by Suz

Disclaimer - Paramount own them, I believe...

Part 14 in the DQ90210 series. Earlier parts can be found at:


"Commander!" Harry yelled, then continued before Chakotay could ask the obvious. "I'm receiving a distress call from the shuttle."

Chakotay's head whipped around as if he could actually see the shuttle through the viewscreen. "Take us into transporter range. Now."

Paris didn't reply, but his fingers moved over the console with a speed that belied his silence.

After several minutes in which Tuvok rose more than a few eyebrows at Chakotay, Harry's console beeped.

"I've got them on sensors sir. The shuttle's badly damaged." He frowned, going over the data. "Looks like they went through a severe ion storm. I'm reading two life forms..." Hesitating for barely a second he looked up to meet the gaze of his superior officer. "One of them barely registering."

Chakotay's nostrils flared. "The second we're in range I want you to beam them both directly to sickbay." Gods, if she was hurt...

"Aye sir."

Turning back to the front of the bridge, Chakotay approached Paris and spoke softly, giving him the advice he so desperately wanted to take himself. "You'd better get down there, Tom. The Doctor might need your help."

Paris leapt up from his seat as if he had been projected from a cannon. "Aye sir," He responded loudly before bolting for the turbolift, completely forgetting to summon a replacement.

Tuvok did it for him.


Tom barged into sickbay to discover Seven sitting up on biobed two, looking mostly unhurt. A few cuts and bruises, but that meant...

His footsteps remembered to carry him to biobed one where Doc was working over the Captain. Kathryn. She didn't have many more cuts and bruises than Seven but she had a worringly dark bruise on her forehead and her skin was so pale.

Managing to overcome his shock his training kicked in and he grabbed something, anything off the med tray. "How can I help?"

As the Doctor barked out instructions they both worked at opposite sides of the Captain, leaving Seven to her own devices as she looked on, frowning.

A few minutes later, Doc nodded encouragingly as he studied the readouts on his medical console. "Good. Her pulse-"

Suddenly she jerked.

"She's convulsing!"

"20 cc's Cordrazine," The Doctor ordered, scanning her with a medical tricorder.

Snapping the vial into the hypospray Tom administered it into her neck, nearly losing his hold on the tool in his haste.

Her body stopped moving and she collapsed back onto the biobed. With one huge sigh she began to slip into unconsciousness and somehow, just before she did, a word managed to escape in a distorted whisper.

In seconds his body was covered in goose bumps and the hair on the back of his neck stood on end. Physically shocked he actually took a step back and the Universe receded until all that existed was the blackness invading his vision and the echo of the word she had whispered thumping through his mind.

She had whispered a name.

And it wasn't his.

Wasn't his.

The hypospray he had been holding thudded to the carpeted floor but he didn't hear it, didn't see it, still too trapped in his own mind to comprehend anything else.

His eyes shut but the blackness remained and Christ everything made so much sense now and he couldn't believe she'd done this, intentional or not and he always screwed it up and he always picked the wrong damn woman-

"Mr Paris, may I remind you that we still have a patient to treat?"

The Doctor's cutting thoughts burst through the blackness and Tom realised he had been standing immobile with his mouth open.

The EMH continued. "Her condition may have improved but she's far from fully recovered."

Yes. Yes, heal her, help her get better. They could deal with everything else later.

Mechanically, he picked up the hypospray and set about helping Doc as well as he could, utterly ignorant to the fact that Seven was now standing next to her biobed, still.

"I will inform the Commander," She stated although she knew that neither of them were listening. Walking towards the exit she tried to comprehend why it felt as if the back of her throat was burning.


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