Sitting in her ready room, Kathryn looked out of the large windows and watched as the stars passed by. It had been almost two weeks since they last encountered any life form and to be quite honest, she was getting rather bored. She had managed to read five books, went over the ship's functions twice, played her favourite holonovel through three times, tried a new holonovel that she wasn’t sure of, and she even got down and dirty and helped B’Elanna clean out the injectors.
Her relationship with Tom had been going well, they had spent every night together and being with him made her feel loved. It made her smile and being in his presence filled her with joy. They had moved into joint quarters a few months back and it was one of the best decisions she had made.
Recently, well, at least to her, she had noticed quite a few members of the crew getting together and now knowing what it felt like to have somebody there for you like that, she really didn’t mind unless it started to affect the way performed during their shifts. Picking up her lukewarm coffee, she took a sip and made a face as the liquid went down her throat.
Feeling a sudden shudder, Kathryn immediately got up and had to stabilise herself as the ship jerked and came to a sudden stop. Her coffee went flying but she ignored it as she marched out onto the bridge.
“Report,” she said, crossing the bridge as she noticed what appeared to be a massive storm on the viewscreen.
“We appear to be caught in an ion storm, Captain, level seven,” Tuvok replied, going over the readings in front of him.
“Is there any way out or are we riding it out?” Kathryn asked, sitting down in her chair.
“I can try to reverse us out of it but it may just make it worse,” Tom replied, his hands gliding over the controls in front of him.
“How long do we estimate it will take the storm to pass?” Gripping onto the armrest of her seat, she held on tight as the ship shook again.
“By my calculations, it should pass us in thirty two minutes. If we choose to reverse out the storm, we have an eighty percent success rate and it shouldn’t take us more than six minutes,” Tuvok replied, holding onto his station as another wave hit them.
“What do you think the best course of action is, Commander?” Janeway asked, turning to Chakotay.
“I think we should try and reverse out, if we stay and ride it out it may damage the ship more than we think. We don’t really have the parts or energy required to replicate new parts if something goes wrong,” Chakotay replied, going over the readings of the storm.
“I agree. Mister Paris, reverse us out as best you can.”
“Aye, aye, Captain,” Tom replied, putting the ship into reverse.
Watching the viewscreen in front of her, Kathryn could see them starting to reverse. The ship shook slightly as they made their way out, slowly pulling away from the cloud. Feeling a harder shake, she gripped onto her chair and waited for it to be over. The storm appeared to be getting worse the longer she looked at it, getting faster as they tried to reverse out of it.
Flying out of her chair as the ship violently jerked, Kathryn felt her head connect with something hard. Hearing the sound of consoles sparking, she heard a faint cry of pain as she attempted to get up. Her head was pounding and there was a strong ringing in her ears. Pulling herself up onto her chair, she saw Tom lying on the floor with burns on his hands and face.
Watching as he was transported to sickbay in front of her, she took a deep breath in and tried to clear her head. “Report!”
“We hit a rough spot, Captain. We are still reversing out and should be clear of the storm in two minutes,” Harry replied, trying his best to keep everyone informed as consoles sparked around him.
“Keep us steady, Commander,” Kathryn said, noticing that Chakotay was now sitting at the helm.
“Will do, Captain.”
Touching the side of her head that impacted the ground, Kathryn felt something warm and wet. Moving her fingers away, she looked at them and saw blood covering them. Wiping it off onto her uniform, she closed her eyes for a moment as her head spun.
“I think you should go to sickbay, Captain,” Tuvok said, giving her the Vulcan equivalent of a raised eyebrow.
“I’ll be alright, it’s only a graze,” she replied, not really wanting to leave the bridge.
“You’re bleeding from your head, Captain, I’m sure Commander Chakotay can handle things up here,” Tuvok responded, not letting it slide.
“Alright, I’ll go to sickbay. Keep me updated on the smallest thing that happens. Commander Chakotay, you have the bridge.”
Getting up from her chair, Kathryn touched her head again as she got into the turbolift and headed to deck five. The pain was starting to ease a little but the ringing in her ears hadn’t changed. Entering sickbay, she watched as the Doctor treated multiple patients at once.
“Take a seat Captain and I’ll be with you soon,” he said, noticing her come in.
Seeing Tom lying down on a biobed, she went over to him and gently touched his arm. He was unconscious and the burns on his face had been healed but his hands still looked painful. Hearing the doors hiss open, Kathryn watched as three people left, their injuries having been healed.
It only took a few moments before the Doctor walked over to her and started to scan her. Hearing him mutter something to himself, she soon felt the warmth of the dermal regenerator healing her head wound.
“I’m going to give you some pain killers to help with the headache you have,” the Doctor told her, injecting it into her system.
“Thank you, Doctor. How is Tom doing?” She asked, her hand still on his arm.
“He’s going to be fine. I’ve healed the burns to his face and I’m now going to treat his hands. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes but I would like to keep him here for an hour or so just to make sure nothing else creeps up,” the Doctor replied, getting to work on Tom’s hands.
“How many injured did we end up with?” Kathryn asked, still not wanting to leave Tom’s side.
“We had twenty two injuries including yourself and Mister Paris. I would say that you two probably got it the worst. Everyone else has mainly been for small burns or cuts that were easily treatable,” the Doctor replied, still running the dermal regenerator over Tom. “I suggest that after you check on the bridge, you go to your quarters and rest for a few hours. Once I’m done with Mister Paris, I’ll send him along to join you for the rest of the day. I want you to rest for six hours and I want Mister Paris to rest for at least twelve hours. Doctor’s orders if I must.”
“I promise that once I make sure that everything is okay and we are out of danger I’ll get some rest.” Offering the Doctor a small smile, she gave Tom’s arm a squeeze and headed out of sickbay and back onto the bridge.
Walking onto the bridge, Kathryn stopped for a moment as the ringing in her ears got a little louder. “Report.”
“We are out of the ion storm, Captain. We have twenty two listed casualties, a few blown relays, and some minor hull damage. We are a few light years away from the storm now, heading back to our original course on the other side of the storm,” Chakotay replied, looking up as Kathryn went over to Harry’s station and started looking at the screens.
Looking over the screens and making sure that everything was in working order for herself, she made sure the crew were okay and Commander Chakotay had everything handled before she excused herself and headed back to her quarters, getting in the rest the Doctor ordered.
Tom had been lying down in sickbay for the last hour, following the Doctor’s orders as he wanted to leave as soon as he could. Hearing the man humming to himself in his office, Tom tried flexing his fingers and he could still feel a small tingling sensation but he knew that would go soon.
“Mister Paris, good news, since you appear fine you can head to your quarters and rest for the next twelve hours and that’s an order. Also, make sure that Captain Janeway rests too, she never likes to follow medical advice,” the Doctor said as he quickly ran a medical tricorder over Tom one last time.
“Awesome, I’ll head there right now,” Tom replied, jumping off the biobed and leaving sickbay as quickly as he could before the man changed his mind.
Heading down the corridor and to his quarters, he opened the door and entered. Finding Kathryn curled up on the couch in her pyjamas, he smiled at her and went over to her, bending down to give her a soft kiss on the lips.
“How are you feeling?” Kathryn asked, giving Tom a once over.
“I feel good, a little tired though. How are you?” Tom replied.
“I’m okay, the ringing in my ears stopped about twenty minutes ago but I do have a slight headache. I also realised that since having a shower and taking some time to rest, I don’t think I’ve slept in the past twenty eight hours,” Kathryn replied, trying to stifle a yawn.
“Go to bed, Katie, I’ll be in once I have a quick shower, I love you.”
Getting everything he needed prepared, Tom walked into the bathroom and striped out of his uniform and stepped into the sonic shower. Feeling the grime of the day disappear, he got out and slipped into a pair of pyjamas.
Walking into the bedroom, he smiled when he saw Kathryn lying there, waiting for him to be done. Sliding into bed next to her, he settled down and got comfortable and pulled her close as she relaxed against his chest.
Placing a gentle kiss on her temple, he turned off the lights and gently caressed her arm until he felt himself drifting off into a deep sleep with the woman he loved in his arms.