Your Enemy is Dead
When Janice Rand woke up in sickbay, she groaned. This was, bar none, the last place in the universe she wanted to be. Rand flinched from the oppressive ebb of pain in her head. She placed her forearm across her eyes to shield them from the sharp, intrusive white light emanating from the ceiling. Rand took a deep breath in an attempt to breath out the pain. She did this a number of times, coupling these breaths with thoughts of colorful meadows and tweeting birds under a blue sky. Nothing.
“Well, so much for positive goddamn thinking,” she thought. Her stomach wasn’t twisting anymore, though, and the creeping bile in her throat was gone.
“At least I won’t upchuck when I try to get out of here,” she thought.
Frankly, Rand didn’t give a rat’s ass if her head was still pounding, she was determined to leave sickbay. Traditional, high tech medicine wasn’t an option for a woman who was raised on alternative therapies, thank you very much. Rand threw off the covers to her assigned bed and propped herself up by her elbows when she felt something on her shoulder, holding her firm and still.
“Not planning on leaving us, are you?” asked Nurse Chapel in a voice feigning mock insult.
“Oh, Shit,” thought Rand. “It’s resident pain in the ass in light blue!” She looked up at Chapel, a faint smile of little warmth on her lips.
“Get that hand off of me, or I’ll break it, starting at your wrist!”
Chapel looked down at Rand without making any attempt to release her grip.
“In your condition, dear,” began Chapel rather blithely, “you couldn’t block a head-on pocketbook from a little old lady.”
Chapel pushed Rand back down onto the mattress and threw the covers back over her, tucking them in tightly underneath the bed like a straitjacket.
“Jesus,” yelled Rand struggling under the covers. “Are you trying to pin me down, or something?”
Chapel stopped in the middle of tucking the covers and leaned into Rand, so that her face was only inches away from her uncooperative patient.
“If you prefer, I can use the bed straps that we normally reserve for our more unstable clients,” said Chapel with a curt smile. She finished fixing the covers by giving them one more hard yank, making Rand yelp.
“Client?” asked Rand incredulously. “That’s a hot one! Do you give discount prices on lobotomies?”
Just then, Dr.McCoy walked in, his cantankerous manner evident as he pulled a chair and stationed himself next to Rand’s bed.
“Maybe we should strap her down if she insists on being her usual difficult self,” said Dr.McCoy gruffly.
Rand turned to McCoy and eyed him narrowly. “You know, McCoy, I really don’t need this crap from either one of you. Can’t you ease up on your ever so charming bedside manner, just this once?” asked Rand, her emphasis on the word ‘charming’ sarcastic and biting.
“I don’t have a problem,” said McCoy while he prepared a hypo for Rand. “But, you apparently do. I heard you argued with that new engineer about him bringing you here. From what I’ve heard about Orion men, I’m surprised he didn’t flatten you.”
Rand took a look at the hypo in McCoy’s hands and leaned away while the doctor tried to administer it in her arm. Nurse Chapel, on seeing this, gripped Rand’s ribcage and pushed her back into the good doctor’s hypo.
“Ouch, that hurt,” Rand said, whining like a child.
“No, it didn’t!” Chapel said in an exasperated tone.
McCoy shook his head and blew out a breath, clearly annoyed. “You know you threw up on that poor young lieutenant when he brought you into sickbay,” he said, disassembling the offending hypo needle. “He had to go back to his quarters to change into a fresh uniform.”
Rand shrugged her shoulders and snorted. “That’s probably why my stomach feels a hellava lot better,” she thought to herself dismissively.
Dr.McCoy picked up a microlight, and tucked his hand under Rand’s chin. “Look at me,” he ordered.
McCoy purposefully aimed the light into Rand’s eyes, rotating it up, down, sideways and point blank into the irises and pupils. By the time the doctor was finished with her eyes, Rand felt like she’d been slapped around by a searchlight. She blinked her eyes rapidly while patterns of white balls danced around her.
“Look, I see fairies,” quipped Rand, waving her hands in circles.
McCoy ignored Rand’s joke while he packed his instruments away. “You were a mess, lady. That Jersey girl basket-weave hairdo of yours was so skewed to the side that it looked like the Leaning Tower of Pisa,” he quipped back.
Chapel covered her hand with her mouth and laughed. Rand felt her cheeks flash hotly, as she turned in Chapel’s direction and shot her a hostile look.
“Covering you mouth so your fangs don’t show?” shot Rand.
“At least I didn’t vomit all over that beautiful man,” said Chapel while she struggled to put a stop to her laughter, not that she tried very hard. “He seemed to be genuinely concerned for you, God knows why. You gave him a very hard time. Talk about poor first impressions, dear.” Chapel was leaning into Rand during this time, her tone teasing.
Then, she straightened herself up from Rand’s bedside and crossed her arms, a taunting little smirk on her glossed lips.
Suddenly, Chapel’s demeanor seemed to change. Her arms uncrossed as she looked in the direction of the ward’s entrance, the smirk that was on her face melting into a beaming smile.
“Why, Hello, son,” greeted Dr.McCoy. Rand wondered what in the hell it was that put these two in a sincerely pleasant disposition. She turned her head towards the entrance and saw a large figure standing there. It was the young Orion officer, in a fresh new uniform, no doubt.
“Hi, everyone!” He said cheerfully in his distinctively deep voice. “How’s our patient?”
While his question was aimed at the Doctor, his eyes were planted squarely on Rand.
Chapel walked over to the Orion and stood next to him. “I’m afraid our patient’s been a little difficult up to this point,” she said coyly, giving Rand a look of disapproval, all in fun for the sake of the young visitor.
Rand rolled her eyes and snorted at Chapel’s sorry attempt at feminine charm. “You’re not getting into those jock straps, Toots,” she thought to herself.
The Orion placed his hands on his narrow hips, raising a brow. “Oh, that’s not too good. Maybe I can bring her up to good spirits,” he mused.
McCoy got up from his spot, packing up his medical tools and placing them in a silver tray.
“We’re finished here, Lieutenant. Why don’t you sit down,” said McCoy, pulling out the bedside chair for the young man.
Before McCoy left, he turned to Rand, who was sitting glumly in her bed, her arms crossed and her jaw set. “Maybe this time, you won’t give this nice young man a hard time,” he said.
McCoy smiled at the Orion while he motioned to Nurse Chapel to come with him, effectively leaving Rand alone with the young lieutenant. Rand’s eyes were set on the Orion as he sat himself down on the bedside chair. She was keenly aware of how uncomfortable he was by the way he swayed nervously in the seat.
The Orion gave Rand a tight-lipped smile and nodded his head. His violet eyes traveled to the ceiling, and then to the corners of the ward. Rand wondered to herself just how much longer she’d have to endure this awkward silence. What was it about hospital visits that inspired such discomfort.
Finally, the Orion leaned forward from his chair and said,”You’re pissed at me for bringing you here, aren’t you?”
Rand cocked her head to the side and snorted. “No Shit, Sherlock! Between being stuck in this place and dealing with McCoy and Chapel, you’ve condemned me!”
The Orion at first said nothing, observing Rand silently from where he was. Then, he laughed softly. It was a deep, robust laugh that Rand found she rather liked. She started to laugh along with the Orion, in spite of herself.
In her newly relaxed state, Rand was able, for the first time, to really take in the physical attributes of this young man.
While she and Chapel have never seen eye to eye on much of anything, Rand was able to see, clear and away, what Chapel meant when she used the word beautiful to describe this alien man. He had strong, prominent features that were chiseled into his emerald skin. His large violet eyes were framed by long lashes, which were the same blue- black color as his thick upswept brows. He had a strong, straight nose and high cheekbones that connected to a strong jaw line. His lips were wide, full, and evenly proportioned. He had a long, muscular neck that was both graceful and powerful that stretched from broad sinuous shoulders reminiscent of past figures like Atlas, or Achilles. As the young man laughed, Rand saw that his grin was generous and boyish, quite uncharacteristic for his otherwise fierce appearance. The teeth in his mouth were strong, white, and perfectly aligned.
“Yep, Christine’s use of the word beautiful is dead on,” Rand thought to herself.
Their laughter subsided, and the young Orion gave Rand a mischievous grin. His earlier shyness and hesitation were gone when he addressed her again.
“Well, Janice Rand, Yeoman to the Captain of the Enterprise. I was not going to let you go back to work in your condition. What kind of person would I be if I did that? Besides, the captain could get his own damn coffee and cinnamon buns.”
“Now, wait a minute, I am his yeoman, whatever your name is. That’s one of the things that people like me do,” said Rand defensively.
“Yeah, maybe back on your planet in the 1950’s, but you’re a Starfleet yeoman. You’re in charge of recording every mission and every discovery conducted by a Starfleet crew. You’re the keeper of Federation history, Janice, not a glorified office secretary. Get real. Oh, and my name is Khobran,” said the young Orion, placing his hand on his powerful chest.
“Khobran. Like the snake cobra?”
Khobran smiled. “That’s right. Lt.Khobran, Engineer of the USS Enterprise, and one of Scotty’s right-hand men,” he said proudly. “And, Scotty doesn’t send any of his right-hand women out to get him a cup of coffee,” he mocked playfully while he reached over and squeezed Rand’s hand.
Rand smiled, feeling blood rush to her face. Up to this point, Rand had never thought of any alien man as being physically desirable, as witness to her utter befuddlement of Chapel’s attraction to Spock. That was something she simply couldn’t wrap her Jersey girl sensibilities around. Khobran, however, was something that she could wrap her sensibilities around. Looking at him was a pleasure. Talking to him was a pleasure too.
“Look, Khobran. I know what you mean. I really don’t mind getting food for the captain, even if it’s not in the job description, so to speak,” she said forming quotes with the fingers of her free hand. “Besides, I could do a lot worse. I could be Dr.McCoy’s yeoman,
scampering around like Frankenstein’s Eigor. Oh, I’m sorry. That’s Chapel’s job.”
They both broke into laughter, oblivious to some of the heads that turned their way.
When the laughter finally subsided, Rand and Khobran simply looked at each other. The silence was awkward, but with a sweetness to it that was not lost to Rand. Khobran never let go of Rand’s hand since taking it in his.
“I wonder if he notices,” thought Rand.
Khobran straightened himself up and took a deep breath. “Well,” he said smiling at Rand. “I better leave you here to rest. I’ve got to get back to engineering. Scotty awaits.”
There was something that passed between the two of them that was similar to past moments she had shared with Captain Kirk, but this moment was much more true and vivid. One could even say fearless, because unlike Kirk, Khobran never turned away from Rand’s gaze. He never once lowered his head in order to cough into his fist, nor did he cut his eyes away, dismissing her.
“Take care, Janice. I’ll see you soon?” Khobran asked hopefully.
Rand smiled, and nodded her head. “Of course, Khobran,” she said softly.
Khobran gave Rand a final squeeze of her hand, got up, turned to the door, and walked out of sickbay. Rand, a female doctor, and a nurse followed him with longing eyes as his figure disappeared among the passing crowd in the ship’s corridors. Rand looked at the hand that Khobran had held during much of the visit. She could still feel his warmth, the bigness of his palms and fingers seemingly leaving an imprint on her skin. She truly did hope that the next time Khobran came to visit, it would be very soon indeed.
Though she’d never admit it out loud.
Janice Rand twisted and turned in her bed in sickbay. Granted, she was feeling a lot better; both her headache and stomachache were gone, but man, did she want to be discharged. She wasn’t even tired. Rand sat up and grabbed her pillow from behind her, hitting it and punching it in a fruitless attempt to fall asleep. The evening was dragging with heavy footsteps, and Rand felt like she’d been in this place for an eternity. She plopped back down on the bed, stretched out her arms, and stared up at the ceiling.
“Janice.” She shot up in her bed, startled by the bodiless voice that was coming from the corner of the ward. A large figure blocked the doorway to the ward, the outside light from behind outlining it softly. Rand was pleasantly surprised when she saw who it was.
“Khobran, What are you doing back here? You were just here this afternoon.”
She watched Khobran come over and kick the bedside chair away. He sat down on Rand’s bed and leaned into her, propping his muscular arms to either side of her body.
“You know,” started Khobran tilting his head to the side. “Since I left you this afternoon, there was one thing that I couldn’t get out of my mind.” He had a faint smile on his lips that had a roguish nature to it.
“What’s that?” asked Rand, keenly aware of his arching arms around her. Khobran’s faint smile grew larger while his violet eyes swept over Rand’s body.
“I wanted to see if you were blond all over,” he said, peeling away the bed covers and tossing them to the side.
At first, Rand was a tad insulted. After all, no one has artificially altered themselves on Earth for generations. However, she got over the insult quickly when Khobran reached over to Rand’s side and started untying the knots of her shapeless hospital gown. He did this slowly, almost like a striptease. Rand felt her breath quicken, her cheeks flushing hot under the anticipation while Khobran undid the last knot of the gown. Rand trembled as she lied down and spread her body with abandon, her legs open and her breast jutted forward.
Khobran peeled open Rand’s hospital gown. Rand arched her back while her naked body eagerly received the large hands, which explored her shamelessly.
“Are you all right, honey?”
Rand opened her eyes. Khobran was gone, and her light blue hospital gown was on her body, its tie-on strings fully knotted on the side. Nurse Chapel stood at the foot of Rand’s bed and folded her arms over her chest, a mocking smirk on her face. As Rand lay thrashed on her bed, her eyes blinked back to the reality in front of her.
“What?” asked Rand incredulously.
“I asked if you were all right?” said Chapel, pursing her lips.
Rand reached over quickly and pulled the covers over her body and up to her neck. She could feel herself shrink under the covers.
“I’m fine,” Rand said warily.
Chapel shrugged her shoulders. “Oh, I was just wondering,” she said blithely with a wave of her hand. “It kind of looked like you were doing a little shimmy in the bed,” said Chapel, breaking into a hip-wiggle.
“Don’t worry about it,” said Rand, her gaze narrowed and her voice sharpened on this irritating woman.
Chapel raised her hands up in the air, as if in surrender. “Let me know if you need anything, dear,” said Chapel, turning to walk away.
“How about a discharge?” shot back Rand.
Chapel threw back her head and laughed as she sauntered into the next ward.