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As The Rotisserie Turns

REWRITE of VC: As the Rotisserie Turns, The Sauce Thickens.
Ginny — 19 Sep 1998, 5:28 PM

Freddie Bristow came running out of the kitchen carrying a tub of murky water and slopping at least a third of it on the floor. "Miz Kathryn," he said breathlessly, "I can't find a bucket, but Cook was soaking her feet in some Epson salts in this dishpan. Will this do?"

"Any port in a storm, Freddie," Kathryn replied, taking the tub from the boy, who proceeded to beat a hasty retreat back into the kitchen. Carrying the sloshing tub over to where the two men were grappling on the floor in front of the fireplace, she unceremoniouly dumped the contents on the combatants. The water hit Tom square in the back and, with a suspiciously girlie scream, he released his grip on Chakotay and leaped to his feet, water running down his face and dripping on the expensive Indian rug. Chakotay, unfortunately, was lying on his back and caught the deluge full in the face. He rolled over onto his hands and knees, retching and wheezing.

Kathryn dropped the dishpan to the floor and stood looking down at the two most important men in her life, her hands on her hips and a completely disgusted expression on her face. "How many rugs am I going to have to ruin, before you two learn to have a conversation without throwing a punch at each other?" Tom opened his mouth to speak, but Kathryn cut him off with the Look. "That was a rhetorical question, Tom. And Chakotay, if you're going to throw up, have the courtesy to crawl over to the spittoon by the hearth. And don't give me that pitiful look. It's your own fault for getting in a scuffle so soon after being shot."

Kathryn walked over to the chair recently vacated by Tom and sat down. She waited until the two soaked and subdued men regained enough self-possession to take a seat on the couch.

"Gentlemen, while I will admit that I occasionally get a certain vicarious thrill watching the two of you roll around on the ground, we don't have time for that right now. Disastrous events are about to overtake us, and I need both of you focused and in accord." Neither Tom or Chakotay, who were jostling for position on the couch, acknowledged her comment, so Kathryn, taking a cue from her old friend, Lt. Colonel T.C. McQueen, who was stationed with the 58th Cavalry about 50 miles down the road at Fort Saratoga, reached out, grabbed the coffee table, and flipped it over. As the table landed, with a crash, upside-down on the floor, Tom and Chakotay froze andlooked sheepishly at the woman they both loved, but whom they often annoyed.

"You know, I may have to rethink Marshal Tuvok's suggestion about flogging," Kathryn mused aloud. "Now that I have your undivided attention, we need to develop a plan to deal with impending events."

"What events?" Tom asked, running his hand back through his damp hair.

"If you hadn't been spending so much time putting the moves on my daughter, you'd know," Chakotay said waspishly. "The Delta Q is having financial problems again. We're going to have to make some serious changes, if the ranch is to start turning a profit again."

"Is that true, Kathryn?" Tom asked, a little crease of concern appearing between his blue/gray/blue-gray eyes.

Kathryn nodded. "Yes, Tom. I'm afraid it is. But right now, the ranch's profitability is the least of our worries."

REWRITE of VC: As The Rotisserie Turns, The Fire Burns.
Ginny — 19 Sep 1998, 5:39 PM

Tom and Chakotay exhanged a worried look. "What else is going on, Kathryn?" Chakotay asked, leaning forward, his face intent, little trickles of hair dye and water running down his cheeks.

Kathryn looked exasperated. "You do remember that Sevenita in is jail accused of murder, don't you?"

Chakotay leaned back. "Of course I remember, but I wouldn't worry too much about it, Kathryn. Jabin was a loud-mouthed jerk, and he probably had it coming. I doubt any jury in Voyager City would convict her for it.

Tom nodded in agreement. "Especially if she wears that gravity-defying dress that Miss Peggy Lou bought for her."

Kathryn looked at them in astonishment. "Do the two of you actually think she did it?" Tom and Chakotay exchanged another look and both shrugged.

"Well, you know Sevenita, Kathryn," Chakotay said calmly. "Jabin was a pretty poor excuse for a cowboy, a criminal, and, in general, a human being."

"And you know how much inefficiency pisses her off," Tom chimed in. "He probably made some cheap move on her--"

"You would know," Chakotay muttered. Tom ignored him.

"--and she gave him the Borg skunk-eye, said something like, "Your continued existence is irrelevent.", and blew him away."

Kathryn looked shocked. "I just can't believe that Sevenita would betray all the trust we've placed in her, after she was reassimilated into civilized society." Tom and Chakotay both raised their eyebrows at her, their skepticism apparent. "Well, I can't. And I'm going to do everything in my power to help her. I like the look of her defense attorney, but I'm worried that the Ogla clan will try to interfere with the trial." She leaned forward and said, conspiratorially. "I'm thinking about staging a jail break--just to bring her back to the ranch where she'll be safe until the trial date."

Chakotay looked at her in amazement. "Kathryn, I simply can't agree with that course of action. It's completely ill-advised..."

Kathryn's lower lip trembled and her eyes grew bright. "Well, I guess I really am alone."

Tom rolled his eyes. "Oh, for God's sake, Chakotay. Just agree with her. You and I both know you're going to do whatever she wants, anyway." Chakotay sighed, resignation plain in his eyes.

"All right, Kathryn. You're the boss."

Kathryn beamed at him, and then her expression grew serious again. "I've already started putting together a preliminary plan."

REWRITE of VC: As The Rotisserie Turns, The Cauldron Bubbles.
Ginny — 19 Sep 1998, 5:54 PM

"A preliminary plan?" Chakotay asked, shifting uncomfortably in his wet jeans.

"Why am I not surprised?" Tom murmered to himself, tugging at the folds of his damp, clammy shirt and giving Kathryn a teasing glimpse of his chest.

Kathryn continued, unperturbed. "Marshal Tuvok has asked me to accompany him to the dance."

"You're not going with him, are you?" Chakotay asked, astonished.

"Yes, I am," Kathryn replied evenly, then shot a withering look at Tom, who was trying, unsuccessfully, not to snicker. Chakotay kicked him in his bootless ankle, and Tom yelped.

"But Kathryn, it was my understanding that you would go to the dance with me." Chakotay said, disappointment and a touch of pleading in his voice.

"That's not what I heard," Tom said archly, rubbing his ankle. Chakotay tried to kick him again, but Tom scooted down to the end of the couch, pulled off his remaining boot, and threw it at the older man.

"You two are wearing on my last available nerve," Kathryn warned. "This is an excellent opportunity for me to find out, in detail, about the security measures at the jail. We have to have that information to plan the jail break, and we need it soon, to take advantage of the untimely death of Deputy Neelix." Chakotay frowned and started to speak, but Kathryn cut him off. "I don't intend to debate this, Chakotay. I'm going to the dance with Marshal Tuvok, and that's final."

Chakotay collapsed back against the back of the couch in the beginnings of a full-fledged sulk. Tom sat curled up in his corner of the couch, grinning smugly at the foreman.

"And you can just wipe that grin off your face, young man," Kathryn snapped. "Where's your sister?"

Tom looked bewildered. "Kes? I have no idea."

"Well, you're supposed to have an idea, Tom. She hasn't been home since early yesterday. Did you even bother to notice?"

Tom looked guilty and said, defensively, "I've been a little distracted lately." Chakotay perked up. This was getting good.

"A little? A little?" Kathryn repeated, sarcastically. "I have to question your recent conduct, Tom. You and B'Elanna have been making enough of a display of sneaking off together that half the town is gossiping about it."

"That wasn't our intention..." Tom began, in a small voice.

"You are the older brother," Kathryn interrupted, her voice cold. "I expect you to look out for your little sister. Now, I suggest you get un-distracted and go find Kes. I'm worried about her. Besides, we'll need her, if my plan to break Sevenita out of jail is to work." Kathryn paused, considering. "You might start by asking those two Delaney sisters if she's been by to see them." Kathryn shook her head and fixed the chastised young man with a disapproving look. "Although why you thought introducing those two tarts to someone as young and impressionable as Kes is beyond me."

Chakotay was thoroughly enjoying the sight of Tom's discomfiture, when it suddenly occurred to him that he had, in fact, seen Kes since yesterday. He groaned inwardly. Kathryn wasn't going to like this. She wasn't going to like this at all.