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Disclaimer: The episode belongs to Paramount...the episode addition belongs to me!

Summary: B'Elanna tells of her adventures as an Eternal.

 

"Muse"-ings

A roar of laughter caught Kathryn's attention as she and Chakotay entered the mess hall, seemingly unnoticed. Curious, they meandered over to the table where a small group had gathered around their two most recently recovered crew members, Harry and B'Elanna.

"What's all the ruckus?" she asked, resting a hand on Harry's shoulder.

"Oh...good evening, Captain...Commander," B'Elanna responded, bemused at the sight of them together. "We were just talking about you."

"Oh, really?" she quipped, taking a quick look at her companion. "Good or bad?"

"Good, of course!" Tom exclaimed. B'Elanna's elbow quickly found a comfy spot against his ribs, rendering a yelp of pain from him as the people around them began to snicker.

"Then by all means...tell us!" Chakotay finally chimed in, now quite suspicious of their behavior.

"Oh, it's nothing, really. I was just telling everyone about the plays I was assisting Kelis in writing," B'Elanna answered.

"You mean...before the Eternal ascended to the stars?" Kathryn queried, cocking up an eyebrow.

B'Elanna grinned sheepishly. "Umm...yeah, I guess so."

Kathryn returned the smile, and nodded for her to continue.

"There were so many oddities. Like Seven acting as the Borg Queen in disguise...or Tuvok shedding tears over Harry's loss." Her grin grew larger. "And it was amazing how they were pairing up people. Tom was head over heels for Seven..."

"A detestable combination," Seven commented, a scowl of disgust evident on her face.

Tom sneered. "Gee...thanks!"

B'Elanna couldn't help but giggle. She began pointing at Kathryn and Chakotay. "They even paired up you two! I mean...where would they get such an idea?!?"

Kathryn and Chakotay exchanged glances, clearly amused at the notion.

"Us?!?" Chakotay questioned, taking a small step to the side as he motioned in Kathryn's direction. "Sorry...I can't imagine *that* one!"

Kathryn quickly covered her surprise with a look of annoyance. "I agree...that's just ludicrous...that is, of course, unless *you* had something to do with it, Lieutenant," she responded, aiming the question at B'Elanna.

"Don't look at me...that was all Kelis' idea. In fact, I talked him out of it. I pointed out that the heat of battle was no place for romance."

"I hope that you talked him out of *other* things, as well," Seven noted, bringing about another round of laughter.

When everyone finally quieted down, Harry rose from his seat. "I think I'd better turn in...got a lot of work to catch up on tomorrow."

"Same here," B'Elanna sighed, following Harry's cue. Bidding her goodnights to everyone, she slipped out with Harry and Tom close behind her.

As soon as the trio was safely in the corridor, Harry almost burst with excitement.

"So...you think they know that we know?"

Tom and B'Elanna gazed at him in confusion.

"Know what?"

Harry sputtered. "That they're a couple, of course."

"Harry, Harry, Harry," Tom responded, patting him on the back. "Do you *really* think that some alien culture would be able to see that before any of us? We're around them every single day. These people only listened to a few official reports."

"Tom's right. How bad would that make *us* look?" B'Elanna added, grabbing Tom's hand. "Besides, it was only a play...and almost every play has to have some element of romance...just like Tom's movies."

"Right. It's for entertainment value only."

Harry sighed in dismay. "I guess you're right. I mean with the command structure and everything, maybe I was just reading something that wasn't there. But you can't say that you've never even thought about it."

B'Elanna nodded in agreement. "I have to admit...there were times it seemed like they would actually get together, but in all likelihood, it will never happen. They're just good friends."

"Go get some sleep, Harry," Tom prodded. "You'll be thinking clearer in the morning."

Harry rolled his eyes. Sometimes Tom could be a real pain. "Fine...I'm going," he muttered, moving down the corridor. He stopped after a few steps, then turned back around.

"I just had an interesting thought..."

"Harry..."

"No, just hear me out. I can see how they could get the impression that something was going on with Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay...but how did they *ever* come up with you with Seven?"

B'Elanna frowned at the comment, and a large grin spread across Harry's face as he saw the uppermost ridge in B'Elanna's forehead pop out more than usual. She glared up at Tom.

"That's a *very* good question..."

Tom cowered away from her. "I...I think I'd better go and see if the Doctor needs any help this evening." And with that, he bolted down the corridor, B'Elanna hot on his trail, leaving Harry howling with laughter.

Meanwhile, back in the mess hall, the few remaining crew members had filtered away, leaving Kathryn and Chakotay alone at the table. They were seated now, sipping on the coffee Neelix had offered them.

Chakotay began to chuckle, in spite of himself. Part of him wished that he had been stranded with B'Elanna on the planet, just so he could have seen B'Elanna's face. He began to wonder which pairing surprised her the most...his and Kathryn's, or Seven and Tom's.

"What's so funny, Commander?"

"Nothing, really. I was just thinking about B'Elanna." He began to snicker again. "Those must have been some interesting plays!"

She offered him a smile. "I would have to agree!" Kathryn glanced around the room, then leaned in towards Chakotay. "So, Commander," she muttered, barely whispering to him. "Do you think they're on to us?"

He averted his eyes, searching for eavesdroppers himself. "I'm not sure...I mean, an alien culture picked up on it from our logs," he whispered back.

Kathryn grumbled. "That's what scares me." She tilted her head to one side, watching him as he took another sip of the hot liquid. "You know, you didn't have to act so disgusted at the idea of our being a couple."

He raised his eyebrows. "Well, you didn't want me to give us away, did you?"

"No...but still, you could have at least not pretended that it was such a *bad* thing," she frowned, pouting her lower lip.

Chakotay couldn't resist a grin. He leaned in a little closer, placing his hand close to hers on the table.

"I'm sorry...I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. Can I make it up to you...by helping you finish a few *reports* in my quarters?"

Kathryn grinned wickedly. "I'd say that sounds like a *wonderful* idea."

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