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SUMMARY: The things people learn at their mothers' knees A JetC40 Secret Valentine fic for 2004.
Captain Janeway muttered curses under her breath as she thumped along the jeffries tube on her bare knees. The red alert klaxon seemed to be inside her head, blaring with every jab of pain that stabbed her knees. The bland "Intruder Alert" announcement seemed to be repeated on every fourth shooting pain. If she ever got out of this alive, some nameless ensign was definitely going to be doing something about that.
She continued towards the junction ahead, hoping that the sound would dissipate in the wider space. Her back teeth were beginning to throb as she kept her head down. All she needed now was to bang her head to make both it, and her temper, blow.
"Good evening, Captain."
He was sitting in the junction, rubbing his raw knees. The captain took a look at him, hot, sweaty, and only wearing a shabby pair of cut off sweats. His knees were raw but his legs looked
"Commander, what are you doing here?"
He stopped his rubbing and looked over at her. "Intruder Alert, Captain. Damned grids, why can't jeffries tubes be carpeted?"
She thumped on her bottom and looked at her own stinging knees. "I have no idea, but I intend to ask Torres as soon as I can."
"You're bleeding." He reached over and slowly wiped up a rolling drip with his finger.
"It's nothing," she whispered, then resumed her command voice. "Come on, it's not far from here."
They both took a deep breath and rolled back onto their knees. It was excruciating for both, but neither would be the first to complain.
Halfway to the next junction the klaxon abruptly stopped its screeching, and Commander Tuvok's emotionless voice took its place. "All crew, stand down Red Alert. This was a drill. All department heads, please meet at 0600 with performance quality reports. Repeat, all crew, stand down Red Alert. This was a drill. All department heads, please meet at 0600 with performance quality reports."
Captain Janeway swung her head around to glare at her first officer. "Chakotay, why wasn't I advised that this was a drill?"
His own face relaxed its angry features. "You didn't know either?" There was a short pause and then Chakotay said what they both felt. "Damned Vulcan!"
"All right, I've had enough fun for one night. What is the fastest way back to my quarters?"
"Is that an invitation, Kathryn?"
"Look, Chakotay. I tired, I'm bleeding, I'm sitting in a jeffries tube in my pyjamas, and I'm very angry with a senior officer. I'm really not in the mood for joking around."
"So? Who's joking? You're not the only one who's tired, bleeding, and stuck in a tube in the middle of the night in hardly any clothes. And, I think they're called baby dolls."
"Whatever! Just get us out of here without anyone seeing us. Or me seeing Tuvok."
He pointed back over his shoulder with his thumb. "That way. You first."
They returned to the junction slowly, both muttering under their breath. By the time they reached it, their blood had left a trail behind them. It was obvious that they would not be able to continue crawling on their shredded knees.
Kathryn bit her lip and calculated the remaining distance. Chakotay watched her and calculated the time it would take for her to reach the obvious conclusion.
She stubbornly refused, and looked at him. "Come on, Chakotay. Let's go." She started to roll back onto her knees, but he grabbed her arm. She plopped back down beside him.
"No? Yes. I have a dermal regenerator in my quarters. Your knees may be made out of leather, but mine arent and they hurt like hell!"
"Is that what you think? That I'm some kind of machine? Well, for your information, Captain, I'm not. I can hurt, too."
Her blush was obvious, even in the dim light. The junction was larger than the tubes, but not that much with the two of them crushed together. "I'm sorry, that was uncalled for. Put it down to the pain and be happy that you're not Commander Tuvok tomorrow at 0545. I don't suppose you disobeyed his new procedure for off duty personnel in the event of a intruder alert?"
"Nope. I was a good boy. I left my communicator behind as ordered."
"Damn, so did I. We can't even have the doctor beam us over to sickbay."
"Still bleeding?" They both peered at her knees in the dim light.
"Not much, they're mostly clotted now. Still hurts like hell, though."
"My mother used to have a method of making things feel better in situations like this."
"Really? Did it work?"
"Well, yes, that's why she did it; it always worked for me. But, she was pretty special."
"Do you know how to do it?"
"Yes, I think I could do it. It wouldn't be the same, though."
"The pain wouldn't go?"
"Well, the idea is not that the pain goes, but that you don't think of it so much."
She touched her knee and flinched. "That's acceptable, considering all I can think of right now is the pain. And, of course, the future Lieutenant Tuvok."
"Oh no, Kathryn. Not even my mother could take the Vulcan pain away. Only you can do that. But, if you'd like, I'll try to get your knee situation under control."
"Well, if you think you can remember what your mother actually did "
"I can. Okay, then, let's get you in a better position."
They shifted around in the junction, grateful for the solid flooring the intersection offered. They were still crushed together but Chakotay finally seemed satisfied. Both of Kathryn's legs were bent so that her wounded knees were in front of him.
"Are you ready, Kathryn?"
She braced herself. "Yes."
"Okay. Here goes. I'm going to touch you, so don't jump. "
Starfleet captain though she was, Kathryn instinctively closed her eyes. She was never one to appreciate the EMH's administrations but at least they were delivered in a bright, sterile environment. Whatever talents Chakotay's mother had, Kathryn was certain that they weren't usually shared in a cramped jeffries tube.
His hands were warm and gentle as he put one on the front of her leg above her knee, and the other under the knee itself. He felt her relax in preparation.
The kiss was totally unexpected, and the captain gasped. Her eyes flew open to see her first officer's face, warm with its gentle smile, looking up from its position over her knee.
His eyes crinkled as he let his hand softly slide up her thigh, and then down again on the soft inner skin. The instinctive jerk opening her thighs to him was abruptly corrected.
"Didn't your mother ever kiss it better, Kathryn?" His head bent over her knee again, giving it a tender kiss and trailing soft fingers higher.
"Not like this." Her voice was shaky but she didn't draw away.
This time Chakotay sat up, although he still allowed his hand to stroke his captain's thigh. "Well, I would hope not. How do your knees feel?"
"Knees?" There was no doubt, her breath was shaky and shallow.
"Sounds like it worked." He smiled. "Think you can manage to continue on seat-first now?"
"Uh, yes. Yes, I think so. How about you?"
"I'll manage, if you'll fix me up when we get to your quarters."
It took longer but the two of them managed to thump back up the j-tube, this time on their butts. When Kathryn finally keyed in the access code to her quarters, they almost fell in. She went to get the dermal regenerator she kept hidden.
"Let me fix you up first," offered Chakotay gallantly. This time when he slipped his hand under her knees she didn't flinch. Silently, they both watched the bloody shreds mend.
"I guess it's your turn now," said Kathryn softly.
He handed her the regenerator and positioned his knees, and then waited. Her face was a study as she looked at the instrument, and then turned it off. Slowly she brought her hands up as he had done in the jeffries tube, sliding one under one knee and the other stroking his inner thigh. A strangled gasp came up from his throat, bringing her eyes to meet his.
"I'm not your mother, but I thought maybe this first step would help."
"I'm I'm sure it will." He closed his eyes as he felt her soft lips first anoint his wounds, taking his mind off the pain. He didn't open them again until she spoke.
"Tell me again why Tuvok wanted off duty personnel to leave their communicators behind during an intruder alert?"
"So we couldn't be detected and could act like a Maquis assault team against the intruders."
"Yes. Of course." Kathryn started the regenerator. "Well, he's done it again."
"Who, Tuvok? What has he done again?"
"Yes, Tuvok. Once again he's weaselled out of another furious reprimand from the captain. There, your knees are healed."
"Thank you. Lucky him."
"No, lucky me. Lucky us. " She smiled. " I'm ready for my Maquis assault now, Chakotay."
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