RATING: G to PG max.
MY THANKS TO: Chris and Beth, both invaluable friends and beta readers… Beth for those grammatical checks… Chris for working with me and dealing with my constantly coming into her office saying, “I’ve got an idea…”
(Immediately after the opening scene in which some of the senior crew have to watch a tedious slide presentation by the doctor. After they finally are able to leave a discussion takes place as to a diversion tactic to get them out that did not take place.)
"Commander, my Ready Room. Now!" The turbolift doors had hardly opened before she was striding across the bridge in the direction of her private sanctuary.
Chakotay and Harry exchanged glances. "Good luck, Commander," Harry muttered as the older man got up out of his chair. "You're gonna need it."
He stood there, in front of her desk while she paced the elevated level of the room. He knew what was coming.
"Commander," she began. "Do I need to remind you of the duties of a First Officer?"
"No ma'am," he said quietly.
"I think I do, you know," she retorted. "A First Officer is supposed to support and anticipate the needs of the Captain. He is expected to obey orders. If I say I want a yellow alert at a certain time I expect you to obey that command. Do you understand?"
"I think so."
"So what is your excuse? Why did you fail to carry out a direct order?"
What could he say? It was not as though he had forgotten. Harry had reminded him, twice. "I thought it in the best interests of the Captain," he began cautiously, "to partake in all experiences open to her."
She leaned on the railing separating the two sections of her office. "In other words, Commander, are you trying to tell me that turnabout's fair play?" Her eyes gleamed.
"Something like that." He moved away from her desk, closer to the same railing, and leaned in close. "I thought that perhaps you should have the same joy that the rest of the crew and I did. Did you enjoy the doctor's slide presentation?"
"Immensely," she shot back. "After that first half hour I spent most of my time plotting ways to kill my First Officer."
"Did you come up with anything, Captain?" He began to smile.
"I might have, you'll just have to wait and find out." She stood back a little. "You know you disappointed a lot of people today, Tom, B'Elanna, even Tuvok."
"Shouldn't have told them of your command, then, should you?"
"Perhaps I should never have trusted you, then, should I?" she retaliated.
He gulped. "You should know you can trust me. I apologise."
She laughed. "Are you actually scared of me, Chakotay?"
He relaxed and laughed with her. "Of you? Never. Of them? Perhaps."
"You know I could make you sit through it again as punishment."
"Oh, wouldn't I? All I have to do is tell the doctor that you enjoyed his presentation and that you were wondering if you could see it again."
"I take it back. You are someone to be scared of."
"It’s that façade I have built over the years."
"Well, Chakotay, I won’t keep you here any longer. I know you have a bridge crew to get back to, including Tom and Tuvok."
He grimaced. "Thanks, I think."
As he walked towards the door she called him back one last time. "Oh and Commander?"
"Be afraid," she warned. "Be very afraid."
After a few minutes she decided to see what was happening on the bridge. She hadn't heard any shouts, yells or anything else to suggest a mutiny against the First Officer was taking place. Stepping through the door she suddenly felt the ship jolt abruptly. Getting to her seat proved to be somewhat of a difficulty, the ship was now shuddering violently as the ship encountered the energy wave.
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