| "Listen, I can’t explain it, you’ll have to trust me." | unconscious | gender swap | pattern |
The Captain doesn't feel right in her chair in a way that hasn't happened since she'd first sat down in it while docked at Utopia Planitia. She uncrosses her legs, flips them the other way, and re-crosses them. No good.
"What the hell?" Lieutenant Paris chimes from his station. Well, it should be Paris, but his voice is a higher pitch. He swivels in his chair to face her. She's surprised to see him looking down at a pair of pert breasts.
"Well that's new," Commander Chakotay states quietly but equally high pitched. He clears his throat and draws her attention. Each of his hands are wrapped firmly around his own large breasts. Kathryn unconsciously looks over at her security officer for an update. The reflex is so ingrained in her body that she can't even think about how much she'd like to gawk at Chakotay. At least not for very long. The Vulcan's facial features are more feminine than usual. He—she?—examines his hands, turning them palm up, palm out several times slowly. The action hides his own pair of dainty breasts. Kathryn realizes with appreciation that he wears them well. Her pants chafe uncomfortably when she crosses her legs the other way.
"Damn it." Her voice is deeper than she expects, as rumbly as Chakotay's and the thought sends another pleasant chill down her spine. She did not sign up to be a Captain to rediscover her sexuality. She's straight damnit, but the mixed signals are making her question herself. Looking around the Bridge, she sees a pattern: male crewmembers are suddenly female, female crewmembers appear male. The once-male are groping or staring at their own breasts. The once-female are openly gawking at the once-male. She wouldn't be surprised if every member of her crew were the opposite gender. "Q," she growls. Only he can be responsible.
Tom—is he still Tom with boobs? Well, that's who he is now: Tom with boobs...and no dick. That's unsettling. Well, Tom with boobs and no dick watches as Q pops into existence at the Captain's order.
"You called?" Q isn't Q though. His voice is high pitched and from the curving silhouette he's making, Tom's sure he's got a pair of breasts as well. The Captain stands. He thinks he sees the beginning of an erection hiding behind the black cloth. The women's uniform doesn't have as much leeway as the men's. And hers provides even less since they are a good few inches too short. The sight sets a cascade of items in motion. First, Tom's nipples chafe under his turtleneck. It's actually almost pleasurable and he has to fight not to twist his torso for more. Then he feels a powerful rush settle between his legs. He tries to discreetly cross his legs when he starts to smell the slight musk of his arousal. He hysterically wonders if this is why the Captain always crosses her legs when she's in the Big Chair.
This is not at all what he wants to deal with. Having the hots for his Captain when he's himself is one thing—not that he does, B'Elanna's more than enough woman for him—but he can't deny that the Captain has a certain appeal. Controlling this new body won't be easy.
"Change us back, Q." The Captain's eyes run appreciatively down Q's form. Tom recognizes the look and shakes his head internally. Apparently, the Captain is having trouble controlling her new body as well. She straightens when she realizes her mistake and locks eyes with Q's general head area. He's sure his breasts are still in her line of sight and he enjoys a touch of revenge at the idea of her having to fight not to look down. Maybe this won't be such a bad thing. Maybe the women will be just a little kinder to the men on board after having lived through this experience.
"Can't." Q shrugs. He pivots and looks around the room. Tom notices that he's wearing the female uniform instead. "You all look lovely." He turns back to the Captain.
"Oh, you know women, Kathy. They just get so demanding." Q strides behind her and sits in her chair, crossing his legs. "I must say, crossing one's legs like this is quite the pleasurable experience." Tom wonders if Q's realized what he's realized. That if he crosses his legs and tugs a little at his hips, he can get a very pleasurable pressure against him. The glint in his eye suggests that he has. The Captain blushes and Tom wonders about her as well. "Lady Q says I don't understand her. She says I can't until I wear her shoes. Needless to say, she wasn't happy when my 'big oafish feet' split her favorite pair. She put me this way until I learned my lesson." He scoffs. "Even got the Continuum to deny my requests to change back." He snaps his fingers and nothing happens. "See?"
"Yes, well, we weren't anywhere near you and Lady Q when this happened. Why us?" Even if her voice is deeper, she still carries the air of his Captain.
"I don't know if you're aware, but I haven't the faintest clue how to be a woman." He leans forward suggestively in her chair and licks his lips. The Captain's in trouble. Tom almost feels sorry. Anytime B'Elanna did that to him—didn't matter if he still had another few hours at the helm or under the watchful eye of the Doctor—it got to him. "I was hoping you'd," Q's eyes drift south and then back to the Captain's face, "show me."
"Absolutely not!" She looks about ready to slap him. Q sighs and leans back in the chair. He tilts toward the female Chakotay.
"Men. Am I right?" Chakotay chuckles, but clears his throat when he sees the Captain's glare. It's menacing when she's five foot five. At almost six feet, it must be terrifying. Tom idly wonders if he's shorter too.
"If I may," it must be Tuvok behind that female Vulcan appearance. The Captain, Q, and Chakotay turn to face him. "It is logical to conclude that we will be returned to our original bodies quicker if we cooperate."
"Tuvok!" The Captain seems dumbfounded.
"I am not suggesting copulation with Q. Perhaps we should," he exaggerates his deadpan for the next phrase because the warp engine will stall if this Vulcan shows any semblance of emotion, "'show him the ropes' of womanhood." The Captain brings her hands to her temples.
"Q, if we help you. Will you return the crew to their normal appearances?" Q raises his hand.
"Lesson number one: women aren't allowed into Scouts," a high-pitched Harry chimes in. Q lowers his hand and looks around.
"What are women allowed to join?" A cacophony of deep-throated answers fill the Bridge. Tom feels a little intimidated with all the male voices around him. He mentally apologizes for every time he was overly loud and rowdy with the guys when a group of women were nearby.
"Knitting or sewing."
"Girl scouts, but we're never called scouts."
"Oh." Q raises his hand again. "Then I swear as a girl scout who isn't actually a scout."
"Come with me, Q. Let's have a look at the damage." The Captain leads the way to the turbolift. Q follows suit. Something occurs to Tom. Having a look at the damage implies the Bridge isn't the only place affected. Did that mean B'Elanna is somewhere in engineering? As a man? Another chill runs down his spine and he turns around to focus on the helm. He isn't gay, but is it really gay to want a male B'Elanna when he's female? He wonders if she's taller than him now.
"Listen closely Q. I've got a horror story for you." Kathryn smirks. B'Elanna hasn't told anyone how this half-Klingon started puberty. Everyone has a story.
"Picture this: Klingon-Human backwaters colony. When it's hot the air wants to peal your skin off. I had no choice though. Mom had her family over and I was sick to death of being teased for my baby ridges." B'Elanna adjusts her uniform. The once-women had found once-men to trade with. She'd traded with a very flustered, and very cute, Tom. While it's tall enough, it seems a little tight on her shoulders. B'Elanna gives up and unzips her jacket. "That's better. I grabbed my running clothes. Which included," she looks pointedly at the Captain, her friend, "white shorts." Kathryn shakes her head. There's a mix of shocked no's and audible exhales. Q doesn't seem to know where this is going. B'Elanna's story is the first of their makeshift crash course on what being a woman is like. "So I'm running down the park path, a narrow, winding dirt road, when I feel it. The insides of my thighs feel wet and my abdomen cramps. It isn't like a running cramp. That's all I know. I know there's this outdoor bathroom a little ways away so I jog to it. When I get inside, there's no toilet paper, but I'm definitely bleeding. Thankfully, my mother told me what to expect so I wasn't frightened. I calmly slide out of the bathroom stall and search the others for toilet paper. Nothing. There's no hand towels either, so I step outside and grab a few large leaves, return to the closest stall, and stuff them down there to catch the flow." She pauses for effect.
"It wouldn't be so bad a deal if I'd picked the right leaves." She delivers the next line in a smooth deadpan. "Poison Ivy." She hears cries of sympathetic pain. "I was itching for days because I was too stubborn to admit defeat. OH! That's not the worst of it! When I finally walk back into the room my extended family is conversing in, my mother spots the red on my shorts and follows me to the bathroom. I let her because I don't know what I'm actually supposed to use. She hands me a pad and explains before stepping back outside to give me privacy. When I exit the bathroom, she starts clapping and announces to the whole room of extended family—my boy cousins and uncles included." B'Elanna does her best to imitate her mother's booming voice. "Qap'la! A woman is born!" She'd said the whole of it in Klingon of course, but B'Elanna translates. She notes the traumatized expression on Q's face. B'Elanna turns to the room of once-women at large. "Let's see any of you top that." The room is silent. She's got the best story by default.
"I've got one." It's the Captain. "I wasn't home when it happened. And I was only nine." Someone in the back says 'rough'. "I know. I was at a friend's house for a sleepover. We were young enough to be comfortable sleeping in the same bed so we did. And young that we were, we cuddled because it felt nice. I was the little spoon." The Captain takes a sip of her coffee and B'Elanna gets the impression that she's trying to draw this out. "I wake up because my friend is crying behind me. I turn around and ask her what's wrong. She's so relieved to see I'm alright and explains. Since there was so much blood she thought that she'd died but then realized it wasn't hers and thought I'd died. Clearly I hadn't, but maybe I was going to. There was just so much blood. It squelched on the mattress some." There's a muted 'gross' in the back.
"My friend calls her dad with fear. Her dad walks in, takes one look, and goes so white I was scared he'd keel over. Instead, he calls her mom and they have a short conversation in the doorway before she walks in and says, 'Katie, dear, do you know what a period is?' I most certainly did not. Her mom led me to the bathroom, helped me clean up, and then showed me a pad and a tampon while explaining how to use both of them. She leaves to call my mother and to let me put them on. Somehow I got mixed up with what she was saying and—oof—I still hurt thinking about it." The Captain shifts in her seat. "I opened the pad and put it the wrong way on my underwear. I figured, the sticky side was so my body clotted and the soft side was so I could still move comfortably. Mom came, picked me up, and talked me into the bathroom. I told her I had it all under control. I should clot soon and everything will be fine. That, of course, made her concerned, so I told her what I'd done. She looks at me and says simply, 'Katie, you idiot; it goes the other way'." Kathryn laughs, "I had my first Brazilian at nine years old."
"Wow, I never knew." B'Elanna claps Q on the shoulder, perhaps a bit too roughly. He reels forward. The brings up her other hand to steady him.
"How could you? It isn't like women talk about this with anyone but other women." It dawns on her that maybe she's been a bit harsh to Tom about his cavalier attitude toward her moodiness. It wasn't like she'd ever told Tom just how much it hurt. Many times, she'd been half-tempted to ask for a baby just so she'd get out of her monthly cycle for a time.
"The first time's not all that bad," the Captain chimes. "After the first, your body finally realizes what it's supposed to do and starts assaulting you with cramps." A number of male voices rise to list off their worst period symptoms. B'Elanna feels achy just hearing them.
"Diarrhea and constipation." B'Elanna feels bad for that woman.
"Tender breasts, yet enough hormones to jump to warp ten," she adds.
"Enough. Tell me something fun." Q interrupts their pity party with his hands held up. "Like how nice it is when men hold doors for you."
"Yeah right," B'Elanna scoffs. "I'm pretty sure that's just so they can get a good look at my ass. I'm always prepared to kick them if they decide to grab it."
"Well..." Q doesn't deny anything.
"And then they won't even bother if you aren't wearing heels." Someone, Henley, she thinks, adds. A few once-women nod.
"Heels! I love heels." Q states with admiration.
"Yeah? That's because you don't have to wear them!" Another voice retorts. B'Elanna is pretty sure that's Megan or Jenny, but she can't see their faces in the crowd of the mess hall.
"We can change that," the Captain suggests. "Anyone have a pair?" The Delaney sisters stand.
"We do." They dangle their regulation boots in their hands. Unlike her and the Captain, the Delaney sisters hadn't changed in height so their clothes mostly fit them. B'Elanna muses that since the Delaney sisters are tall for women, they don't need the extra boost. Q looks scared.
"Wait, wait." He snaps himself outside of their predatory circle to stand next to the door. "I am not doing this by myself."
"Who'd be dumb enough to agree?" Henley asks.
"Tom," B'Elanna replies.
"Chakotay," says the Captain at the same time. They look at each other. B'Elanna wiggles her eyebrows.
"I'll show you mine if you show me yours," she teases.
"Ha!" The Captain's expression doesn't budge. "Seriously? You mean you two aren't...?" The Captain shakes her head and blushes. It's a sight on her. "Then why suggest him?"
"He's my first officer." She shrugs. "Even if he doesn't agree, I can always order him to." B'Elanna's eyes narrow.
"You're dangerous, you know that?"
"I know." She smirks and taps her commbadge. "Lieutenant Paris and Commander Chakotay, report to the mess hall."
It's clear on Tom's face that he wasn't expecting to be greeted by nearly the full complement of Voyager's once-female crew. Chakotay does a better job of hiding his surprise, but B'Elanna catches a nervous bob of his throat. Maybe fear of large groups of men is a biological one.
"You requested us, Captain?" Chakotay finds his words first. Tom follows Chakotay to the center of the circle where the Captain is. He looks puny. He's taller than Chakotay by a hair but next to B'Elanna that doesn't mean much. She wants to go somewhere private with him, but isn't ready to mess with their heads and their sexualities that way, at least not without his blessing. Tom's eyes linger on B'Elanna's turtleneck through the open jacket. She smirks when their eyes meet and Tom looks away quickly. He puts his hands behind his back and stands at attention for the Captain.
"Yes, take off your shoes and put on the Delaneys'." The Delaney sisters step forward and hand the boys their shoes. Without the heels, the two are about the same height as Chakotay.
"That's an order, Lieutenant." Tom eyes the shoes warily but does as he's told. He sits down to tug off his boots and slips Megan's on one at a time. B'Elanna moves to his side to help him stand up. He blushes but takes her hand. Chakotay leans forward on a stray table in his heels. He'd stepped outside of the circle to find it before putting on the heels. Q flashes to the middle of the circle in his own pair. With another snap of his fingers, the table holding Chakotay disappears and he falls forward with a swear. Somehow he manages to stand up again.
"This isn't so bad," Q remarks.
"Try wearing them for eight straight hours."
"Ugh," Q throws his head back. "I don't want to wait for eight hours. What if we fast forward?" Without waiting for a response, him, Tom, and Chakotay flash out of sight and return a second later. Tom crashes to the floor, making his breast bounce enticingly. B'Elanna's never noticed how nicely boobs bounce before.
"Get these off!" B'Elanna chuckles and gives him room to work. He hurtles the shoes across the mess hall over their heads to the sound of laughter. Chakotay is making quick work of his heels as well. Q has already flashed out of his. He's also flashed himself a chair to sit in. His thumbs dig into the sole of his foot and around his toes.
"Q, next time you want a foot massage, I'll give you a hundred."
"Finally," Lady Q says in her indignant tone as she appears in front of Q. She snaps him back to normal and takes a seat in his lap so her legs dangle over the one armrest. Lady Q, Q, and the chair snap out of existence. Before anyone can protest, Q returns alone.
"Sorry, Kathy." He wiggles his eyebrows playfully. "I had to deliver." He snaps his fingers and B'Elanna feels shorter. She'd forgotten how heavy a simple pair of boobs are. Tom wraps his arm around her and pecks her cheek, to which Q comments, "I see you've found that happiness I promised you, Tom."
"Oh dear. I always forget whether I've wiped someone's memory of this or that occurrence." He sighs. "Listen, I can’t explain it, you’ll have to trust me." Q's eyes waver to B'Elanna's stomach before meeting her eyes and she wonders what he knows. "The two of you are going to be very happy, very soon." He snaps out of existence again.
"Well, that was cryptic," Tom tells the group.
"It was," B'Elanna replies. They turn to each other.
"Definitely." Tom and B'Elanna head to their shared quarters. She's at a loss for words when the door opens. "Was there a core breach I missed?"
"No." Tom's sheepish. He goes to pick up the top half of her blue swimsuit. "I wanted to try this stuff on. Some of it looks very comfortable."
"I tried some of your clothes." She looks around the havoc. There are dresses and blouses and skirts and leathers and her swimsuit thrown around the room. She doesn't own much, but she owns enough to make the room look deeply disturbed. Five minutes ago, she might have liked to see Tom in that skimpy red dress she ironically owns or that set of black lingerie she hasn't gotten around to wearing yet. Now, she's just angry. "You're helping me clean up." Tom holds out the swimsuit top and the red dress she'd been thinking of.
"What do you think I'm doing?" They comb the room for clothing. Eventually, B'Elanna resorts to clawing for stray articles under their bed, figuring now is a good time for a thorough cleaning. She pulls out her nightgown, realizes she probably left it there herself, and is surprised to see that it drags out a box underneath it. She sits down against the bed and pulls the shoe box into her lap. She doesn't recognize it.
"Tom?" He turns around. "Is this yours?"
"Oh, I thought I'd lost that in the move." He settles next to her and pries the lid off. "Wow! My old Captain Proton notes!" He pulls a stack of PADDs out of the box to scatter in front of his legs. "And a '97 Chevy engine schematics!" He hits one PADD with the back of his hand. "Grandma-ma's tomato soup recipe! I can taste it already." B'Elanna's not paying much attention to his excitement. Removing the PADDs revealed a small photo. She pulls it out to look at it better. It's a picture of her in Sick Bay she thinks. She's smiling down at a bundle of Klingon baby. From the look on her face, she's certain she's smiling at her own baby. But that doesn't make any sense. She's not pregnant. Q's lingering look comes to mind. Is she? Tom stops effusing over the PADDs and clasps her hand to turn the picture to him.
"Is that?" He freezes. Then he laughs. "That's what he meant." B'Elanna hands him the picture and watches while he cradles it like a newborn in his palms. He sounds overjoyed when he pulls B'Elanna to him in a tight hug and speaks over her head. "It's really happening."