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Between the Lines: Good Shephard - by Emily

Between the Lines: Good Shephard
By Emily December 2001

The last scene in Good Shephard. Told from first Chakotays pov and then Kathryns.
Entered in the Purple Comet Contest

Disclaimer: Paramount bla bla bla…..


He sits on a stool beside her bed, watching, counting her breaths, feeling relief course through his body everytime she lets out another breath. Her stomach and chest rise and fall slightly. He knows there is no need to be worried, not anymore. There was a time when he was truly frightened, but not anymore. She’ll be okay, now all he has to do is wait. He finds he enjoys it, and not for the obvious reasons. He has felt distant from her for some time now, events coming one after the other without giving them a chance to stop and relax, to breathe, to spend time with each other. He vows silently to change that.

His hand is holding hers and he looks down at it, comparing their two hands to himself. Hers are smaller and leaner, the skin pale compared to his. He has seen her hands do many things. Seen the fingers dance across a padd or tricorder. Seen her hands grip coffee cups, wine glasses and utensils.

He has also seen them grip the arms of her command chair so that the knuckles grew white. So many times he has wanted to reach over and cover her hand with his, in a silent gesture. Maybe he will someday.

He sits alert suddenly, her breathing has changed. He quickly casts a glance around the room, locating the Doctor, just in case. But that isn’t necessary. Her eyes are fluttering. He leans forward, as if willing them to open fully, to focus on something, to focus on him. Then they are there, unfocused at first, squinting slightly at the bright lights of sickbay. Then she focuses on him and smiles. His heart melts, quickens and braces itself at the same time. What emotions this woman gives him with just a smile!

The smile is gone however and worry crosses her face.
“My crew!” She says and sits up too quickly.
“Easy” He says reaching out to steady her.
“They’re sleeping. No serious injuries, everyone’s alright. But you gave us a good scare for a while. We received your distress call. We found the Flyer drifting above a gas giant. You were all unconscious.”

He marvels at how calm he sounds when all he wants is to fold her in his arms and tell her never to scare him like that again.

She leans against his arms slightly and relaxes a little. He lowers her down onto the bed once more.

She tries to sit up again, slower this time. He sits up straighter, prepared to help her if she needs it. He asks about the mission, not really because he’s interested, he just want to hear her voice. Be soothed and calmed by it. He squeezes her hand gently, she squeezes back. They smile at each other. Then she does something that surprises the hell out of him, she takes his hand in hers and brings it up to her mouth. He feels the sting of her lips on his hand, they are soft on his hand. She sees his surprise and smiles at him. She relaxes back against the headboard and asks him about the events on Voyager while she was away. He answers, happy to be able to be with her.

He wakes up with a start an indeterminable time later. He has been lying with his resting on her stomach, their hands still holding. She moans slightly and shifts position but doesn’t wake up. He caresses her cheek softly. He hears footsteps behind him and turns to see the Doctor.

“Commander” The doctor says in a low voice.
“I must insist on you going back to your quarters to sleep.”
“No buts Commander, you can come back in the morning. I’m releasing her from sickbay then you can take her to her quarters.”
He sighs and nods.
“Alright Doctor. I´ll be back in the morning. Oh Doctor one more thing, could you give me a padd please”?
The Doctor looks curiously at the Command but hands him the padd and then shuts himself off.

He writes a short message on the padd and puts it beside her. Tucking the blanket securely around her he kisses her forehead gently and leaves.


Her first conscious thought is of the blackness, she idly thinks that it definitely wasn’t this dark before. In the shuttle. She experimentally opens her eyes slightly, a blinding light meets her. Is she still in the shuttle? No, those lights are sickbays. She opens her eyes a little more and moves her head a little to the side. A form comes into view. Chakotay. She smiles at him feeling unbelievably happy and relieved to see him, to know he is with her.

But she sees the worry etched on his face.
Don´t worry Chakotay, everything is fine her mind screams but the words won’t leave her mouth. Then she stops. What if things are not alright, she may be out of harms way but…

“My crew!”

Suddenly her mouth is working fine. She realises however that she shouldn’t have sat up. The room starts to spin and she thinks she will fall. She feels his hands reach out and steady her, she leans against them a little.

“They’re sleeping. No serious injuries, everyone’s alright. But you gave us a good scare for a while. We received your distress call. We found the Flyer drifting above a gas giant. You were all unconscious.”

She relaxes down onto the bed casting a glance at each of her crewmembers then returns to him. She tells him a little about what happened. She doesn’t really care to relate the whole strange tale of how the routine mission went so wrong, she and the others will write reports, he’ll read them and learn all the details.

All she really wants to do is be with him, listen to his soft soothing voice. Laugh with him, be with him, love him. She feels his hand squeeze hers gently and she squeezes it back. They smile at each other, a warm loving smile.

She sits up, slowly this time, and leans against the headboard in place. She sighs and takes his hand in hers and brings it up to her mouth, kissing it lightly. Smiling gently at his surprise she leans her head back and gazes at him, asking him what went on during her absence, not really out of curiosity, but because she wants to hear his voice, be soothed by it. And she is as it lulls her into sleep.

She wakes up a long time afterwards, securely tucked under a blanket, a padd lying beside her. It reads;

If I could I would stay with you and sleep beside you but the Doctor will throw me out soon. I will come back in the morning and take you to your quarters. Will you have dinner with me later? I want to spend more time with you.

Yours forever,

She smiles and glances at the chronometer. He’ll be here soon. She can’t wait.


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