Voyager, Stardate 54720.3
Some corridor, 08.15 hours
He knew he should have stayed in bed, when he walked around the corner and crashed, literally into her. Granted, her potent death glare didn’t make him shudder, as it would any given helpless Ensign, but it didn’t help with his headache induced, foul mood either.
“Commander, are you in any kind of hurry?”
One look at her posture, with her hands on her hips and her raised eyebrow, he knew better than to mess with her. Obviously he wasn’t the only one in a ‘special’ mood today. Chakotay suppressed a sigh.
“Actually, yes. Seven hailed me about two minutes ago, requesting my assistance in Astrometrics.” He gave her a quick once over. “Are you okay, Captain?”
As unbelievable as it seemed, her eyebrow raised another few notches. Damn, he couldn’t keep his mouth taped shut and stop worrying just for a single day, could he?
“I’m fine.” He flinched at her harsh reply and her voice softened a bit. “I don’t want to stop you, Commander. I’m sure Seven will deem it highly inefficient, if you waste her time any longer than necessary.”
He rolled his eyes. “Indeed.”
Her mouth turned into a half smile and she patted his shoulder in passing. “If you like, we could meet for lunch in my ready room.”
He nodded but realised she couldn’t see it. “I’ll be there,” he shouted after her disappearing form.
Ready Room, 12.05 hours
When Chakotay entered her ready room five minutes past twelve, Janeway was sitting on her couch, a cup of coffee in one hand, a report in the other. She looked up at him and her eyes widened.
“Don’t … just don’t say a word.”
Her face contorted and he knew it was in an attempt not to laugh out loud. She cleared her throat. “Well, if you’d like to sit down then, I’ll fetch lunch.”
Putting the coffee cup and the PADD on the table, she got up and replicated some vegetable soup. He took the bowls from her, put them on the table, taking his seat opposite of her.
Janeway handed him a spoon. “I’m sorry, Chakotay but you look … ridiculous. What the hell happened to you?”
He shoved a spoonful of soup into his mouth, trying his best to ignore her bemused grin.
“Come on, we both know that you’re going to tell me. Don’t make me order you to spill your beans.”
“It’s not that interesting.” He refused to look up at her.
“I’m sorry to disagree, but you have a black eye and your uniform, which should be red by all means, glistens in all colours known to the rainbow.”
He could hear the smirk in her voice and finally looked up into her grinning face. “You know, half of it is your fault anyway.”
That wiped the grin off her face and she frowned. “My fault? Excuse me, but I’m still under the impression that the last time I saw you was this morning and you looked okay to me then.”
He sighed. “I know and basically it all started with Seven anyway.”
“Yes, Seven. Everything seemed to be in perfect order when I entered Astrometrics but then …”
08.20 hours, Astrometrics
“Good morning, Seven. You require my assistance?”
He strode over to the voluptuous blonde, who was busy studying the readouts of a screen.
“Commander.” She nodded curtly. “I want you to look over some readings I encountered. Commander Tuvok and I agreed to do a level one ship diagnostic today and it seems there is a severe problem with the neurological gel packs.”
She pointed to something on the screen and Chakotay bent down studying the readouts. Seven was right. It seems the gel packs were infected with some… virus? He made a mental note to check this with Tuvok and maybe Voyager’s EMH.
He was about to turn away when his eyes caught up on something. Well, this was really unusual. He straightened up and faced Seven who was typing something into the other console. Still thinking over what he had seen described he walked up to her and touched her forearm.
He never saw the blow coming and it took him some moments to realise that a hard as iron elbow, had just made contact with his left eye. The sudden outburst of pain made him yelp and within seconds his eye started to swell shut. He was used to some mean blows from his boxing program but boy, such a borg implant enhanced body was something different.
Chakotay covered the hurting eye with his left hand while giving Seven a cold, angry stare. To her credit the woman looked almost as shocked as he was. Well, as shocked as a former Borg drone could manage to look, that is.
“Commander, I am …"
He took a step towards her. “Seven, you’d better have a damned good explanation for that or I’ll put you on report right now.”
Seven straightened and for a moment she almost looked petulant. “As I was about to say, Commander Chakotay, I apologize for this ‘incident’. The moment you touched me I felt an intense stab of pain. I just … reacted.”
“Pain? Reacted? I barely touched you. You need some better excuse than that.”
The former drone stiffened further. “I had my monthly check up with the Doctor today and he readjusted my cortical node. I had suffered from unpleasant headaches within the last week and so he did a few recalibrations. I can only assume that he overdid the adjustments. I will go and check with him right now, if you will excuse me. If you still want to put me on report, I will accept it though.”
He shook his head frustrated. “Go. Go now and I will forget about it this time.”
Seven nodded and was gone at once.
Ready Room, 12.15 hours.
“So why didn’t you go and have your black eye treated by the Doctor?” Janeway asked.
He sighed. “I thought about it but decided against it. I’d had enough of Seven for the time being and I wasn’t keen on the Doctor either.I am used to worse from boxing anyway.”
He took another spoonful of his soup.
“What happened then?” she said.
“Well, you know quite well how you look, so don’t tell me that was all.”
He shot her a pained grin. “No, it wasn’t. My next stop was mess hall.”
“Yes, right after I left …”
Mess Hall, 08:25 hours
Voyager’s XO left Astrometrics and decided he could use some breakfast now. A cup of tea and some food might increase his mood, something he could definitely do with right now. He walked slowly. Conscious of his still hurting eye he was happy that he didn’t encounter anyone on his way.
When the door to mess hall opened time seemed to slow down. The same moment he felt his right foot slipping on a wet spot. Neelix came around the kitchen counter, his eyes popping open at the sight of him - a look of pure panic on his face.
While Chakotay still tried to gain equilibrium Neelix started to run toward him, waving madly with his hands. He wanted to call out to the Talaxian but lost his fight with gravity the moment his left foot slipped on some more fluid. He was down on the ground before the chef de la cuisine even had a chance to reach him.
After all it didn’t take too long until he stopped seeing stars and could sit up again. Neelix was kneeling before him and a bunch of other people stood around them staring. Some looking worried, some tried to hide their grins and one was actually rolling his eyes at him. He would speak to this one later, that was for sure
Tentatively and with Neelix’s help he scrambled to his feet and hobbled to the next chair. The Talaxian, wringing his hands, stood before him.
“Explain – now.”, Chakotay demanded.
“It’s … oh my … I’m so …”
He glared up at Neelix. “So you’re sorry? Fine, cut it out. I want to know how this could happen?”
Neelix’s head bobbed up and down nodding. “Of course. Of course. You see, I happened to prepare some punch for Ensign Jenkin’s birthday party tomorrow. He had asked me if I could assist him. As it turned out, it’s some recipe with Dotarian rum which has to be warmed before you can use it. I put it onto the stove and started to prepare breakfast. Well, I forgot about the rum and … I don’t know how it could happen – the kettle exploded and the rum spilled everywhere. I was about to mop it up when you entered.”
Chakotay groaned. This wasn’t his lucky day. Maybe he should go to bed again? Well, first he’d have a cup of tea.
Ready Room, 12.30 hours
“So that’s where the smelly, black stains are from? And it’s the reason you’re limping, right?” Janeway asked. She had finished her soup and sat back in her seat.
“Exactly.” He followed her example and closed his eyes. Closing his eyes he…
“Ok, that was some time this morning. As I can see you never made it to your quarters though and it still doesn’t explain your hair, or better said the missing part of it.”
“I knew you would want to know about this.”
He opened his eyes. “You know, I was barely out of mess hall and on the way to my quarters when …”
Engineering, 09.10 hours
“B’Elanna, what’s up and better make it quick because I want to take a shower.”
Voyager’s chief Engineer’s mouth fell open at the sight of her best friend but she was wise enough not to speak up. He stopped in front of her and just looked at her quietly until she finally closed her mouth
“Yeah, I need your help.” She turned around and pointed to a console. “We have a problem with the gel packs and other systems are infected as well now. I conferred with the Doctor and he thought that if we put antibiotics into the system we might be able to save most systems.”
“Antibiotics? Did you say antibiotics? And you need my help for what exactly?”
B’Elanna turned to him. “To have your okay for this procedure and because you could actually help me with implementing the antibiotics. We have to work around some other systems, especially communications which will be tricky. You did some communication system diagnostics with Tuvok last month, didn’t you?”
He grimaced twisting his right earlobe between his thumb and index finger like he often used to do. “Thanks for the reminder. I have learned more about communications than I ever wanted to. Well, let’s see …”
They worked in silence for over two hours until they were almost finished.
B’Elanna straightened, giving him a grim grin. “Now we’ll see. Antibiotics will be installed in three, two, one.”
For some glorious moments it looked as if everything worked out fine. They followed the way the antibiotics worked their way through communications. In order to get a better look the Command officer bent down
Afterwards he couldn’t recall whether he had actually heard a sizzle or not. All he really remembered was a flash of white light and the harsh sound of a console exploding. He had been thrown backwards, landing on his still sore behind.
Chakotay closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Laying still for a moment and moving his arms and legs he decided that nothing was actually broken. He opened his eyes and got up, looking up and down himself. No blood – good. He turned to B’Elanna, who actually looked quite pale for a half Klingon, and he wondered what had her looking up at him ‘that’ concerned.
“I’m okay. But that console …”
“You’re not,” B’Elanna blurted out.
“What are you talking about?” He gave himself another once over. “Nothing’s broken or bleeding.”
B’Elanna winced but smiled at him half-heartedly “That’s good. Really good, but it’s your hair, or better said what’s missing of it.”
He felt his mouth fall open. “Missing?”
Ready Room, 12.39 hours
Janeway couldn’t suppress a chuckle escaping her mouth. “It doesn’t look all that bad, Chakotay. Really.”
He snorted. “There’s no need to mock me, Captain. I just can’t see the fact that a whole strand of my hair was shaved away by a beam of light as very striking.” He grimaced. “Maybe I should be happy that there is still almost two thirds of my hair left.”
Janeway bit her lower lip. “You know, one thing is certain. Right now you sport the most unique look on the entire ship.” She laughed out loud. “There is one thing I don’t get. Why didn’t you go to see the Doctor then? He would’ve patched you up in no time at all.” She looked at him sharply. “He could’ve helped you with your tearing eyes as well. Really, it looks like you’re about to burst out into tears any moment.”
“Ah, the Doctor. I wondered when you would bring him up again. I actually went to see him when I left Engineering. I was …”
Sickbay, 11.43 hours
… entering sickbay, still limping. To Chakotay’s great relief he seemed to be the only patient.
Voyager’s EMH turned at the sound of the doors opening, placing a holo-imager onto his desk
“Commander.” He stopped dead in his tracks. “My god, you look dreadful,” he remarked with his usual tact. “I wasn’t aware that Voyager was under an alien attack and right now I can’t think of another explanation for how you look.”
He motioned to the injured officer to sit down on one of the bio-beds who was more than happy to oblige.
“I had a rough morning. Not the least thanks to Seven and her cortical node.” He glared at the Doctor, however, Voyager’s EMH didn’t as much as bat an eyelid at his remark.
“Yes, I heard about this from Seven. As you should know she was in here earlier. I re-adjusted her cortical node so there shouldn’t be any repeat performances in the future. Truth be told I wondered when or if you would show up, but it seems you encountered some more problems in the meantime, didn’t you?” He grasped for a bio-scanner, started to walk over to him and … stopped.
“Commander, before we start you could do me a favour, if you wouldn’t mind. I …”
“I do mind and if we could proceed here now…”
The Doctor eyed him, a speculative look on his face. “You remember our last poker round in Cargo bay one.”
Oh no, he wouldn’t bring this up now, would he?Chakotay barely managed to stifle a groan
“You lost the last round against me and couldn’t pay me off. If I remember correctly you already had transferred a considerable part of your replicator rations earlier that week. To the Captain if I think. You know that you said you’d owe me a favour, don’t you?”
“Yes, I do. But can’t this wait?”
“No, because as soon as I patch you up you’ll run out here claiming some urgent business.”
This time Chakotay groaned out loud. “Ok, Doctor. What is it you’d want and better make it fast.”
The EMH beamed and walked over to his desk, picking up the holo-imager. Chakotay’s eyes widened in horror. “You can’t be serious.”
“But I am. All of last month I worked on a new kind of holo-imager; one with a far better resolution than before. You should be honoured that I decided to devote my first try to you.”
“Honoured? The way I look now?”
The EMH lifted the holo-imager. “Say cheese.”
Well, Chakotay, mused. There were actually worse things than having his eyes blinded by a faulty holo-imager
It hadn’t even hurt that much. And shouldn’t he be proud that he managed to stifle his urges to delete the Doctor’s holo-matriy. All in all, it was even funny to see this usually way too arrogant bastard all pale and squirming.
“Wait, Commander. You should take that hypo-spray. Otherwise your eyes will tear for hours. And what about your hair and this black eye. You should really …”
Sickbay’s doors closed behind Chakotay, finally blocking out this tedious moron.
Ready Room, 12.48 hours
“And this all happened in just a few hours? “Janeway grinned. “Why do I have this feeling that this isn’t your lucky day?”
“Funny, once or twice I thought the same.”
“Would you like some tea before I officially dismiss you for the remainder of shift?” When he nodded she got up and recycled the bowls, before she ordered hot drinks for both of them. Handing him the tea and cradling her steaming cup of coffee she led them to the couch.
“So why didn’t you cancel lunch and go for a nice shower?”
“Actually this is what I wanted to do. As I didn’t know if you were on the bridge though, and because I didn’t care for everyone to hear what happened during my morning hours I asked the computer to locate you.”
Holodeck, 11.52 hours
“Captain Janeway is currently on holodeck two,” Chakotay was informed by the impersonal, automatic voice of the ship’s computer.
Well, at least for once he was lucky today. Holodeck two was just around the corner. He would quickly inform Kathryn that he couldn’t join her for lunch and then it was time to get to his quarters. Hopefully she wouldn’t ask too many questions. It was most probably just wishful thinking but a guy could dream, couldn’t he?
When he entered the holodeck he wasn’t surprised to find that Kathryn had the Leonardo program running. It had always been among her favourites. Like Fair Haven, come to think of it, but he definitely didn’t want to go there now.
“Katarina?” he called out. There was no need to confuse Leonardo with calling her ‘Captain”.
He would learn two things soon. First of all, Kathryn Janeway was no longer on the holodeck and second, Leonardo was in a foul mood. He was just about to call out a second time when the master himself came down the stairs.
The old man’s eyes were glaring and his arms rotated wildly. He had a colour palette in his one hand, a brush in the other. He was running towards Chakotay, who wished to step back at the angry look that was thrown into his direction.
“Have you seen Katarina?” he asked tentatively.
“Katarina? No. If only she was here. She knows what my work is worth.”
“Yes, she does. As do I,” Chakotay said, about to turn around. He had the feeling it was best to disappear as fast as his feet carried him.
“You do. Are you sure? No one really does. Che bischeri! Ancora non so perchè spreco il mio genio con loro..."
Leonardo threw his colour palette right in front of Chakotay’s feet and sprays of colours started to fly everywhere, leaving green, blue, yellow and so much more coloured stains on his uniforms.
For some moments Chakotay could just stare but then he began to laugh, as did Leonardo after watching him some moments. They both sank to the ground and it was awhile until Chakotay remembered his lunch date, scrambled to his feet and started to run.
Ready Room, 12.55 hours
Janeway had the decency to shift uncomfortably on the couch. “I’m sorry about this, Chakotay. Tuvok contacted me and because of our lunch appointment I wanted to see him beforehand. I must have forgotten to end the program.”
Chakotay waved it aside. “Forget it. It wasn’t the worst thing to happen today.”
“Can I make it up to you somehow?” He could swear she almost purred.
“Actually yes. I think you could treat me to a nice dinner. On your rations this time.”
Hah, he knew that would get to her, as she looked positively dismayed now. However, Kathryn Janeway was no one to ever back down. “You’ve got yourself a deal. Tonight at eight p.m., my quarters.”
“Sounds wonderful.” He got up and was about to wave goodbye when his eyes saw a spoon that was lying on the couch. Obviously the Captain had some ice cream earlier and forgot to recycle it.
He could have told her, or just forgotten about it but the gentleman in him won out. He walked back to the couch, under Janeway’s curious glance and bent down.
The sound of his trousers bursting open at the seams startled them both