Rated PG 13
Summary: Written for the Vamb ‘Time on My Hands’ challenge proposed by Lauawill. This is a flash fic – written in about an hour and unbetaed. This was great fun. Kudos to Laura for the great prompt and ace idea. 🙂
Disclaimer: CBS/Paramount owns everything. No infringement intended.
I’ve never had so much time on my hands – and so little inclination to do anything with it.
R&R – Rest and Recuperation. Phhht! It certainly puts an entirely different slant on the concept of boredom. My God, I’m going out of my mind with the mere thought of it.
Of course, I only have myself to blame. How many times when we were running around like madmen without a nano-second to scratch ourselves did I wish for more time? Time to spare, time to ruminate, time to ponder; time to actually weigh up the pros and cons of a situation before making a decision, rather than flying by the seat of my pants, pulling another miracle out of nowhere to save the day with a spontaneous and wily act of daring-do.
Well, thank you very much, Fate, you’ve more than made up for the shortfall.
Six months! Six long and tedious months I have ahead of me; of twiddling my thumbs and waiting for Starfleet to decide whether or not I deserve another command or if indeed I will retain my captaincy. I’m thrilled at the prospect – NOT!
How can they in all seriousness expect me to remain even remotely sane with the prospect of enduring twenty-five weeks of inertia? I will have forgotten how to be a captain by the end of it. I’ll have sunk into a stupor of inactivity, my mind a puddle of mush and my ambition a mere memory. If I’m a blithering idiot by the end of it, they’ll only have themselves to blame.
Mandatory leave. Post traumatic stress. Compulsory counselling sessions. Group therapy. The litany of things I hate, loathe and, up until today, have managed to avoid with chest-swelling success just goes on and on. But the steely glint in Admiral Hayes eyes isn’t lost on me. If I don’t comply, they’ll keep adding time to my ‘R&R’ until such time as someone from Psych services either deems me fit or I go completely off the deep end.
They think I’m unhinged now, wait until they see me at the end of six months leave. I’ll be certifiable by then.
I’d been wondering how everyone else was coping with the threat of obligatory time-off, but Tom and Harry’s high-five was a pretty good indicator that they were pleased. B’Elanna’s contented grin as she cuddled Miral was something of a giveaway and the Doctor’s immediate comm. call to Reg Barclay to book a tee-off for the following day made his intentions clear.
Am I the only one who sees this as a punishment – unfair and unjustified retribution for sins real and imagined?
I’d ask Tuvok, but his opinion doesn’t count. He’s on medical leave – receiving treatment for his neurological disorder, which is the one thing in this whole mess that does fill my heart with joy. Word is he’ll make a full recovery and I rejoice that that disaster has been averted. As for Chakotay and Seven – the other impending catastrophe looming on the horizon – apparently that has been averted as well. Seven is on the way to her aunt’s house for a prolonged visit and ‘get to know you’ holiday. Initially anxious, she was quickly reassured by the genuine warmth extended to her by her family. In a sweetly human gesture, she even kissed my cheek before she departed – after informing me that the Commander was now free and that their brief and awkward liaison was over. The unspoken invitation was to, ‘have at it’, as Aunt Martha would say.
In my heavily-tinged-with-relief surprise, I thanked her. I wanted to kick myself the instant the words left my lips but it was too late. She’d observed and catalogued my reaction but the god of small mercies was smiling on me and she didn’t say anything to anyone. Instead, she simply smiled serenely and left with a group of equally tall, exceptionally good looking blond people – her family, I assumed.
My eyes lit on Chakotay and I wondered if he’d heard my clumsy thank you and bumbling good bye. I didn’t think so. His head was bowed and he seemed overly preoccupied with a couple of scuff marks on the floor. His demeanour gave me hope though. He was the only other person who seemed as unenthusiastic about our enforced vacation time as I was.
I was pleased to see I had at least one ally amongst this excessively jocular – and consequently unrecognisable – gaggle of ex-crew.
Well-practiced in putting on my ‘happy face’, I wished them well and waved them good bye as they left the Starfleet conference room, each of them promising to be in touch soon. I watched the door close, and with the finality of its hissing thud, my irritation suddenly vanished leaving a deep, searing sadness in its place.
An unexpected sense of panic made my heart thud and pound loudly in my ears. It was too soon. Too fast. Everything was changing at a rate with which I couldn’t keep pace.
How could it possibly be over just like that? No fanfare, no brass bands. The most terrifying, exciting, fulfilling, amazing and lonely seven years of my life had come to this abrupt end. The rest of my life – the interminable years ahead of me – was a great gaping void, or at least the next six months were. I suddenly realised that boredom would be the least of my problems. I’d been a member of a one hundred and fifty strong family for the best part of seven years and now I was, for all intents and purposes, on my own. Alone.
The mission – the driving force behind my existence – was over and I had to hope that something would come along or I would blunder into something that would give my life meaning and direction.
I had no idea what that something would be. All I knew was that I wanted to avoid Phoebe’s helpful suggestions – they would inevitably end in disaster for me and hilarity for her. My mother and Aunt Martha were another a force to be reckoned with. They’d already informed me that they had a veritable smorgasbord of eligible men lined up to escort me to dinners, lunches, brunches, afternoon teas – all manner of food related activities – over the next few months. The prospects were daunting – no scratch that – they were downright terrifying.
It was, however, time to go. If I procrastinated for too long, Admiral Hayes would return and attach another dreaded month to my leave and that might be the proverbial straw that tipped me over the edge – a white canvas jacket with wrap around sleeves and buckles really wasn’t my best look.
I mentally crossed my fingers and wished for a sign to point me in the right direction. It was time to dig deep into that famed Janeway resilience and face the world with renewed vigour and a positive attitude. Taking a deep breath, I turned around to retrieve the PADD Admiral Hayes had left me.
Thanks to the clamour of my mental rambling, I hadn’t noticed that Chakotay was still there and had moved – he could be amazingly stealthy when he put his mind to it. He was right behind me, and as I turned, he took me by surprise.
I stumbled into him – arms flailing – and we collided with an almighty thump.
He grabbed my upper arms to stop me falling in a heap at his feet but momentum carried me towards him, my body coming in full – and tantalising close – contact with his front, my chin hitting his chest with a wallop and my teeth clashing together with a loud crack.
It brought tears to my eyes. “Ouch!!”
His worried frown was all I could see; his eyes dark with concern and before I realised what he was doing, he’d cupped my face between his hands, his thumb gently stroking my cheek.
I’m sure his intention was to check that I hadn’t chipped a tooth, shattered my jaw or something else purely medical, platonic and utterly first officer-ish but it appeared that I’d embraced my freedom more thoroughly than I realised.
He was so close, closer than we’d ever been and, before my brain could engage or even register my intent, my lips were on his. Potential dental issues forgotten, my arms wound themselves around him, my hands against his back, my fingers curling into the fabric of his jacket, tugging him more firmly towards me.
I vaguely registered his surprise – a slight stiffening in his posture – but it was only for a split second before he hauled me flush against him – one hand on my ass, the other on the back of my head. He was making sure I didn’t go anywhere – I had no intention of moving an inch.
I briefly wondered if Admiral Hayes was still around but when Chakotay groaned into my mouth and I felt the hard heat of him pressing into my belly, all thoughts of Hayes, propriety, protocol and boredom fled my mind.
Six months suddenly seemed like a drop in the ocean – not nearly enough time. I had seven years worth of lovemaking to catch up on and preparations for a lifetime with the man I love, who – if his rasping whispers are anything to go by – loved me too.
In the heartbeat before my mind became an arousal addled puddle of want, I made a mental note to send a memo to Hayes to request several more months leave.
It seems I’d found the perfect remedy for boredom.