Disclaimer: Paramount owns ‘em, but I get to play with ‘em
By Mary S.
Why is it, Kathryn Janeway thought to herself as she scurried onto the command deck, that we seem to meet all the hostile species of the Delta Quadrant? Why do the unfriendlies outnumber the friendlies so drastically? The ship rocked as a second volley of weapons fire hit them. Why is every single race determined to seize my ship and annihilate us?! A third volley as she reached her chair.
“Report!” she barked.
“Shields at sixty percent, all phaser banks offline,” reported Tuvok.
“What’s the problem with the phasers?” asked Janeway.
“Targeting scanners have been knocked out of alignment. They require manual recalibration.”
Janeway looked to her left. “Commander? Can you do it?”
“Yes, Captain.” And he rose from his chair at her nod and hurried to the turbolift.
“Captain,” called Harry Kim at Ops, “direct hit on cargo bay two. Hull breach, emergency forcefield in place and holding.”
“Get a repair crew down there, top priority. Any further damage?”
“So far, no. Captain, I’ve tried to raise Seven; there’s no response.”
“Isn’t she on duty?”
“No, Captain, she went off shift about an hour ago.”
“Was she regenerating?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. Janeway tried her own comm. badge but was equally unsuccessful at getting a response. “Bridge to sickbay. Doctor, is Seven with you?”
“Sickbay here. No, Captain. As far as I know, she is regenerating.”
“Cargo bay two has suffered a hull breach. Harry, get someone down there – quickly.” The bridge crew continued to work in silence, punctuated only by an exploding display panel and cascade of sparks as another round of fire found a target. Finally Tuvok was able to report that the targeting scanners had been realigned.
“Fire at will, Commander. Continuous fire. Chase them off.”
With a final volley, the alien ships backed off although Janeway suspected they hadn’t seen the last of them. For the moment, though, they had the upper hand.
“Captain,” Tuvok spoke first. “Shields are holding at thirty percent, phasers are online, torpedoes are online.”
Kim took over. “The most severe damage is in cargo bay two. Repair teams are sealing the breach, but the alcoves have been heavily damaged. Sickbay is reporting several minor casualties, including Seven. She is not seriously injured, Captain.” Janeway breathed a sigh of relief, which evaporated with his next words. “Commander Chakotay has also been injured.”
She turned to stare at him. “How bad?” she asked in a croak. She was having trouble getting the words out. “Scrapes and bruises, Captain,” he answered with a smile. “He’ll be fine.” She relaxed into her chair. They had escaped relatively lightly, all things considered.
Half an hour later, with repairs well underway and no further sign of the aliens, Janeway felt safe in turning the bridge over to Tuvok and heading down to sickbay. She entered to find a scene of organized confusion – a number of crewmen were being treated for assorted injuries. As far as she could tell, no one seemed to be too seriously hurt. Her eye fell on the doctor beside biobed one where Seven lay. Chakotay was standing on the other side, appearing quite dishevelled, his wounds as yet untended by the look of him. As the doctor raised a hypospray, Chakotay stopped him, then spoke to Seven. She raised an eyebrow, stared at him for a few seconds, and rolled onto her stomach. He placed both hands on her lower back and pressed down, then ran them up to her shoulders where he dug in his fingers; he repeated the movement several times.
By now, Janeway had worked her way over to them. As the doctor brought her up to date on the crew’s injuries, Chakotay continued to massage Seven’s back. The doctor concluded his report with the comment that Seven, who had a strained back, seemed to prefer the Commander’s treatment to his own. At that, she turned her head to Janeway.
“The commander has exceptional hands, Captain. Has he ever done anything like this for you?”
Janeway’s face took on a wistful expression. “Oh yes,” She whispered, “once – a long time ago.” Her eyes were unfocused; clearly she was remembering a different time.
Chakotay’s hands slowed, then stopped as he stared at her, his own expression becoming intense. She gave a little shake, as if reminding herself where she was, and lifted her eyes to see the love and longing written all over his face. Their present surroundings fell away as each gazed at the other, obviously recalling another time and place. Seven and the doctor were both speechless with surprise.
Janeway was stunned. She had told herself so often that he had stopped loving her, that he had moved on, that she had come to believe it. Now, she was seeing the truth. “Oh, Chakotay,” she breathed and, unaware, moved closer to him.
He stretched one arm out around her shoulders, and drew her in tight against his body, burying his face in her hair and whispering her name. She wrapped her arms tightly around his back and hugged him hard for a minute. Even as she pulled back, he kept her close, arm around her waist while he cupped her face and bent his head to her. He kissed her hard, hungrily, marking her as his.
He lifted his face, gazed deeply into her widened eyes, and in a very soft, but intense tone of voice, said “That’s the down payment; you get the rest when we get home.” Then he turned and strode out of sickbay before she could do anything but stand there, immobilized in shock.
She put her hand to her mouth as she stared at the door a moment longer, before shaking her head and turning back to the doctor and Seven. Both were wearing identical expressions of complete astonishment.
“As you were,” she said, and walked out the door.