn. But it doesn't change anything. I love you."

Her hand shook slightly. He was right, it didn't change anything. It certainly didn't change the crew's brig time. "I love you too," she whispered.

"Dinner, in our quarters? Just the two of us?"

"Yes. Janeway out."

***

When he arrived back after his shift, she was waiting. The offending PADD was sitting prominently in the middle of the coffee table. Kathryn's mood was mercurial, running the gamut from furious to amused.

Chakotay advanced warily, brushed a kiss across her cheek, paused a moment to assess its effect, before opening the wine.

Kathryn accepted his kiss, and the wine, then threw down the first challenge. "You knew exactly what you were signing."

"Yes."

"And you must have guessed that I didn't know it had been tampered with."

"Yes."

"And you let me put my thumbprint on it anyway."

"Yes."

"Even though you knew it was a ridiculous document, that we would be completely unable to adhere to?"

"I don't know about that that... we've managed at least three times a day so far."

"I didn't mean that, and you well know it."

"Yes."

"Why did you sign it then?"

In response, Chakotay took her wineglass from her hand, setting it down on the table along with his own. Taking Kathryn in his arms, he kissed her, slowly, hotly, thoroughly.

When he raised his head, her knees had turned liquid once more.

"Because I love you," he said simply. "And, I have no idea what you put in the original draft, but anything that requires sixty rules isn't about trust. It's not about friends, or lovers, or sharing lives. You've trusted me with your ship, your crew, your life. Why don't you trust me to share my replicator rations with you?"

It did seem rather silly, when he put it like that. "I don't know."

"And I'd rather have a dog than kids."

"So would I," she whispered.

"I don't leave my underpants on the floor anyway."

"Guess we don't need rule twenty-four then."

"You can have as many of my rations as you want for coffee."

"You can keep your sand paintings scattered wherever you like."

"Guess that's rules one and forty blown out the airlock then."

Chakotay turned on the PADD and started deleting entries. "I've never cared about credits." He raised his head, and the glowing look in his eyes told her what he was about to mention next.

"I do care about making love," he said, "but not to order. You'll get enough loving, Kathryn. Trust me, you will." He dropped the PADD and approached her, running gentle hands up her arms to cover her breasts.

"Guess we don't need rule... rule number whatever it is, then," she whispered.

"No," he said, taking her hand and leading her to their bed.

***

Later, in the drowsy half-waking state before sleeping, Kathryn remembered something else.

"Chakotay?"

"Yes, love?"

"There's one rule I'd like to keep."

With amazing swiftness, he rolled over, pinning her to the bed, his hands wandering in pathways that were already becoming familiar. "Which one would that be?" His words vibrated on her skin.

"Rule fifty-eight, subparagraph C."

"Of course," he answered. "There was never any question about deleting that one." And he proceeded to demonstrate its effectiveness.

Later again, when she was too hoarse to scream her delight anymore, she said. "There's just one other thing."

"What's that, love?"

"The crew cannot get away with changing the PADD."

"No," he said. "They can't. And just in case it ever came to this, I've been doing a bit of research..."

***

The next morning, promptly at 0800, right on shift change, every single crew member's terminal pinged, with the same urgent incoming message.

Sam blushed. Tuvok merely raised an eyebrow. The Delaney sisters squealed in delight. Seven asked Harry for a translation, but was firmly escorted from his quarters by Celes. Vorik calculated the months to his next Pon Farr. The EMH replicated extra muscle relaxants and painkillers to cope with the expected surge of crewmen to sick bay. Naomi wondered if putting herself in the brig would be safer. Tom and B'Elanna--who didn't see the message until 0930 as they were experimenting with a variation of rule fifty-eight, subparagraph C, clause 2--thought that a morning of scientific research sounded like an excellent idea.

***

Promptly, at 1200, captain and commander strolled across the bridge and disappeared into the ready room. Tom raised an eyebrow at Harry. "Guess they've forgiven us," he said.

"Janeway to Paris, please report to the ready room."

"I wouldn't be too sure about that," observed Harry. "That had the ring of a summons about it."

Tom handed the conn over to Baytart, and, feigning a nonchalance he didn't feel, crossed to the ready room.

The captain and commander were lounged on the bench seat underneath the viewport. "I assume you received the shipwide message at 0800 this morning, Mr. Paris?"

"Yes, Ma'am." The hairs on the back of Tom's neck stood up in warning. If this wasn't crunch time, he didn't know what was. When he'd read the message, he'd assumed it was a tacit approval of the crew's meddling. Now, faced with Janeway's stern expression, and Chakotay's blank one, he wasn't so sure. The relaxed attitude of the command team screamed "danger" to Tom.

"Then, no doubt you are totally familiar with rule fifty-eight?"

The prickle of unease went to yellow alert. "Yes, Captain."

Janeway's smile was positively feral, and Tom jumped to red alert at warp speed. "Would you please recite the rule, Mr. Paris. If you're not absolutely word perfect then you will do three days brig time."

Tom's mind stuttered and shut down. Surely, she didn't expect him to recite *that* rule, in glorious Technicolor? Complete with all three subparagraphs. Including the infamous subparagraph C. His embellishment, and one that ensured B'Elanna's complete and happy cooperation every time he implemented the rule. That subparagraph would make a Vulcan blush, let alone a hapless lieutenant, if forced to recite it aloud in front of his captain.

"We're waiting, Mr. Paris." Chakotay lounged nonchalantly on the bench.

Three days brig time stared him in the face. Damned if he did, and damned if he didn't. The words of that subparagraph - hell, he wasn't even sure he could say them out aloud without stuttering like an underage cadet in a Ferengi bar.

"We haven't got all day, Lieutenant. We have one hundred and thirty-seven other crewmen to hear after you."

He closed his eyes and recited the rule at top speed. There was a moment of utter silence. When he opened his eyes, he could have sworn that the big bastard was struggling to keep a straight face, and the captain was staring at her feet in silent concentration.

"Very... creative," said the captain at last, and he would swear she choked on the last syllable. "But that is a long way from correct."

Tom gaped. He may have got a couple of words wrong, but he knew that was indeed rule fifty-eight. And as for subparagraph C - he'd written it, for crying out loud.

"If you would stand over here, Mr. Paris," said Chakotay, "while we ensure that the rest of the bridge crew has a better retention of this very important rule than you do."

Tom moved to the corner. Hell, he didn't know what was going on, except that it looked like he'd be staring at the walls of the brig for three days.

"Who shall we test next?" Janeway asked Chakotay. "Harry? Or Baytart?"

"Better make it Harry," replied Chakotay. "We'll need someone at the helm."

Harry entered a minute later, looking paler than Tom had ever seen him. His eyes flicked to Tom, standing at parade rest in the corner, and with a jerk of his head, Tom tried to warn him that something was up, although for the life of him, he didn't know what.

"I wouldn't do that, Mr. Paris," said Janeway. "If you try to alert Mr. Kim, then your brig time will increase to a week."

Tom subsided. Harry, he noted, now looked positively green at the mention of the word, "brig".

"Nothing to worry about, Harry." Janeway's eyes held an odd gleam. "We would merely like to hear you recite rule fifty-eight, in its entirety. You did get this morning's memo, I presume?"

Harry nodded once, jerkily. "Uh, the subparagraphs as well?" His voice squeaked alarmingly.

"Of course," said Janeway, in the tone of voice Tom had only ever heard her use before she broke open the weapons locker.

Harry looked pleadingly at Tom, then launched into a whispered recitation of the rule. He paused at subparagraph C.

"Speak up please, Harry," said Chakotay. "We can't hear you very well."

Tom blushed as hard as Harry when he heard his friend's strangled tones.

Janeway looked amused. "I'm not sure what the problem is here," she mused. "But so far, two out of two crewmen have got that rule totally wrong. It's brig time for you, Ensign. Please take your place next to Mr. Paris."

"But that's correct!" gasped Harry. "I know it is."

"Really?" Janeway's eye held a predatory gleam, as she closed in for the kill. "It doesn't say that on my copy. Where would you have acquired that particular version, Mr. Kim? If you know of a different rule fifty-eight, then I'd be delighted to hear about it. Especially one that sounds as creative as yours."

Trapped, Harry stuttered once more. "Tom wrote it," he said.

Tom closed his eyes and counted the days of mounting brig time.

"Tom wrote it?" Chakotay chuckled. "Spirits preserve us if Tom is writing Starfleet protocol."

Starfleet Protocol? Tom almost groaned aloud. They'd been had. Set up as easily as Naomi Wildman, and reeled in with a master's skill. Still, with a bit of luck, he'd be able to stand here and watch one hundred and thirty-six more crewman sink themselves.

He wondered what the real Starfleet rule fifty-eight subparagraph C was about.

(((FIN)))

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