Part 2

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Chakotay strode down the corridor outside the shuttle bay, towards the turbo lift. He wasn't on duty for another four hours. That should get him about an hour of sleep, and just about three hours of worry and anxiety. He considered taking a sleep aid, but dismissed the option. The last time he had taken one of those he had indeed slept, but with dreams of his plans gone wrong and his crew slaughtered. No, he wouldn't be taking on of those again until it was all over. He felt a slight breeze by his wrist, and looked in that direction.

And instantly felt the familiar pressure between his brows. Headaches had baffled doctors of the 20th century, but now the brain's complicated chemistry was fully understood, and headaches subsequently prevented. Chakotay thought he had a case that would stun the Alpha Quadrant's most educated physicians. Not that they would ever hear about it. But it was a remarkable case. The main symptoms: An instant headache and feeling of dread upon seeing her royal highness.

Janeway, that is. She was right beside him, matching his quick pace despite her shorter legs. And she was greeting him in a way that made it apparent she was clueless that he was less than pleased to see her. She always was.

"Commander," she was cheerful.

"Captain," he was ingenuine, but she couldn't tell.

They entered the turbo lift together. Which was absolutely what he wanted: to be in a small space with a woman whose mere presence put him in pain. That and she continued talking. She was pleased with the progress Torres was making on repairing the damaged shuttles. She couldn't believe they'd all been afflicted with the same problem simultaneously. He said he couldn't either, but he knew all it took was Dalby and whatever problem he'd invented for B'Elanna to have to fix.

"I'm glad Torres has become such a benefit to this ship. At the beginning, she seemed so angry. I wouldn't have believed then that now she'd put on a Starfleet uniform and be such a willing asset. She's doing excellent work," Janeway remarked.

Chakotay's headache disappeared, his dread replaced with amusement. This was damn amusing. Of course Torres was doing excellent work-she'd been promised that for toiling in a Starfleet uniform her excellent work would remove the Federation and their uniforms from Voyager permanently.

"Yes, she certainly is," He said. And the smile on his face was not because he was proud of B'Elanna.

The turbo lift came to a halt with a gentle noise.

"This is me. And I'm not late for dinner with Tuvok, I guess I had more time than I thought I did." Janeway left.

As the doors slid shut, Chakotay whispered to Janeway's back, "No, you don't have any more time."

But she was unaware of what was definitely a threat. Utterly unaware.

Maybe he'd sleep after all.

Part 3 | Index page