Series:Star Trek: Voyager
Disclaimer: Star Trek belongs to Paramount. Not-for-profit.
Notes: This was written for Alara's weekly series challenge, VOY with underused characters. Also, this is my first VOY story, and I know little about it, so I apologize in advance.
Beta: Once again, sadly, none. And I have myself to blame for putting it off all week.
-HOW TO WOO AND WIN THE ALIEN OF YOUR DREAMS-
He had been saving up replicator rations for a while now in order to get this. He felt that he had been alone for far too long. People could think what they liked--and a part of him suspected that some of them might not even care--but he had needs beyond serving the crew. He was naturally a social creature, and it was lonely out in space, working among people who didn't appreciate everything you did properly.
But he was going to fix all of that, and soon. The object of all his yearning, his deepest affections...well, soon that lucky person would be putty in his arms. It was right there in print--success guaranteed! Ten billion life forms couldn't be wrong! He wondered why he hadn't thought of this sooner, actually. All he had to do was study up, maybe practice some moves on his Magic Wonder Plastid Vulcan Blow-up Doll(tm)--preprogrammed with audio commentary--and he'd be ready for the 'big night'.
Neelix opened the book to the introduction. "'Do you have interspecies dating trouble? Do you notice all those Cardassians bagging those Bajoran babes while you can't even manage to get a Malcorian tubeworm to take a second glance? Well, worry no more! Because, following the plan in this guide, using proven methods, you too can make that special connection.
"'No more lonely nights! Do you think that you are a tough case? Never fear! No incompatibility is too great! You will notice immediate results once you begin utilizing our techniques,'" Neelix read aloud, while sitting in his quarters. "Immediate results! I can't wait!" He was practically bouncing in his seat.
At the end of his duty shift, Harry found himself sitting in the mess, staring at plate he was doing his best to bring himself to taste. He had already counted on not being able to stomach dinner, so he brought something to read while he moved the supposedly edible substance around for a while before leaving. He had it in his lap and was about to start reading when, unfortunately, Neelix showed up.
"Ah, Mr. Kim. I'm so glad to see you enjoying your food. I believe you'll recognize the specialty. It's steak and potatoes." Neelix was smiling widely.
"Uh, well, somehow I don't think it's supposed to, ah, jiggle quite like that. Or look so...purple," Harry said.
At that moment, Neelix happened to glance down and notice what Harry had in his lap. "Ahhh. So, you've obtained the guide's wisdom as well? I see! Who is the lucky alien?"
"Hey!" Harry hastily placed his hands in his lap. "I'm not going to talk about it with you. Period."
"Well, just thought I could help. I'm already up to chapter eight! Although, I thought I heard you had a thing for...well, you know. But he's human, so that doesn't make sense."
"I do not have a thing for Tom, alright? It's...complicated. Anyway, if you're reading it, who are you after?"
"The only truly worthy creature on this ship. I thought it would be obvious, even for you," Neelix said, a far away look in his eyes, picturing his intended.
"And just what is that--" Kim started to say.
"Gentlemen, excuse me. Am I late for my meal?" Tuvok thought a disagreement might be occurring, and so thought it best to encourage it to end now. Besides, he was hungry.
Neelix felt that this must be a sign. He ought to be bold, as the guide suggested, and seize this moment. Thus, he eagerly escorted Tuvok to the most private area available.
As Tuvok took his seat, Neelix began nervously fiddling with a rag he'd been holding. He leaned in closer to the Vulcan. "So, come here often?" Neelix was dismayed to find that it nearly came out as a squeak.
"Pardon?" A raised eyebrow accompanied the query from Tuvok.
Neelix tried to bravely soldier on. "Fancy meeting you here in a place like this."
"I do not comprehend your meaning. Knowing you, you will continue to speak. Perhaps then, although it is unlikely, I might find some sense in what you say."
"Ah, I have been waiting for someone like you all my life," Neelix said, feeling increasingly unsure of himself.
"Have you." It didn't come out as a question with his deadpan delivery.
"Do you mind if I sit with you?" Neelix finally asked.
Tuvok considered for a moment. His first impulse was to say yes, he did mind. But then he would never find out why Neelix was behaving so strangely. Being in charge of security, he had a certain responsibility to the ship to discover the problem. "You may," he said.
"Thank you. You see, I'm attempting to, ah, start an intimate relationship with you," Neelix explained, letting the last half dozen words tumble out in a rush. He was twisting the rag tightly in his hands now.
"Indeed." Tuvok thought that Neelix was hardly bringing enlightenment to the issue.
"Yes, and, well, I have been reading this guide to interspecies dating--"
"This does not appear to be a 'dating' ritual I recognize from Vulcan, or anywhere else, for that matter," Tuvok said.
Neelix wondered if the guide covered finding out what the mating customs were of your potential alien partner. If so, he hadn't seen it mentioned yet. "So, I was just thinking..."
"That I might be interested? You are incorrect. I am not," Tuvok said.
"I see. Well, that's...it then." Neelix got up and walked off, feeling numb.
Tuvok remained, considering the wisdom of trying the dish that would be available this shift.
Two Qs, bored, had popped in on Voyager and witnessed the entire scene.
"Mortals. How pathetic," one of the Qs sneered.
"Yes. Especially that one," the other Q expressed extreme distaste.
"Speaking of pathetic, what about that little mortal you are so infatuated with? Your little human pet? Perhaps this--thing--could help you out," the first Q said with malicious amusement. The Q had assumed the form of a female Klingon as she spoke, and the guide appeared in her hand.
"What? Don't be absurd. As if I would ever need such a thing. And, I am not infatuated with him." The other Q took the form of a human male and eyed his companion's Klingon guise with disgust. He snapped his fingers and the guide disappeared from her hand.
"Of course. Whatever you say," the first Q mocked. She left with a brilliant flash of light.
For an instant Q considered taking the tiniest little peak. Nah. Besides, if Q ever found out, he'd never be able to live it down.