Star Trek: Voyager
fan fiction by Vyola
Okay, *I* think fondly of the pool table. But *some* people would complain if they were hung with a new rope....

Pool Cues (PG-13)


The white ball hit the neatly arranged triangle and sent brightly colored balls rolling across the green felt. The solid black teetered precariously in front of the corner pocket for a long moment, then, seeming to make up it's mind, threw itself over the edge.

Tom Paris sighed in resignation and leaned heavily on his cue.

"Oh, too bad, Paris," Chakotay said in mock soothing tones as he reached in and pulled out the eight ball. "You're off your game tonight."

"Yeah, well, I've been wondering about that. Why do I even have a game at all?"

It was Chakotay's turn to sigh. These late night sessions at Sandrine's, the rest of the crew gone for the night, the holocharacters turned off, seemed to bring out the philosopher in Tom. 'And a half-baked philosopher, at that,' he mused.

"I mean, why am I characterized by a game for hustlers played in a seedy waterfront dive? When did a game of pool become foreplay for us?" He paced around the table restlessly, propping his cue against the wall rack as he passed it.

"There *is* all that obvious symbolism about stroking your stick and playing with your balls," Chakotay began helpfully, but Tom abruptly cut him off.

"Cheap gimmicks! How many times have we done it on the pool table, huh? I can't even start to count how many cases of felt burn the Doc has treated for me. Can't we come up with something less tacky, less cliched?"

"Gee, I've always thought of it as a tradition and you know how I like tradition." He shrugged as Tom shot him a dirty look. "So I take it it's the ... um, location of the ... er, activities you're objecting to, not the actual activities themselves? I just want to be clear here."

"It's the whole atmosphere I object to! Look at Picard and Q -- now there's a couple! Q's always showing up with some sort of token of affection before whisking Jean-Luc off and jumping his bones. And Kirk and Spock -- 3-D chess as foreplay! Elegant, refined ... intellectual, even. Or Garak and Bashir. They discuss literature. *Literature*, for heaven's sake!" He stopped and pinned Chakotay with an accusing look. "How come you never read poetry to me?"

"Tom, I hate to break it to you but their stuff's canon. All we got on record is hostility and mistrust." He saw the pilot's shoulder's slump. "I really am sorry, Tom. All we can do is work with what we've been given."

"So we're fated to tacky, heated encounters in seedy settings?"

"*I* can live with that."

"No poetry?" Tom asked mournfully.

"To-om," Chakotay drawled out warningly, moving to stand beside him.

"All right, all right! It's not like I object to heated encounters on principle, anyway. I can live with it, too. And besides ...." He grinned as he leaned over to whisper in the First Officer's ear. "Hey, Chakotay ...."


"'An Indian brave from Nantucket ....'"

the end
20 April 1997

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