Recovery
by Suz suzvoy@tesco.net

Disclaimer - Paramount own the names.

Well, well. It's part 17 of the DQ90210 series. Who'd have thunk it??

Unless you've got an excellent memory, you'll probably need a reminder. All previous parts can be found at: http://members.tripod.com/~SuzVoy/deltaq.html

*

He didn't want to open his eyes, he really didn't. He knew from past experience that when he did it would be a very unpleasant experience. Not only would he have the headache, but more than likely he'd have the Doctor's angry visage glaring down at him as he spouted off statistics about people who suffered injury through boxing.

Still, he didn't stay First Officer of Voyager by absolving himself of responsibility. Resigning himself to a rather messy fate, he opened his eyes.

It wasn't who he expected. The face looking down at him with concern was rather more lovelier than the Doctor's, but its appearance suddenly caused his headache to get five times worse.

"Ow," He muttered softly, dumbly.

"Are you okay?" Kathryn asked, apparently having given up her sickbay clothing as she was now in uniform.

It really was something he should have been asking her. "What's the damage?"

"Concussion, deviated septum, and 'a headache he thoroughly deserves'." She switched topics immediately. "I understand that the holodeck safeties were off..." Her face was cautiously accusing.

He lifted up an arm at the elbow and half-heartedly pointed to the ceiling. "Not my fault."

She raised an eyebrow.

"No, really," He continued.

She placed her hands on her hips.

"Honestly. It was the user before me."

Her expression became somewhat less accusing, but her hands stayed firmly on her hips. "Well, I suppose I'll have to check who had the holodeck time reserved then."

Swearing, he quickly sat up and grabbed her elbow as she began to turn away. "Kathryn, wait. I-shit," He continued as his vision swam and he was sure that something that looked suspiciously like a basketball hoop came into his peripheral view.

Realising how she was studying him, he shook his head. "I'll be okay. Look...about the holodeck...I'd prefer it if you'd let me deal with it. It won't happen again."

Frowning heavily, she actually appeared to be seriously considering his question...when she suddenly lowered her gaze to her elbow.

He was still holding it.

And he didn't show any sign of moving his hand anytime soon.

The doors to sickbay swished open and Seven of Nine stepped in.

"Commander," She began immediately, then hesitated when she saw who was in sickbay with him. "I came to see how your recovery was processing." She quite pointedly looked at his hand that was still wrapped around Kathryn's elbow. "However, I did not know that you already had company. I will visit you another time."

Chakotay's reflexes finally kicked in and he released his grip, attempting to stand quickly. "Seven, wait. I-shit," He nearly collapsed and it was only Kathryn's sudden grasp on him that stopped Chakotay from falling over. Struck by a bizarre case of déjà vu, he tried to both forget how close Kathryn was and how far away Seven was getting. "Please, come back." He continued, not wanting her to think...anything. The Captain was merely here displaying concern for her First Officer.

Acquiescing, Seven turned back and walked towards them. Situating herself next to the Captain, she studied the Commander. "You appear to be recovering well."

He leant against the biobed, growing used to the arm Kathryn was still holding him with.

"I've been better," He smiled weakly for her benefit "But it's nothing serious."

In response, Kathryn rattled off the list of injuries again. "Concussion, deviated septum, and a headache he thoroughly deserves. Somehow I don't think that qualifies as nothing serious."

Before he could respond, Seven did. "While your injuries could be far more serious, I concur with the Captain's assessment. It is unwise to under-appreciate the possible implications of such injuries, and you should not participate in any activities that may exacerbate said injuries."

"Quite," Kathryn agreed. "Under the Doctor's recommendation - not to mention Seven's sterling opinion - you're off duty for a week."

He looked at her. "Kathryn," He pleaded "I hardly think a week is necessary to recover." Gods, he really didn't want any more time to think than was necessary. Not since Tom had told him...what he had told him. It was hard enough just looking at her now without trying to ask her about it. He doubted she even knew. She was almost fully recovered, didn't appear to be acting any differently than usual...she probably had no idea what she had done.

But he did.

Seven did.

Paris did.

Shit, the whole damn ship probably knew about it now.

'From the mouths of babes', went the phrase. 'From the mouths of half-unconscious Starfleet Captains' was far more appropriate.

She really did know how to screw with his mind in the most amazing way.

And she did so again, right now, by agreeing with him. "Well...perhaps a week is a little long. But I'll still say three days off duty. Not a single day less."

Chakotay nodded happily, head still swimming, recognising the tone of voice.

Smiling, Kathryn gave him a subtle squeeze before removing her arm. "I'd better get going, I suppose. I have work to catch up on. Not all of us can spend our time lying around on biobeds, doing nothing."

Seven frowned. "I was under the impression that you were still recovering from your own injuries, Captain."

Kathryn shrugged her off. "I'm fine, really. Besides, what the Doctor doesn't know can't hurt him." She smiled again, then looked deliberately at the younger woman. "Perhaps you'd like to stay here and visit with Chakotay, Seven."

"While the prospect is appealing, I need to return to my own duties." Looking back at Chakotay, she nodded. "I will visit you later, Commander."

"Please do," He encouraged.

"Get some rest," Kathryn ordered, poking him in the chest.

"Will do," He promised.

Both women nodded and then - together - left sickbay.

A matter of nanoseconds later, the Doctor materialised. "Please state the nature of the medical emergency," He spouted out, then his memory files must have remembered something. Looking around sickbay, he focused on Chakotay. "I asked the computer to activate me if anyone left sickbay. I take it the Captain ran off again without permission?"

"Of course," Chakotay replied. "She and Seven just left to get some work done."

"Of course," The Doctor sighed, idly fiddling with a tricorder. "And how are you feeling? Any particularly irritating pains?"

Holding back his instinctive response, Chakotay shrugged. "Just a headache I thoroughly deserve."

"Well it would help if you'd lie back down on the biobed."

Giving in, Chakotay sighed. "Okay, okay." Hoisting himself back up, he carefully stretched himself out on the bed.

The Doctor pottered with a console. "So," He began in a light-hearted voice. "Seven was here. Any particular reason?"

Chakotay rubbed an eye. "She just wanted to see how I was doing."

"I see." Then he paused. "So...the Captain was here. And Seven was here. That must have been an interesting conversation. I'm sorry I missed it."

A new realisation hit Chakotay then. Tom had been there...Seven had been there...and of course, the Doctor must have been there.

Shit.

Closing his eyes, he tried to welcome oblivion with open arms as he tried to ignore the amused humming coming from the hologram.

TBC

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