Thirty-Seven Problems by Cheshire

Notes:  This story was written for VAMB’s Guess the Pairing 2015.  Big thanks to Ewige for running such a fun contest!  Character identifiers will be posted in Ch. 2

“You’re running late,” she teases, arriving at the doors to astrometrics only seconds ahead of him. “I’ve told you before, when you leave the cargo bay, you turn right.”

He follows her into the cavernous room.  “I’m not late.”

“I was here before you; you’re late.”

“I was observing the Doctor as he prepares for the arrival of Voyager’s newest crewmember,” he explains.

“Oh, that’s right! Mom mentioned that the baby was due,” she says as she activates the consoles in front of her. “I wondered where she was when I got up this morning. Was the captain there? I bet he was ecstatic.”

“The captain appeared…apprehensive,” he allows, keying up the sensor readings from the previous evening. “Despite this being his second child, I believe he still felt overwhelmed.”

“Well, of course, he does. He may be the captain, but he’s still Harry.” She leans back against the workstation. “Why don’t you go back up there?  I can look after things here. There’s nothing that requires your immediate attention.”

“I believe you are mistaken.” He indicates the readings scrolling across the screen. “There’s a build-up of chrono-kinetic energy-”

They both pitch forward against the console as the ship rocks beneath their feet. Bright light fills the entirety of astrometics for a brief moment before fading away. 

“Are you all right?” she asks as her vision clears.

“Yes. You?”

“Fine.” Her fingers are already flying across the still functioning console. “We need to figure out what that was.”

His comm. badge produces only a static burst when he hits it. “I should report to the bridge.”

“No, stay here and help me recalibrate the sensors. We’ll know more if we do that first.” A light blush creeps into her cheeks at his amused expression. “Sorry, Commander.”

“Not a problem, Lieutenant.” He works beside her, reconfiguring the data as it streams in from the sensors. “Besides, the captain will appreciate it if I have something useful to contribute.”

Her fingers slip slightly as a schematic of the ship appears on the large screen. “Whoa.”

He looks up at the quickly filling schematic. “It does not appear as though I’ll be going to the bridge after all.”

“It’s not damaged,” she points out, “but physically getting there might be a problem.”

“Thirty-seven problems to be precise.” He manipulates the schematic, scrolling through several different versions and angles of the ship. “I will attempt to determine the cause of the accident while you begin researching a way to reverse it.”

She nods, her hands moving back into position against the console. “Let’s do it.”

An hour later, when the astrometrics doors slide open, it startles both of them. 

Taking a tentative step forward, she recovers first. “Captain.”


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