One shuttle crash, two kisses and some alien spores

by Jinny W
December 2000

Disclaimer: Paramount owns them, we just let them have some fun.

This is an answer to Jade, Anne & Coral's recent #jetc challenge, which is pretty much summed up in the title. I took this literally, but not quite in the direction you might expect.

Thanks to Yael for beta reading, even when I'm making her English class think she's gone completely mad. This one's for Cam - for her lovely and concise messages of encouragement. Cheers ;)


Kathryn Janeway's patented death glare sizzled in the direction of the Ops console. Harry couldn't help but shrink back under its intensity, even though he knew it wasn't meant for him personally. Calling on all of his battle experience from the past seven years, he steeled his shoulders and steadied his voice.

"Yes Captain", he managed. "That's what the Commander said."

He then busied himself pretending to recheck his sensor scans. Kathryn opened her mouth to say something further but a hail from engineering cut short her invective.

"Captain", a carefully controlled Klingon voice began. "Please tell me that I heard that last message incorrectly."

Kathryn stopped grinding her teeth for long enough to respond. "No, B'Elanna, I'm afraid you didn't."

"Another shuttle", B'Elanna said calmly.

"Another shuttle", Kathryn echoed, admiring the younger woman's obvious restraint. For a moment it seemed that the ship held its breath. Kathryn stood with her hands on her hips. Harry looked frozen at Ops. Tom appeared to be wincing in anticipation. Even Tuvok's placidity seemed a little off center.

"Right". With that one word the comm system cut out, but not before all who were present on the bridge had the pleasure of hearing the beginning of an extremely creative string of curses.

"I believe Lieutenant Torres is displeased, " Tuvok observed mildly from behind the tactical console.

Kathryn turned slowly in his direction.

"Really, Tuvok?" she said, her voice oozing with sarcasm. "I didn't notice".

The security chief actually appeared to be considering a reply when Harry kindly rescued him.

"Captain, we should be at the planet in approximately twenty five minutes".

"Fine", she snapped. "How badly are they damaged?"

Harry scanned the report on his terminal.

"Main engines are down. Warp and impulse drives are off line. Weapons and shields are completely gone. One of the nacelles is crushed. Communications are okay though", he recited.

"Life support", he hesitated, running his finger down the inventory, "that was damaged too. They could breathe the air from outside the shuttle, but the surface temperatures are well below zero. They'll freeze if they can't get the life support back on."

Kathryn's jaw muscle clenched and unclenched but she remained silent. Harry glanced over at tactical. Tuvok raised an eyebrow then busied himself brushing imaginary dust off his console. Harry swallowed and braced himself again.

"Captain", he began, "Shall I have the Delta Flyer prepared for launch when we arrive?"

Kathryn muttered something under her breath. Harry thought it sounded like, "The doctor wouldn't freeze", but wasn't sure.

"Captain?" he asked.

"I'll be in my ready room", she said. "Writing another lost property report."

Harry stared in confusion at her disappearing back.

"I think that's a yes, Harry," Tom said with a grin. It wasn't his shuttle, after all.


One cup of extremely strong coffee later and Kathryn was beginning to calm down. It was just a piece of machinery after all. The doctor wasn't damaged. Chakotay wasn't damaged. Yet - she amended mentally. He still had to face B'Elanna's wrath when he came back on board.

What was it about Chakotay and shuttles? He had been a competent pilot before joining Voyager's crew, at least according to his Starfleet record (she made a mental note to check its accuracy when they returned to Federation space). He had managed to keep the Liberty together with nothing more than spit and grease for god knows how many years. Of course, she thought, he had B'Elanna peering over his shoulder in those days too.

"Captain", Tuvok's hail from the bridge broke into her thoughts. "We're receiving a message from the planet. Audio only. It's the doctor."

"What does he want?"

"He's requesting to speak with you."

She grimaced, then relented. It wasn't the doctor's fault they had crashed. Well, she assumed it wasn't. Surely Chakotay wouldn't have let him fly the shuttle? He wasn't that stupid, was he? She pushed the irrational thought away quickly before it worsened her mood.

"All right. Put him through to my terminal".

"Captain?" The doctor sounded extremely anxious.

She frowned involuntarily and hunched closer to her terminal. Perhaps Chakotay was hurt after all. And here she had been, thinking uncharitable thoughts about him.

"Yes doctor, go ahead", she replied.

"I have a problem. That is, we have a problem. But I think I have the bigger problem. Depending on how you look at it I suppose -"

"Doctor," she cut in, "You're babbling. Tell me what's going on. Is Chakotay hurt?"

The doctor hesitated for a moment before responding. "No. Not hurt, not exactly. I wouldn't use that word."

"Then which word would you use?"

"The shuttle's hull ruptured when we landed, Captain. The Commander was able to repair the hole, but not before some of the air from outside exchanged with the air from our shuttle. I tried to get the purification system up and running, but by then it was too late."

"Doctor", she said, holding up her hand instinctively even though he couldn't see her. "Calm down. Our scans show that the atmosphere outside your shuttle is breathable. Cold, but not poisonous."

"I know that Captain", the doctor replied, sounding slightly nettled. "I am a doctor after all."

"Then what's your problem?" she asked, trying to keep her voice calm. How could one hologram be so infuriating? she thought.

"The atmosphere itself isn't dangerous. But my tricorder shows that there are airborne spores scattered throughout it. We sucked some of them into the shuttle, and I'm afraid Chakotay has breathed them in. They're playing havoc with his nervous system."

"Can you treat him?"

"It doesn't seem to be fatal, Captain. Which is a good thing, because none of my hyposprays, including the anaesthetics or depressants, are having any effect on his system at all. I've determined that the spores are from a plant that produces a kind of sap in its growing season. It's quite an interesting biological phenomena actually. You see-"

"Doctor", she warned, "are you anywhere near the point right now?"

"Yes Captain", he said hastily. "The plant sap has a chemical structure similar to many types of naturally occurring hallucinogenic drugs. The effects are also carried by the spores themselves, although probably in a milder form. Which is a good thing, judging by the Commander's current behaviour."

Kathryn rubbed her forehead tiredly as she took this information in. In the background she could hear a strange tussling sound and the noise of something being knocked over. She tried to ignore it and concentrate on the doctor's explanation.

"So what you're saying is, Chakotay is ill but not fatally ill. He's hallucinating, and that's all?"

"Not exactly hallucinating, Captain."

The crash came again, louder this time.

"Doctor, what is going on down there?"

"It's a little difficult to explain Captain. I'm not quite sure how to put this."

Kathryn sighed. "Give it to me straight doctor".

"Very well."

She heard some more struggling, then the doctor's voice.

"He keeps trying to kiss me."

"What?" Kathryn blinked, unsure she had heard that last sentence properly.

"I said he's trying to kiss me," the doctor repeated, sounding more than a little embarrassed.

"I see", she said, struggling to fit that picture in to her mind.

"The spores aren't just having a hallucinogenic effect, Captain, they're acting as an aphrodisiac." More crashing followed. "An extremely strong one," he added.

"And now Chakotay's chasing after you, trying -"

"Trying to kiss me, yes Captain. I know it sounds ridiculous. Trust me, I wouldn't make something like this up. It appears that I'm just the lucky man who happened to be around," he finished wryly.

"I guess you are". Kathryn was glad the doctor's message was transmitting as audio only, so she didn't have to restrain her grin. Then again, part of her would really like to see Chakotay's behaviour right now. Chakotay suffering the effects of a powerful aphrodisiac. That could be interesting. Her mind started wandering involuntarily.

"I don't know how much longer I can-" the doctor began, then broke off.

"Doctor?" she asked.

"Eeeeeeuuuuuuughhhh!" came the reply.

Kathryn raised her eyebrows. She would really like that visual link right about now. A gasp and a thud echoed over the comm line, then silence.

"Doctor?" she said tentatively.

"I'm here", he responded eventually. "He grabbed me from behind and managed to plant a kiss on my cheek."

"I see", she said. This away team report would certainly make interesting reading.

"It's alright", the doctor went on, "I finally managed to knock him out with a Vulcan nerve pinch. But I don't know how long he'll stay like that. Will you be here soon?" he finished plaintively.

Kathryn fought back an irresponsible desire to claim that Voyager was suffering engine problems.

"We'll be there in under ten minutes doctor", she admitted.


"I'm sending down Tom and Tuvok in the Delta Flyer," she added.

"Alright. Doctor out - no wait", he added quickly.


The doctor hesitated then said, "Make sure you tell them to put their suits on before they open the hatch. I don't think I could stand any more affection right now."

Kathryn's grin couldn't have got any wider then.

"Alright doctor, I'll pass the message on."

"But just tell them it's a medical hazard. Please?" he added.

Kathryn considered that for a moment. For a hologram the doctor was an extremely sensitive person. "Alright Doctor," she said, "but you owe me."


As Kathryn stepped into sickbay, Chakotay sat up on the bio-bed and swung his legs over the edge. She nodded to the doctor, who was eyeing Chakotay warily from the safety of his office.

"The doctor tells me the hallucinogen is all gone from your system now", she said by way of greeting.

He nodded. "Uh-huh. Don't worry, he kept me restrained in the meantime."

She smiled wryly at that and moved to sit on the bed beside him. "So, how are you feeling?"

Chakotay rubbed his nose with his palm, shrugged and smiled at her sheepishly.

"Embarrassed, actually. Apart from that, I feel fine."

"The doctor said the effect of the spores was strictly short term. And they have no harmful side effects. Apart from a little humiliation," she amended.

"Good. I dread to think what I would have got up to on the ship in that state."

Kathryn raised her eyebrows. "An interesting question."

Chakotay seemed to flush a little at that, although it was hard to tell through his dark complexion. He opened his mouth to speak, then closed it again.

She nudged his arm. "Something on your mind?"

"Well, I was wondering... how many people know?"

"That you kissed the doctor?" she grinned at him broadly. "Only half the ship."


She chuckled at the startled look on his face. "I'm joking, Chakotay. No one knows. Just me and the doctor. And your spirit guide", she added as an afterthought.

He sighed. "You're an evil woman, Kathryn."

"I could have made it much worse. One word to Tom Paris..."

"Thankyou", he said. "I owe you one. So does the doc, come to think of it."

"That's alright. He's already paid up." He looked at her speculatively. "Actually," she went on, "I found myself quite curious about the whole experience."

"Kissing the doctor? He's in there if you want to try it," he said, gesturing to the doctor's office.

"No." She slapped him on the thigh and grinned. "I mean you. Being so out of control."

"Oh". He shrugged. "It wasn't pretty."

Kathryn was about to say something more, then merely patted him on the arm instead. She slid off the bed and strolled to the door, stopping on the way to pick up a small sample container that rested on a nearby console.

"Kathryn?" he called out.


"If the doctor doesn't owe you a favour anymore, what did he do for you?"

She flashed him a smile. "Curiosity killed the cat."

"Oh, come on. Please?"

Kathryn held up the sample jar and shook it. "Let's just say he brought me a little... souvenir from the away mission."

Chakotay could feel his face flushing again. "You didn't", he said. "You wouldn't. The spores? Kathryn?" He was definitely turning an interesting shade of red now. "You are joking, aren't you?"

In the doorway Kathryn turned to face him.

"Don't forget Chakotay", she said with a playful smile. "You still owe me. And I", she went on, jiggling the container, "always collect."

The doctor, who had been hovering in the doorway trying to look as though he was ignoring this little exchange, hurried out after her into the corridor.

"Captain," he called out, as she strode off ahead of him.

"Yes doctor", she said, stepping into a turbolift and holding the door open with one arm.

"I was just wondering", he said, "how long it will be until you tell the Commander."

"Tell him what?" she asked innocently.

The doctor looked perplexed. "That it's an empty container."

Kathryn shook her finger at him. "Captain's prerogative," she said with mock seriousness. An impish thought crossed her mind then. She leaned forward quickly before the doctor could react and planted a kiss squarely on his lips. She chuckled at his bewildered expression.

"We can't all have your natural charm, doctor. Some of us need a little help", she explained, then let the doors close between them.

The doctor rolled his eyes and muttered to no one in particular, "If any other member of the crew would like to kiss me today, I'll be in sickbay".

He looked up and down the empty corridor, then hurried back towards his office before anyone could make good on the offer.

The end

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