Trojan Horse #32, 33 - A favor...

-=On=- [After the talk with Hannah, before the meeting in the lounge]

Kathleen Black was beginning to find it a pain to go limping about everywhere she went. Before contacting Evans about that replicator fix, she decided to stop in Sickbay and get that knee tended. She figured that the worst cases would be stabilized by now. She also wanted to catch at least a glimpse of her furry friend.

So she limped into Sickbay, wearing shorts and a tank top that were slightly large on her slender frame and not long enough to disguise the multi-colored bruising on her knee. She looked around for anyone she recognized.

Ryylar was asleep laying there with monitors still attached. The doctors had done a marvelous job patching him up and keeping him alive. By now he was off of most of the tubes, and not in the ICU section of Sickbay. He was tucked away now in a long term care area where monitors kept tabs on his vital signs. His whiskers twitched as she approached and his eyes slowly blinked open.

Kitty recognized her 'chocolate friend' and quickened her steps, inasmuch as she could with her bruised knee. "Hi! How are you feeling? I heard you were injured in the fighting... are you ok?" Then she paused, a wry look on her face as she reached his bedside. "That's got to be one of the stupidest things I've ever asked."

"No... it isssssn't..." He reassured her that she wasn't stupid, then realized what he was saying.

"Not that you sssssay ssssstupid thingssss." Ryylar amended with a smile.

Kitty chuckled, leaning against the bed. "That was even better," she said. "So how Are you feeling?"

"I'm doing ok... how'rrrrrre the enginessssss?" He asked her, knowing she was in love with the warp core.

"Dead as a doornail," Kitty said ruefully. "Along with all the redundant circuitry throughout the ship, more than half the lights, all the replacement bulbs, and the entire replicator system. And, likely, my quarters."

"I'm sssssssorrrrrrrry... I'd offerrrrrrr to help but... I'm afrrrrraid I'd be a little ussssselessss." Ryylar said with a grimace.

"It's ok... there's not much anybody can do for a while. It's your turn to rest, ok? I should bring You some chocolate coffee. I would've, if the replicators weren't out." Kitty reached out hesitantly, but Ryylar had never seemed to mind her, so she stroked the fur on his arm a couple of times, watching to see if he objected. She seemed to like touching that fur, as if he were a housecat.

He smiled gently and in his throat he left out a soft purr.

"In the lounge in my officcccce. Therrrrrre isssss a hotplate... The ingrrrrrrredientssssss and rrrrrreccccccipet arrrrrre in the thirrrrrrd drrrrrrawerrrrrr on the rrrrrright hand ssssside of the desssssk. Jusssssst a matterrrrrrr of finding sssssssome coffee." He confided, giving her the secret of his miraculous work with chocolate and coffee, resulting in her favorite warm beverage.

"That would be the hard part." Kitty smiled and continued stroking the fur on his arm, apparently liking the purr. "But I'm about to team up with Evans and O'Driscoll and work on getting a couple of replicators working. Don't worry... I'll have things fixed for you by the time you're up and around."

"That will be a welcome thing... to not have to worrrrry about Ssssstarrrrrrfleet rrrrrationssssss anymorrrrrre." Ryylar said and then looked serious and his eyes darted back and forth before he reached up and gestured her to come close.

"Oh, the rations aren't bad," Kitty said brightly, thinking of Evans and his chocolate bar. Then she blinked and leaned in close, listening.

"It'sssss rrrrrreally Doctorrrrrr Floyd adminissssterrrrrring the poisssssson rrrrrresssssissssstanccccce tesssst." Ryylar jokingly whispered his conspiracy theory to his friend.

"Ohhh... I might be in trouble then," Kitty snickered. "All I've had since I got back from the planet.. is chocolate."

"Yup... you'rrrrrrre in forrrrrrr it." Ryylar joked with her about the poison resistance test.

"Oh, no, I'm 'in for it' for an entirely different set of reasons," Kitty chuckled. Then she became more serious. "How did it happen?"

He noticed her change and sighed a bit.

"We took the brrrrridge. Ssssssulan threw in a grrrrrrenade and it didn't kill all the Jem'Hadarrrrrrr." He said softly.

"I sssssstepped in and walked overrrrrr one that wassssssn't quite dead... he shot me in the back." He said to his friend, recounting the tale.

Kitty frowned and nodded, still gently stroking the fur on his arm automatically as if he were a kittycat. "You did an awful lot better than I would've done," she said. "I've been in real combat just once, and I did awful."

"You sssssseem to be fine." He said with a small purr. He was thankful for the company.

"That's because the battle ended just before the Romulan was going to shoot me in the head." Kitty still remembered what it felt like, staring right down the disruptor barrel. "I was probably an idiot, putting myself between them and my engines. But I.. well, I didn't want to say later that I'd been a wimp. Does that make any sense?"

"The line between brrrrrraverrrrrrry and cowarrrrrrdicccccce isssssss verrrrrry ssssssmall." He told her.

"But perrrrrrssssssonally I think you'rrrrrrre verrrrrrry brrrrrrave." He said with a nod.

Kitty headtilted. "How is the line small?" she asked curiously and eagerly. "I don't quite understand."

"Adrrrrrenaline.. you don't think... you jussssst act. People judge brrrrraverrrrrry and cowarrrrrrdicccce afterrrrrr the fact." He told her.

"Well, I sure wasn't thinking... I think I've just got this..." Kitty paused. "Something deep, deep inside me that doesn't bend. And if you push far enough, you reach it and it won't budge. My grandmother says that my grandfather is like that. She says that's what got him through his leg operation." She frowned suddenly. "Oh no! He's already had it! While I was gone, and I said I'd be there!"

He frowned.

"A lot thingsssss have happened when we werrrrre away." He said softly, referring to Petrova's father passing away.

Which Kitty didn't even know about. "Yeah... I've changed, inside, I think. But I don't even know how. I haven't had much time to think about what I learned in that casino. And now the ship needs its Chief Engineer. It's not time to think yet."

"Kitty? Can you do me a favorrrrrr?" He asked her.

"Anything," Kitty said, leaning in a little to listen.

"When you get the rrrrrreplicatorrrrrrsssssss worrrrrking. Rrrrrreplicate a rrrrrrrossssse and give it to Krrrrrrisssstiana forrrrr me." He said softly.

"A rose?" Kitty said in surprise, then nodded. "I'll find a way. What color?"

"White... forrrrrr hope." He told her.

"I will," she said. "I promise." She was already planning in her mind how to get away with it. You'd need a test, right, before you started trying to create food and clothing and parts? "You asked the right person," Kitty added. "I'm just about to go down to the lounge and try to get some of them working."

"You told me..." He said, reaching over and pressing is paw over her hand that was petting his arm.

Kitty paused as her hand was gently pressed down.. she smiled. "Yeah... I'm getting tired, I guess. I'd better head down there while I still have some awake left in me, 'kay? I'll come back later to visit."

"Thank you..." He said with a smile.

"No problem." Kitty smiled and shifted to squeeze his hand for a moment, then limped away from his bed, finding someone to quickly fix the bruising on her knee so that she could head to the lounge.. relatively.. unhindered.


Lieutenant Kitty Black Chief Engineering Officer USS Pegasus


Warrant Officer Ryylar Morale Officer Acting Security Officer Hurtin' Kitty USS Pegasus