DISCLAIMER: Disclaimer: Star Trek: VoyagerTŠ is the registered trademark and sole property of Paramount Pictures. This story is non-commercial and for enjoyment only. No copyright infringement is intended.
AUTHOR: Jinny R
SUMMARY: An a/u fic where two crews are forced to work together to get home - and things are never the same again.
It was the worst headache she'd ever experienced, bar none. Between hearing her own blood pulsing through the veins in her skull and having spots of light dancing before her eyes, she could hardly stand. And so she wasn't; she lay on the couch in the captain's ready room trying to break through the chaos that engulfed her physical being. The chime of the door sounded and she groaned aloud before slowly bringing herself into a sitting position.
"Enter," whispered Kathryn Janeway in the first week of her first command. A young ensign, still unknown to her, walked up to her and stood at attention.
"At ease, Ensign.."
"Wildman," replied the young woman as she relaxed. "I have the hypospray you requested, Captain."
Captain Janeway accepted it and rolled it in her hand, contemplating it for so long that Wildman began to feel uneasy. Then she looked up into the eyes of the young woman and managed a sliver of a crooked smile.
"I understand that you've had experience with migraines and the medication required to soothe them, Ensign Wildman."
"Yes, sir, I have. My mother has suffered from them for years and our family doctor taught me how to measure and administer the medication. It always seemed to work for us."
Janeway tried the crooked smile again. "Well, Ensign, do you think you could perform that same service for your captain? I seem to experiencing a migraine for the first time in my life and I'll gladly surrender to your expertise."
Ensign Wildman instantly felt a stab of pity for Captain Janeway. She had watched the suffering of her mother for years before she married and left her younger sister to nurse her. But Mum had the comfort of resting in a dark, quiet room while she recuperated - Wildman thought of the pandemonium that she had just waded through to bring this hypospray to her captain and shuddered mentally.
"Of course, Captain," she said gently. "Please lay down on the couch." She looked around the room and asked, "Is there a cloth we could wet and place on your forehead? And I need to know your weight - is there a medical tricorder here or should I go get one from Sickbay? I promise I'll run both ways."
"The head's that-a-way," pointed Janeway weakly as she sank back down. "And there's a medical tricorder in my bottom drawer."
She closed her eyes when she was prone and sighed bitterly. Would this week of wild and crazy new experiences never end? A cool wet cloth was placed on her forehead and she tried to focus on its soothing presence. She listened to her desk drawer open and then the sound of the medical tricorder near her, wincing at its piercing whirr.
But Ensign Wildman's voice was soft and gentle as she pried the hypo from her clenched hand.
"Okay, Captain, I've got what I need. But you're nauseous too, aren't you?"
"Maybe a little."
"I thought so. I'm programming the right dose of each med for your symptoms and body weight. Next time tell me all of your symptoms so I can programme the right mix; there's no need for you to be nauseous out of pride, Captain, I know what you're going through."
"Not pride, Ensign, just ignorance. This is just another first for me this week - and I don't intend on repeating it." She heard the hiss of the hypo against her neck and immediately began to feel her body respond. She started to relax her fingers.
Wildman twisted the hypo into the locked position and opened her mouth to speak. She hesitated, glad that the captain's eyes were closed, and took a breath to try again.
"What is it, Ensign?"
She jumped involuntarily and stared; those eyes were definitely closed. She made a mental note never to underestimate this woman.
"I just wanted to know if you'd like me to leave this hypo in your drawer with your other.ah.medical supplies."
Janeway managed another crooked smile without opening her eyes." 'Unauthorized' medical instruments and drugs I believe you were thinking, Ensign. Yes, please keep them all together, I don't always have the luxury of running to Sickbay every time I have a little accident. I trust that I can depend on your discretion in this matter, Ensign."
"Of course, Captain. And please let me know if I can ever help you in the future - I'm not a qualified nurse but I've taken more than just the basic first aid courses available at the Academy. I've always been interested in making people get better."
"Thank you, I'll certainly keep that in mind," said Janeway as she heard the tricorder and hypo being put away. She welcomed the next statement, spoken softly and gently as usual.
"You should feel better in about twenty minutes, sir."
"Thank you again, Ensign Wildman, you've been a big help. And you can get back to your duties now, I know they need you. Dismissed."
"Aye, Captain," acknowledged Wildman as she slid the drawer shut and proceeded to the door.
"Oh, and Ensign.."
"Call me Captain, maybe Ma'am in a crunch, but never Sir. You might even share that with some of your shipmates if you remember next time you're with them."
"Yes, Captain, I will." Ensign Wildman was quite positive that she would remember that suggestion.
Janeway heard the door to her Ready Room swoosh open and then closed again. Her head slowly began to clear and she began to consider her next duty. There was a gang of Maquis terrorists gathered in her ship's Cargo Bay Two and she had to make a decision about them. Actually, she had already made it when the migraine blew up in her head, but she refused to consider any connection between the two events.
Unfortunately, it wasn't as easy as going down there and announcing her decision. She sighed. The Maquis captain ultimately had the final say and she hated to have the control of any decision concerning Voyager out of her hands. A new pain enveloped her and this time she didn't think she'd find a crewman on board with a handy cure. She slowly swung her feet to the floor.
Captain Chakotay surveyed his exhausted and dirty crew together with the meager belongings that had been salvaged from the Liberty. He had to admit, if only to himself, that it was not an impressive show. It looked like each person had a small duffel bag of personal belongings in addition to that small pile of assorted parts in the corner. He considered it.
Now this could prove interesting. He caught Torres' eye and motioned towards the parts. She understood him immediately and started to stow them out of sight in various bags. Voyager's crew had been very busy when the crew of the Liberty had beamed over and he now knew that B'Elanna's emergency plan for taking along certain.. amenities.. in a crisis situation worked. That woman was one hell of an engineer.
The Liberty. He closed his eyes and sent a windsong to the spirits in the name of his ship. She may have been - what did Ayala say - a bucket of bolts held together with baling wire and chewing gum, but she had saved their lives more than once. He had loved the feel of her and how she responded to his commands even to the end. He'd overheard comments to the effect that he had been brave taking her to her final home but he knew the truth. He had had no problem with the very real possibility that his death would be shared with Liberty's, it was an idea that he had long ago come to terms with. He broke his reverie when Torres, Ayala, and Bendera came up to him.
"Captain," nodded B'Elanna.
"B'Elanna. And Ayala and Kurt. What are you three up to?"
They all looked at one another and then at their captain. Ayala continued, "Chakotay, we're wondering if you have any idea what's going to happen to us here or whether," he paused with a grim smile, "you have any plans for taking control of this ship."
Chakotay let his gaze wander over the cargo bay and then brought it back to them. "I don't have any concrete plans for anything yet, but I'm keeping my mind open to possibilities.." The noise of the cargo bay door opening interrupted him and they all turned to watch the entrance of Captain Kathryn Janeway. She stood calmly, backlit by the bright corridor, sweeping her eyes over the scene until she found Captain Chakotay. Their eyes locked and she started walking towards him.
They both refused to be the first to drop their eyes. Chakotay's narrowed as he watched the woman head straight for him, never taking her gaze from his. He felt the hairs on the back of his head rise as his body instinctively reacted to the unknown challenge approaching. There was no doubt in his mind that the captain of this ship could be a formidable adversary; the decision she had made on the bridge earlier had been one of the gutsiest he'd ever witnessed.
"Go," he said quietly. They faded away.
"Captain Janeway. How nice of you to drop in."
"My pleasure. Would you consider walking with me, Captain?" She half turned away from him and her head cocked towards the cargo bay's door. He continued to stare at her, then abruptly nodded and took a step towards the door. She fell in step beside him and they marched out. The door slid shut behind them.
Ayala slid up beside Torres. "And so it begins."
She stared at him. "What do you mean?"
"Be, wasn't it obvious to you earlier that this ship is 70 years from home and almost dead in the water? That self-righteous Starfleet bitch stranded us here and now it suddenly dawns on her that she doesn't have a hope in hell of getting home without a full crew. She's here to negotiate with Chakotay for our allegiance and co-operation in helping her get home."
B'Elanna looked stunned. "Chakotay would never do that!"
"Why not? We're stranded too, you know. She's Starfleet and it's her ship, thanks to the captain sacrificing his - our ship to save the lives of innocent people."
"I still won't believe Chakotay would hand us over to her just like that. Don't forget he's got the advantage, he's been both Starfleet and Maquis and she's only got the Fleet mentality. Don't sell him short, Ayala."
He shook his head slowly. "The day I sell the captain short is the day after never, Be, and you know it. I just don't like the way things are stacking up around here, that's all." He looked at her and smiled a hard smile. "I just thank the stars that your emergency plan went perfectly and that all the items arrived in good shape."
"Yeah.." She said quietly. "I guess I'd better talk to Suder about the next step in case Chakotay needs a fast answer. Keep looking around this cargo bay, Ayala, I'm sure we could spread throughout the ship from here without detection. These Fleeters all came aboard starry eyed about being on a maiden voyage and they're shell-shocked right now. He might want to strike fast."
"Right." And they parted as the rest of the Maquis quietly worked together as if this was the game they'd been training for all these years.
On to Part Two
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