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Superficial Wounds

Okay, I guess Chakotay's wounds were superficial
Ruth — 13 Sep 1998, 5:21 PM

I now have him awake and fully functional. Time: the morning after Tom had brought the news about Sevenita.

"KATHRYN! B'ELANNA! ANYONE! Where the hell are my boots!"

Kathryn, who'd been in the process of buttoning her blouse, looked at herself in the mirror and smiled, "well, I guess the patient is awake." Not taking the time to pull her hair back, she hurried down the hall to the room where she'd left Chakotay just a few hours before after he'd finally fallen into a deep sleep. The door was open and she stepped in, ready to chastise him, but was taken aback by the sight that greeted her.

Her foreman was standing there wearing nothing but a pair of blue jeans and a day old beard.

And they both looked good on him.

She also remembered that she'd touched every square inch of that chest the night before. With a wash cloth, true, but occasionally her fingers had caressed ....

"Where are the rest of my clothes!," he demanded, startling her out of her reverie.

"Well, as I recall," she replied tartly, "we decided it would be a good idea to wash the blood out of your shirt, and maybe patch up the bullet holes. As for your boots, I've put them away. The Doc said you're to take it easy for a couple of days."

"Take it easy? I can't take it easy. I've got a ranch to run as you well know. You certainly pay me enough to do it."

"You've got things set up so well, this ranch can practically run itself, and *you* know that. Ayala and Dalby are taking care of everything."

"Ayala and Dalby?" he queried. "What about B'Elanna? What about that Lee-Marie that you hired yesterday?"

"Er, yes," she said hesitantly, realizing with some amazement that she had momentarily forgot about yesterday's surprises. "Quite a bit has happened since you were hurt. Why don't I go see if some of Tom's things will fit you, and then I'll fill you in over breakfast."

"And my boots?"

She signed deeply, knowing he would not let her win this battle. "You will take it easy today, won't you, Chakotay? The ranch can do without you for one day. But, I," she hesitated, "all of us at the Delta Q would be very upset if something happened to take you from us permanently."

"I'm not going anywhere, Kathryn," he said quietly, placing his hands on her shoulders.

Suddenly, at the same instant, they realized that they were alone in a bedroom, and that one of them was shockingly underdressed. They stared into each other's eyes for a moment.

"Kathryn," he murmured, as if asking a question. He tilted his head closer to hers. Suddenly she straightened and gently pulled back.

"Right," she said brightly. "Now that we have that straight, let me go to Tom's room and see what I can do about finding you something to wear."

The next morning, part 2
Ruth — 13 Sep 1998, 5:28 PM

She turned briskly, and walked out the door. Chakotay gingerly sat down on the bed. He would never admit it to a soul, especially Kathryn, but he was feeling a little shaky. But he wasn't worried; he'd had worse wounds.

And no wound was stronger than the one he carried in his heart when he thought of the beautiful woman who had just left the room. Chakotay had loved Kathryn for years, although he'd tried to keep his feelings hidden. Kathryn was not only his employer - she was Kathryn Janeway, owner of the Delta Q. Her ancestors had been judges and senators, not itinerant drifters like Chakotay Torres' had been.

Still, there were times when he wanted to grab her and kiss her, and tell her that while she may have known better men than he, she'd never know one who loved her as he did. But he didn't do that because of Mark Janeway. For the short time he had known Mark, he had liked and respected him.

And it had made him as guilty as hell, because even before the other man's death Chakotay had known he was in love with that man's wife.

Kathryn came back in carrying a pale blue shirt and a few other items that she placed on the bed. Chakotay rose. She'd also pulled her hair back into its customary pony tail. He'd liked it better down.

When she said, self-consciously, "well it's hardly practical to wear it that way around a ranch," Chakotay realized that he had spoken the words out loud. What was wrong with him today?

He smiled weakly, and said, "no, I don't guess it would be practical, would it?" He leaned over and quickly kissed her on the forehead, then said, "now go, and let me get dressed, and then you can tell me what's going on over a cup of that coffee of yours."

Sorry Terry if its too mushy. I couldn't figure out how to work in a shootout. I'll try my best to kill someone, or at least seriously hurt their feelings, in my next contribution.