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As The Dust Settled In Town...

As the dust settled in town...
D'Alaire — 12 Sep 1998, 2:26 PM

..., and silence filled the square, Miss Kathryn straightened, lowering her trusty 12-guage.

They were gone.

"Doc! Doc! Get over here!" B'Elanna cried out as she and Tom tried to make the groaning Chakotay more comfortable. "He's been hurt!"

Doc peeked out, sure that no more of the marauding Kazon were about, before hurrying to the scene and to his patient. He opened his mouth, checked his head, ran his well-practiced hands down both his firm, rippled flanks...

"Uh, Doc," Tom said, "the horse is fine. Chakotay's the one that's hurt."

"Oh, I see." Doc kneeled down beside Chakotay and began to examined the man.

Miss Kathryn approached then, letting her eyes fall over the man who'd honestly tried to do the right thing that day. She watched the Doctor loosen the Forman's belt, open his shirt, unclasp his...Miss Kathryn sighed shortly and whistled for one of her ranch hands. "He'll stay at the ranch with us 'till he's up again," she told them. "Kes can take care of him. -- Where is she, anyway?"

Tom shook his head. I dunno, she wandered off after the fight, but I didn't see who she was with. You want me to go after her?"

"No. You and B'Elanna come back to the ranch too."

B'Elanna shot a stare up to Miss Kathryn. "But Miss Kathryn, we just can't the Nistrum go! We've got to do something!"

Miss Kathryn shook her head patiently. "You've got your horses to look after, Miss B'Elanna, and..."

"B'Elanna's right," Tom jumped in, and gulped a little for the stare his mama gave him. Despite it, he continued, "It'll only be more trouble later if we don't stop them now." He turned and caught B'Elanna's eyes, nodded to her with them. "We'll go back, check on your horses -- then we'll make our plan after supper."

"Sounds good to me," she said, a little smile crawling onto her lips.

"Good," he returned, grinning, then motioned for the helpers Chakotay up in the wagon. Carefully, they picked the ailing man up and got him inside. Doc climbed in after, and looking back, he said, "Mr. Ayala, could you go tell Seventina to bring me my surgical kit and a pack of bandages?...Don't be afraid, she won't hurt you. Go!"

Ayala nodded and left.

Turning back to his mama, Tom offered a little shrug, a tiny, innocent smile. He knew he'd gone over her head, maybe once too often. Glancing to the nimble, pretty horsewoman, then back to his mother, he hoped she'd understand.

Miss Kathryn couldn't help but smile back. That was her boy, all right. She knew well his sights had been on her for longer than he'd even admit. To put it to rest, she returned a quick nod, and saw her boy's eyes begin to glitter as he turned to help B'Elanna.

Mounting her steed again, Miss Kathryn was sure to stay close to the wagon, keeping her eye on the Forman all the while.