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Episode Synopsis
James' perception of reality becomes twisted when he's sent to Sickbay with major injuries.

Written
June - August 2006

A few scenes written
January 2004

Episode Based In
September 2372 (mid season 3)

 

August 1989, England:
A small partly new maroon car flashed its indicator lights before turning into a busy hospital car park. Standing nearby was a young woman wearing a nurse uniform, waiting patiently for the door to open. When it did a familiar woman, only in her early twenties, climbed out of the car. The two walked closer to hug.

"Leanne, great to see you again."

The woman smiled as they pulled apart, "Kath, you should visit more often." She eyed the red car, "hmm nice rental."

"You know it's difficult for me to visit England," Kathryn said. "And how hard it is to get a rental that doesn't break down just a mile down the road."

Leanne smiled sympathetically, she took her bag away from her. "Get a taxi next time, and I'll hold you back if you want."

"If it was about what I wanted, we wouldn't be having this conversation," Kathryn sighed.

"Ok what you need then," Leanne corrected herself. "So what brings you here, not that I'm complaining."

Kathryn sighed uneasily, "I'm worried, I've been getting a few bad feelings, you know."

"Let me guess, motherly instinct?" Leanne raised an eyebrow. "What happened to keeping a distance?"

"That's where my sneakiness comes in handy, I won't make contact, just watch," Kathryn replied.

"I doubt that'll happen. You'll be too tempted to see him properly," Leanne muttered.

"I know but I can't ignore my instincts. The feeling's been bugging me for a year or so. This has been the first chance to leave San Francisco, I can't waste it," Kathryn said.

"Kathryn I don't like the sound of this. Are you sure your instincts, bad feelings aren't just instincts to just see him again?" Leanne questioned.

"Of course not. I'm really worried about him," Kathryn snapped. "If you want, you can come with me."

"Look Kath, my last memory of the little guy was a happy, spirited, strong and witty young man. I find it hard to believe that a four year old boy like that isn't ok. He's probably starting school in a month or so," Leanne said.

"What would you do Lea if he was yours?" Kathryn asked, folding her arms as a sign of protest.

Leanne sighed, knowing she had been defeated. "Ok ok, I'll come. You'll watch him for a short while, and then we'll go. Drop me home you know." Kathryn narrowed her eyes at her. "What, petrol's expensive. I can't see it getting more expensive than it is now. I'm better off with the bus."

"Uh huh," Kathryn muttered. "As long as I can check him later if we don't see anything the first time."

"Doesn't that beat the point of my plan?" Leanne said.

"Yes, yes it does," Kathryn smiled.

 

The car drove into a quiet housing estate, it parked on the curb right in front of a quaint modern for its time, little bungalow. Kathryn stepped out from the car while Leanne waited anxiously in the boiling hot car.

A neglected weedy garden greeted her first as she walked down the path that lead to the front door. Instead of going toward it, she went to the window next to it. However something amongst the weeds caught her eyes. Using her foot to move the weeds to the side it looked to her like the charred remains of a small bonfire. Then she spotted a charred piece of paper, it looked like a child's drawing was on it before the fire.

After a quick glance through the window into the seemingly empty room, Kathryn walked around to the side of the house and into the back yard. It was mostly empty with the exception of a badly rusted metal swing frame, the missing seat and ropes lay on the ground. Also a deflated ball lay next to a damaged brick wall.

"What a great place for two kids," Kathryn muttered. Yelling coming from inside the house made her quickly turn on her heel. She moved to stand against the wall of the house, slowly peeping through one of the windows. Inside she could see Peter Taylor, red in the face, obviously yelling towards something in the room with him.

Kathryn sighed, "there it is again." She went back the way she came.

Leanne watched her go to the door from the car window. She quickly knocked on it, mouthing, "no, don't you dare."

Kathryn chose to ignore her and went inside. As soon as she walked into the living room Peter's loud yelling startled her. Susy marched in with her hands full with stacked plates, and two glasses standing on top. "What now?" She noticed Kathryn. "What on... what are you doing here? You can't just walk in."

"I got a little concerned with Peter's shouting," Kathryn said.

"And you could hear him from your stupid farm in America, San Francisco... wherever?" Susy questioned.

"No. Is James ok, I've been getting some bad feelings, like a sixth sense. You should know, you're a mum," Kathryn replied.

Susy looked very uncomfortable as she put down the plates on the table. "Well." She looked toward one of the doors nervously.

Kathryn's face tightened, "that yelling is for him, what did he do?"

Susy sighed, "I've lost track, being himself no doubt."

"He's still yelling at him for being a child you mean? You said you wouldn't let Peter do that," Kathryn muttered. Her face looked very angry as she heard a small child crying. "Oh that's it." She marched toward one of the doors. Susy lunged forward to try and stop her, but she got there quicker than she thought. Kathryn threw open the door.

Peter, who was kneeling down at the foot of the bed, turned to look at her, lowering his fist. "What the hell are you doing here?" He straightened up.

Kathryn marched forward with a look that could kill on her face. "What the hell are you doing is the better question!" She looked down to the ground where Peter knelt before, turning her head slightly she saw a small hand holding the corner of the bed, a small blonde boy's head peeped around it briefly then hid back behind it. "James?"

"This is none of your business anymore," Peter hissed.

Kathryn flashed her death glare at him, then looked back holding out her hand. "James, it's ok, you can come out."

The boy's face peeped back out, trembling with his eyes wide with fear.

"That's a good boy, do you remember me?" Kathryn softly asked. Young James nodded slightly then shook his head instead. Kathryn smiled a little. "It's ok sweetheart. James you're ok."

He looked up slightly, he pointed his finger upwards. Kathryn frowned, turning her head back. Peter swung his arm in her face, knocking her to the ground.

Susy appeared at the doorway, "Peter!" He turned back to her.

"Ugh, what do you want?"

"This has gone on long enough. Will you calm down, maybe get a coffee to..." Kathryn looked up, Susy groaned. "Not you! For him to sober up."

"Coffee? I'm not some crazy coffee obsessed..." Peter snapped.

"Obsessed what?" Kathryn grumbled.

Susy moved around to the head of the bed, knelt down with her arms outstretched. "Come on, it's all right. I'll get you out of here," she whispered. James appeared around the other side of the bed to before, he ran into her arms. She straightened back up.

Peter noticed her, "Susy I wouldn't."

Kathryn stepped closer to him, "why don't we calm down. He's only a child, he's scared."

"Scared? Only women should be scared," Peter snapped at her. Susy stepped backwards slowly so she could keep her eye on him, then edged along the wall toward the door. "He is not a Taylor, you must have corrupted him!"

"Corrupted isn't the word. All 'I've' done is made him human instead of a monster," Kathryn said.

Susy opened the door quietly. Peter swung around and punched her in the face. She stumbled back, and hit her head against the door handle. Her hands accidentally loosened their grip on James, he fell to the ground with her. Peter turned back to Kathryn.

"Don't make me throw you out of here."

"How can you do that to your own wife and son?" Kathryn snapped.

"What, oh don't go all soft on me," Peter grumbled.

James meanwhile stood over Susy, then knelt down next to her. "Mum, you ok?" He shook her lightly, "mum?"

Peter and Kathryn turned to look down at them. James shook her again, she didn't respond. Kathryn pushed passed Peter, she knelt down on the other side of Susy. "Ohno," she mumbled while checking her pulse. When she titled her head back to prepare for CPR she felt blood on her hand.

With a look of thunder on her face she looked up at Peter, "you son of a bitch, call an ambulance!" Peter stared blankly. "Ugh, come on James." She quickly picked up James and tried to leave in a hurry. Peter lunged for her but just missed her.

They quickly left the house, slamming all the doors behind them. "Leanne! Call 91... sorry 999!"

Leanne, who now stood next to the car fanning herself, stared blankly. "What why?"

Kathryn handed a squirming, upset James to her. "Just do it." She brushed her hand through his hair, "it's all right, this is my cousin. You've met her before ok."

Peter charged out of the house. Kathryn sighed before going back toward him.

"Kathryn don't," Leanne said. She kept a hold of James with one arm, while pulling one of those large mobile phones out of her bag with the other hand.

Kathryn stood opposite Peter. "I trusted you with him, what was I thinking? Out of my way, Susy needs help."

"Women don't order me around," Peter muttered.

"Just how drunk are you? She's dying, don't you care about her?" Kathryn snapped.

Peter growled, "give me my so called son back now!"

"No my son's staying with me this time," Kathryn grumbled.

Peter noticed Leanne speaking on the phone. He pushed Kathryn out of the way like she was nothing. "Lea, get him in the car, go!" she yelled from the ground.

"Hurry please, we need an ambulance too," Leanne stuttered. She hung up the phone, Peter got to her when she reached out to open the car door. "Back off, you're not getting him." He grabbed a tight hold of James, she kept a hold too. He kicked her in the leg to make her let him go. James struggled in his grip.

"Now you little whiny s***, how many other girls are you going to be responsible for killing?" James stopped struggling, he looked up at him with an annoyed look on his face. Peter smiled, "now we're getting somewhere." To his surprise James kicked him, what surprised him more was that it hurt. He dropped him onto the floor.

Kathryn climbed up to her feet, she turned back to the house.

"I suggest you leave before the police arrive Kathy, or..." Peter snapped. The car door suddenly swung open, knocking him hard to the ground. The shock and power of it knocked him unconscious. Kathryn stared in shock, unsure of what had just happened. Her eyes focused on the car door, James pushed it closed with only his finger. She ran toward him to pick him up.

"How did you do that?"

Leanne got up just as the sound of sirens could be heard in the distance.

"Did he just do that, that was the cutest thing ever," Leanne said as she got to her feet.

"Cute? I suppose so," Kathryn said. "Go check on Susy."

Leanne nodded, then ran toward the house. Police cars and an ambulance arrived on the scene.

May 1995, San Francisco:
Kathryn stood outside a large primary school next to the gates. Children were running or walking out of the yard to parents or older children. James, now nine years old ran to her holding school books. Kathryn's face lit up.

"Hello sweetheart, how was your day?"

"Ok, can we go?" James replied.

"Of course, what's the hurry," Kathryn said, brushing his thick blonde hair with her fingers.

A teacher marched out of the main entrance. "James Taylor-Janeway!"

Kathryn groaned, "what have you done this time?"

"It wasn't me," James replied, looking up at her with an innocent look on his face.

The teacher rushed up to them, "Miss Janeway. Your son's supposed to be on detention."

"You said stay behind after school, I did," James said.

"For longer than half a minute!" the teacher snapped.

"You never said how long," James smiled cheekily.

Kathryn sighed, "what am I going to do with you? What did he do?"

"The usual," the teacher replied.

"How long do you want him, I have to go to work soon," Kathryn asked.

"An hour, I'm sorry," the teacher replied.

Kathryn sighed as she looked down at her mischievous son. "Looks like your babysitter will have to pick you up."

"I don't need a babysitter," he pouted, folding his arms in a huff. "I'm not staying for a bloody hour."

"Don't snap at me or say bloody," the teacher scolded.

"Go with her James, I'll tell him to pick you up at half four," Kathryn said. "Can you be good for that long?"

"No," James replied. "There's no one to punch so yeah, kinda."

Kathryn knelt down so she could look up at him instead of the other way round, and held his hands. "Please, don't run off this time. I know why you got into trouble today."

"I only did it as Alex was being an ass," James muttered, pouting his lips.

"No, like last time you saw it as an opportunity to escape your babysitter. I'm not repeating our missing child drama," Kathryn said softly. "Please stay with the teacher until Chakotay gets here."

"I don't like him," James mumbled.

"Sweety, it's just four hours, you can play outside," Kathryn said. Her stare became more forceful, "just in the garden though, or your room. You've got homework, you will only have to see him when he picks you up and gets your dinner."

"I'm not eating anything he makes," James muttered. "I'll stay as long as he stays the hell away from me. I'll walk home on my own."

"No you won't," Kathryn said.

"If he talks to me," James mumbled. He walked back to the school.

Kathryn closed her eyes as she stood up. The teacher shook her head. "He doesn't like any other adult supervision but you?"

"It's not that. Chakotay is uh, a close friend of mine. James is intimidated by him."

"James is a bright, creative and most of the time friendly young man. I'm worried that his aggressive side will cause problems throughout his life. It's such a shame," the teacher said.

"Excuse me," Kathryn said, she headed into the car park.

"Chakotay's a strange name," the teacher said quietly.

One Hour Later:
The teacher stood watch as James sat at a desk, drawing on big pieces of paper. The books he had were standing nearby. There was a knock at the door before it opened. A younger tattoo-less Chakotay walked in. "Hi, I'm here to pick up James. Is he..."

The teacher smiled at him, "yes he's still here. He's been good as gold, finished his homework in only ten minutes."

"Good. James let's go," Chakotay said.

James glanced back briefly with his own death glare planted on his face. He turned back to his paper as the teacher walked over to him.

"I can keep those here if you want, they're very good."

James stared blankly at the papers, he picked them up. Then he ripped and crumpled them all up. The teacher sighed in disappointment, "see you tomorrow. Try not to punch anyone."

"I'll try," he mumbled while standing up.

"Come on, if you're hungry now we can go straight to a McDonalds or whatever you want," Chakotay said.

James reluctantly walked over to him, "why?"

"You never eat anything I cook," Chakotay replied.

"God knows where those hands have been," James muttered. "I'd rather starve than hang out with you."

"James your mother wants us to get along, so do I," Chakotay said.

"I want you to trip over your own fat feet and get impaled on a fence, but stay alive and stuck for hours," James grumbled.

"How nice," Chakotay muttered through gritted teeth. "Why don't we continue this outside." He walked outside, James followed him looking like he was going to stab him to death.

Several Hours Later
A small house in a quiet village:
James sat on a sofa with his feet up, the TV opposite was blaring. He had a big bag of crisps on his lap. A smile appeared on his face when the door opened a centimetre, the chain kept it mostly shut.

Chakotay's voice yelled through the gap, "damn it James, open the door!"

James picked up a remote beside him to increase the TV volume.

Half an hour later:
A small blue car pulled into the house' driveway, Kathryn sat in the drivers seat. She caught sight of Chakotay, he had ended up sitting on the doorstep with a bag of McDonalds beside him. She hurried out of the car as soon as the engine cut off.

"What the hell is this?"

Chakotay stood up, "I offered to take him out, he refused. Later I went out to get us some dinner, I returned to find the chain on the door."

The look on Kathryn's face could have scared away a group of armed Klingons as she marched to the door. "James! Open the door this instant!"

"Kathryn, screaming at him will only put him off," Chakotay uneasily said. The door opened on its own when she turned to glare at him. They both heard running footsteps inside.

Kathryn didn't waste any time in marching into her home. "Get back here, I'm not finished with you!"

By the living room doorway James turned around to look at her. Chakotay closed the door while Kathryn walked over to him.

"I know you don't like him but that was going too far," she said.

"Totally worth it," James commented, turning away again. Kathryn grabbed his arm.

"Oh I'm not done. We're going to have a serious talk about your behaviour lately," Kathryn grumbled.

"I told him to kick the door down," James said. Kathryn scowled. "He told me to lock the door after him."

"Yes cos I had the keys, there's no key for the chain," Chakotay said.

"You know better, don't make excuses," Kathryn muttered.

"Why does this ass have keys to this house?" James grumbled, glaring toward Chakotay. He marched toward him, Kathryn grabbed a hold of the sides of his arms to stop him.

"I gave him copies when he's babysitting," she replied. "You and me will have a long talk upstairs." She turned him around, kept a hold of his arm as she headed up the stairs.

The next day:
The same car pulled into the driveway. The right door swung open while the car was still moving. James jumped out of it and slammed the door shut. The car stopped, then the door he slammed fell to the ground. Kathryn soon got out herself, and followed her son into the house. The two stopped in the kitchen.

"I want to know, I'm very worried," Kathryn said.

James filled the kettle with water and switched it on. Kathryn watched him, frowning. "What are you doing?"

"Making a coffee, what do you think?" James replied. "Nothing's wrong, leave me alone."

"Mrs Jones told me about your friends, why are they picking on you?" Kathryn questioned.

"Mum they're not picking on me," James said.

"Then why did..." Kathryn said.

James groaned as he prepared a coffee for himself. When he finished Kathryn tried to snatch it off him, he kept a tight grip of it. "Make your own!"

"Don't snap at me, you're too young for coffee," Kathryn grumbled.

"Well you have too much of it," James muttered. "Why do you always berate me?"

Kathryn shook her head, "I don't. Why do you always do your best to worry and irritate me?"

"Maybe cos you always treat me like a kid!" James snapped.

"You are nine, that's considered a child. You're my son and I care about you. You act like you don't appreciate it," Kathryn grumbled.

The two both played tug of war with the coffee. It spilt all over the floor, they froze on the spot. They both began smirking and soon started laughing.

"Oh if only we could see ourselves, we'd look pretty stupid," Kathryn laughed.

"Speak for yourself," James said with a small grin.

"All I want is to find out what's bothering you, it's not just me imagining it," Kathryn sighed.

"It's just..." James muttered uncomfortably. "I don't know why. I didn't do anything."

Kathryn frowned, she gently put an arm around his shoulders, "Let's start from the beginning."

"Rachel, she started school last week," James muttered.

"Do you like her?" Kathryn questioned.

"Amie, Linsey and I hung out with her, show her around the school and stuff," James replied. "She was ok."

"I mean like her, like her," Kathryn said.

James' face dropped, then looked away. "Did the teacher tell you that?"

"No of course not," Kathryn replied. "Is it true?"

"No," James snapped, taking her by surprise. He sighed to calm himself, "sorry."

"It's all right, go on," Kathryn said.

"She's uh, she told people. She turned them against me," James muttered.

"The rumours, what did that minx make up about you?" Kathryn asked.

James looked up at her, pouting his lips and widening his eyes. "That I hit on her, putting it mildly."

"She said what?" Kathryn growled. "Oh I'm so going to sort this out."

"Mum you don't know, you just believe me cos you're my mum," James mumbled.

"Don't be silly, you're not like that. I know you," Kathryn said.

"So does Amie and Linsey," James said.

"I'll tell you what. Why don't we get a big pizza delivered here and we can rent a video or something. The next morning I'll pull out little Rachel's hair and shove it down her throat, what do you say?" Kathryn said, giving him a kiss on the cheek. He laughed and grinned as she gave him a cuddle. "Nobody spreads rumours like that about my favourite person in the whole world. I'll sort her out."

"You don't have to mum," he said.

"Yes I do," Kathryn said. "Tonight it's just you and me."

James frowned and looked around as he heard a different woman's voice faintly calling his name. "What's that?"

"What's what?" Kathryn said.

He heard the woman's voice again, each word was louder than the one before it. "Can you hear me? James, come back to me." His eye lids started to feel heavy, they soon closed. Then he felt a bright light shine directly into them, he felt dizzy and weak, then felt like he was lying down all of a sudden despite not feeling like he had fell.

He pulled a face as he squinted his eyes open again. The light dimmed down but it was still so bright it hurt them. Two blurred figures stood to his left, one was a lot bigger than the other. Then he felt two soft hands take a hold of his right hand.

A familiar male voice spoke, "his body's been through a lot. I really think he should stay here for a few days to recover."

"I doubt he's going to stick around for that long," the voice from before said.

"No he won't want to, but in his condition he won't be able to for half the time," the male voice said.

The light dimmed down to a tolerable level, James could see the blurry figures a lot clearer now. The smaller one was Jessie, the larger one was the Doctor. Both of them were looking at each other. "I don't understand, what's wrong?" she asked. "Well apart from burns, cuts and bruises."

"Well," the Doctor sighed. "It looks to me like he was beaten badly, then treated by somebody who didn't know what he was doing, but not fully. He did a poor job repairing some internal injuries. Some injuries are two weeks old at the most, some are twelve days old, seven, four... you get the idea. A week ago it looks like he got another poor treatment. To sum it all up, I'm surprised he was able to fight those demons and get through the rift in the condition he's in."

"What's going on?" James mumbled weakly.

Jessie and the Doctor looked down at him, her face lit up a little. "You're awake? I was really worried."

"You collapsed during the meeting," the Doctor answered his question. "Why didn't you come to Sickbay when you first came back?"

"Each time, it was busy," James replied, he tried to sit up. The Doctor rushed over to Jessie's other side to push him gently back down.

"That's not good enough. You've suffered a lot of internal damage as well as external. You're staying here for three to four days," the Doctor said.

"But," James said.

"You don't have a choice, you're too weak to walk right now," the Doctor said. "I'm surprised you're still alive actually."

"The internal was healed," James mumbled.

"Only by somebody who didn't know what he was doing, there was some that was recent but untreated as well," the Doctor said. He walked out of James' sight. "You're staying here for rest and observation."

"Observation?" James said, pulling a face.

"When we got you to Sickbay we almost lost you," Kes' voice said while taking the Doctor's former place. "You should know better than to avoid treatment for so long."

"I didn't know it was that bad," James muttered.

Kes shook her head, "you should still visit, don't give us that. Rest ok, you really need it." She disappeared from his sight again.

James looked toward Jessie, "Jess?"

"No I'm not going to spring you," she said, then pulled a face at the sound of Danny's giggles. "It's not dirty."

Danny appeared by her side, "bed springs, obviously. You're getting rusty." She looked down at James, "how you feeling?"

"A little groggy actually, dizzy," James replied. "How long was I..."

"A few hours," Jessie uneasily replied. She placed a hand against his cheek, "the Doctor said the drugs he gave you would keep you out for a while. We weren't expecting you to wake up this soon. I'm kinda glad though."

"Kinda?" James raised an eyebrow weakly.

"Good for me, not for you. You probably feel crap cos the drugs are still doing their thing," Jessie said.

The Doctor walked back into view, "I'm afraid his consciousness will only be short lived. There was a low chance of him waking up during treatment, and well when it does happen it's not for very long."

Danny took a hold of his arm to pull him away, "then let's give those two some privacy. Jess probably wants to tell him off or something."

"Do you?" James asked, just then noticing his eye lids again getting heavy.

"It's not as effective when you're still ill. When you're better," Jessie smiled. "What's the last thing thing you remember anyway, you seemed out of it during the entire meeting."

"Not sure, I'm still a bit out of it. You know when you're still half asleep, and the dream still feels real," James muttered

"Hmm yeah," Jessie said. "What was the dream?"

"I can't remember mostly," James replied, letting his eyes close again. "I just remember my dad threatening me, mum hurt and... no, it's all gone."

"Can't you have a nice dream while you're resting here? I want one less thing to worry about," Jessie said while moving her hand to stroke his hair.

"I'll try next time," James said. He started to feel dizzier, and weak again. The last thing he felt before losing consciousness was Jessie pressing her lips against his forehead.

When he awoke he was back as a nine year old, lying in his bed. His eyes opened wide and bolted up right, breathing heavily. "Damn not again," his hand went across his face.

 

Moments later he was walking down the stairs that lead into the hall way. The living room door was open by half a centimetre, he could hear mumbling, slight groans and what sounded like kissing. He pushed the door open, his eyes widened in horror. "Oh my god." With that he ran back up the stairs as fast as he could, slamming his bedroom door.

When he stepped away from it, it fell off the hinges and slammed onto the ground. He picked it up to lean it against the wall. Instead he pushed his wardrobe to block the door.

"James!" Kathryn's voice yelled from the other side. "What, how did you..."

"Go away!" he yelled back.

"Impressive for such a small boy," Chakotay's voice commented.

Kathryn sighed, "I'm sorry you saw that, but my personal life is not something to be mad at."

"You said tonight was me and you, not you, Chuckles and the sofa!" James shouted back at her.

"Honey I thought you were asleep," Kathryn groaned. "It was just a kiss ok."

"God, don't you ever stop lying!" James snapped. He muttered quietly to himself, "all you are is a lying whore."

Kathryn gasped, Chakotay looked uneasy. "You don't even know what that means!"

"Stop thinking I'm just a kid, I'm not stupid," James muttered. "I'll tell you what it means. It's someone who has a nine year old kid cos of a one nighter, and does it on the sofa with a fat chimp and human hybrid thing while that kid's just upstairs."

"That's it, enough of the insults," Chakotay grumbled, not noticing Kathryn's horrified expression. "I haven't done anything to you but try to be your friend!"

"Only cos you sleep with my mother you son of a bitch!" James screamed back at him.

"We weren't!" Chakotay yelled back. Kathryn put a hand on his shoulder.

"Move the wardrobe, he's not next to it," she whispered.

Chakotay carefully pushed the wardrobe forward. James now stood by his bed, near the window, noticed this and ran back to it. He began pushing right back. Chakotay struggled to move it as James turned around to lean his back against it.

"God damn it, do you keep feeding this kid spinach?" Chakotay grunted. "I'll have to break the back of it." Kathryn nodded. He pushed through the wood on the back, and climbed inside of it. Before he got through to the doors, James pushed the side of it. It toppled right over, Chakotay rolled out of the doors. Kathryn looked on, unsure whether to look angry, shocked or amused.

"Oh you are in so much trouble," she grumbled when she decided to be angry.

"Me? You're allowed to say or do anything no matter how it makes me feel, but I can't do anything. That doesn't seem fair," James muttered.

"How do you feel?" Kathryn asked.

"Why do you care? You order a pizza and movie, think it's some miracle cure and then disgrace yourself by doing the dirty with wood brain there," James grumbled. "Then you start yelling at me when I have a right to be mad, you know I hate him."

"I don't understand why, you'll always be my favourite little guy," Kathryn said.

"Little guy!" James exclaimed. "Perfect choice of words, it makes it possible for you to love him more than me, doesn't it? I knew you cared about him more, I was just an inconvenience. I'm sorry I'm in your way."

"I didn't mean it like that," Kathryn said.

"No please, get back to sleeping with him. I'm sorry I walked in on it," James grumbled.

"Where did you learn that? Was it those girls?" Kathryn asked.

"Rachel before she spread the rumours," James muttered uncomfortably like he was hiding something.

"Ok when are we going to get to the strength subject?" Chakotay asked, while pulling himself up to his feet.

"Now. You're fat, not muscley. You're just a weak huge bit of crap that's stinking up this house," James muttered in response. "Where were we up to?"

"Oh you think you're smart do you? No wonder your mother was miserable when I first met her," Chakotay said.

"That's not true," Kathryn said.

"Of course she was miserable, I was too when I first saw you," James said.

"I've done nothing but try to get you to like me. You have no reason to treat me like this," Chakotay said.

"I have plenty," James muttered.

"No you have one. You're scared I'll take her from you," Chakotay said.

"No you already have. You've got what you wanted, congratulations," James said. He marched out the door. Chakotay followed and put his arm out to stop him.

"Don't walk away, we're going to sort this out."

"You can't tell me what to do, you're not my father!" James snapped, pushing his arm away. He grabbed his arm instead to stop him. James stared coldly into his eyes. "Get your hands off me or I'll rip them off."

"Would you two stop it!" Kathryn snapped.

"You've done nothing but cause me and your mother grief, you're going to stay and explain why," Chakotay said. He knelt down slightly to pick him up. "Now we're going to talk downstairs." He walked toward the stairs.

"Chakotay put him down, he doesn't like that," Kathryn stuttered.

James' angry face soon turned to a one of fear. Chakotay stopped by the stairs.

"Come on, it's all right. I'll get you out of here," Susy whispered. James appeared around the other side of the bed to before, he ran into her arms. She straightened back up.

Peter noticed her, "Susy I wouldn't."

Susy opened the door quietly. Peter swung around and punched her in the face. She stumbled back, and hit her head against the door handle. Her hands accidentally loosened their grip on James, he fell to the ground with her.

James ran into the bedroom where he found Leanne doing CPR on Susy. Paramedics tried to get passed him so they could get to her. Leanne backed away as they began to try and help her. James walked closer to Susy's still body. Her eyes were still open, her arms laid out from when she was carrying him to safety. He knelt down next to her.

Leanne gathered him up in her arms, "don't."

"No," he cried, reaching out for her as Leanne carried him out of the bedroom.

"No," James cried, sounding just as helpless as he did when he was four. He swung his right fist as hard as he could at Chakotay's face, he dropped him as he stumbled backward to the ground. Kathryn rushed forward, she went straight for James. He just grunted before running down the stairs.

Kathryn crawled over to Chakotay's side. His face was covered with blood coming from what was left of his nose. "Oh my, I'm sorry. James hates being picked up ever since Susy died. I didn't know he could hit this hard." She helped him sit up, "don't tilt your head back." She rushed to the other bedroom.

Chakotay looked ahead of him, everything seemed crooked and appeared to be moving side to side. He could clearly see James staring up at him from the bottom of the stairs.

Kathryn rushed back to his side. At this point Chakotay looked very pale, and looked ready to pass out. Kathryn had to place hands across his face to stop his head from falling back.

"Kathryn," he mumbled. Kathryn turned to see that James had gone.

 

"Kathryn," Chakotay said as he walked into the Ready Room. She looked up at him expectantly. "You wanted me to tell you when James woke up."

"Right. How is he?" Kathryn asked.

"He wasn't awake long, he's unconscious again," Chakotay replied. "The Doctor's not expecting anymore problems during treatment. I think the only problem is keeping him in Sickbay when he's able to walk again."

"How long's the treatment going to take?" Kathryn questioned.

"Another hour," Chakotay replied. "He'll be awake after it, but will still feel the effects of the drugs for at least half a day."

"So I'm guessing that's when we've got to worry about keeping him in Sickbay," Kathryn sighed, shaking her head. "He's so stubborn."

"You can't complain, you'd be doing the exact same thing if you were in his position," Chakotay smiled.

"True but I wouldn't be in it in the first place," Kathryn muttered harshly, sitting back in her chair.

"I don't think that's true. If you had to decide between your health and your job you'd choose the latter, it's where he gets it from," Chakotay said.

"No," Kathryn muttered. "I mean about the rift in the first place."

"I'm sure you would have done that yourself. You were going to the second time round," Chakotay said. "You're not comparing yourself to him, you're just angry with him as he is too like you in that aspect. He'll be ok in a day or two."

"Good. How's repairs going?" Kathryn questioned.

"Slowly, most of the crew are still a bit shaken up, distracted," Chakotay replied.

"We could all do with some uneventful shoreleave," Kathryn said. "When we get rid of those aliens, we should find somewhere to go."

Chakotay smiled, "that sounds like a plan."

Kathryn rested her arm across her belly, "ugh, I need another drink."

Chakotay looked at her with concern, "morning sickness?"

Kathryn rolled her eyes, "no, all day sickness."

"I'll get some water," Chakotay said, he headed for the replicator. "When did it start, you've been all right so far."

 

Kathryn sat down at the dining table looking very pale, Chakotay, who had a metal cast over his nose, put a glass of water down in front of her.

She looked at him, "we need to talk."

"Huh, we were talking. I asked you how long you've been up with morning sickness, after you asked for a drink," Chakotay muttered.

"No I mean to James," Kathryn said. "He needs to know."

Chakotay sighed, "I'd better go into hiding for a few months then, or at least keep my back to him at all times."

"He'll have to get used to it Chakotay, but yes I do think you should leave before I tell him," Kathryn said. "I can't today, it's his birthday."

"Surely having a new brother or sister would be good news," Chakotay said.

"Not with you as the father, I'm sorry," Kathryn said. "And it's not the best way to say happy tenth birthday."

"You know he has a habit of walking in on things, isn't it better to tell him than for him to find out?" Chakotay questioned.

"Find out about what?" James muttered as he walked into the kitchen. He sat at the dining table in front of his already made breakfast. His face lit up, "oh are you dying? That's a great present thanks."

Chakotay stared blankly at him, "no I'm not dying."

"Worst birthday already and I've only been awake five minutes," James muttered, pouting.

"So honey, do you feel any older?" Kathryn asked with a smile.

"Yeah, can I drive the car?" James replied, smiling innocently.

"Not for another seven years at least," Kathryn muttered.

James looked around his plate, then got up to head for the fridge. "Need juice. Why does it taste different?"

"What the juice?" Kathryn said.

James turned around holding a carton of orange juice, he didn't realise that it was leaking through the cap and that he was squeezing it too hard. "No, breakfast."

"Oh, um, I'm trying a new method," Kathryn nervously replied.

"Yeah," Chakotay said. "Um careful with the orange juice."

James glanced at the juice with a frown, "god these cartons are flimsy." He put it down on the bench, then reached for the cupboard.

When his back was turned Kathryn mouthed, "thanks for cooking." Chakotay nodded, smiling sneakily. They both jumped when they heard a glass smash.

"James, will you be more careful," Kathryn said as she turned her head to glance at him. Her face turned pale, "what happened." Forgetting the pain in her stomach and nausea, she ran over to James' side.

Glass was all over the floor near him, so was drops of blood. He held his right palm tightly, "I dunno, I picked it up and it broke."

Kathryn put her arm around him, "oh god, sweety. Chakotay ring the doctor, no 911."

"Does this mean I don't have to go to school tomorrow?" James asked as he looked up at her.

Kathryn sighed, "no James."

"Damn," he pouted.

 

Later at the hospital, James sat on a hospital bed while the nurse wrapped a bandage around deep cuts in his hand. Chakotay stood nearby with his arms folded.

"You should tell your son to check a glass before picking it up, it probably was cracked already," the nurse said.

"He's not my dad," James grumbled.

The nurse looked embarrassed, "I'm sorry, step dad."

"No, just a friend of the family," Chakotay uneasily said.

"Why did mum go?" James asked toward the nurse.

Chakotay answered for her, "she isn't feeling well today. I told her not to come, but your mother's stubborn."

"There you go, I want you to come back though so I can see how it's doing," the nurse said. "I'll go check for an empty appointment slot, excuse me." She left the room.

Kathryn walked in after a minute of uncomfortable silence, "Chakotay, word please." Chakotay nodded, he walked passed her to leave. Kathryn went over to James. "How is it sweety?"

"They gave me tablets," he pouted.

Kathryn smiled as she messed up his hair with her hand, he pouted again. "Don't worry, that's to make the pain go away. After I've talked with Chakotay we can go and celebrate your tenth."

"Mum you don't have to be nice all the time," James muttered.

Kathryn frowned, "what do you mean by that?"

"You're still mad at me," James said.

"No I'm not, I was mad at you both and myself for letting it happen," Kathryn said.

"The police don't believe your story where he tripped into the bedroom door mum," James said.

Kathryn sighed, "I know, but they'll find it less believable that you hit him that hard. Plus we have the door off it's hinges."

"Without any blood on it," James added on.

"Yes but I moved it in the right place," Kathryn said. "Don't worry, you're safe and Chakotay's just embarrassed that it happened at all, and he knows he shouldn't have picked you up."

"Ok, can we do something together, not with him?" James asked.

"That's quite difficult as he's paying for the trip," Kathryn replied.

"Then I'm not going," James muttered, folding his arms in a huff. He cringed while moving his injured hand back where it was.

Kathryn sighed, "I'll be right back." She turned around to leave again. James jumped down from the bed to stand by the door. "I've spoken to the doctor."

"And, I thought it was just morning sickness," Chakotay's voice said.

"It is, but she said my stress is a little too high. I need to relax a bit more, can you believe that?" Kathryn's voice said.

"Yes I can," Chakotay's voice said. "Oh don't look at me that way, with what's going on with James it's no surprise that you're stressed."

"Don't say that, it's you as well," Kathryn's voice said. "It's only going to get worse when he finds out about the baby."

James backed away from the door, his eyes wide in shock. He went to the window, and climbed out of it. Not long later everyone stepped back into the room.

"Where is he?" Kathryn stuttered.

Chakotay rushed to the window, "hmm I wonder."

"But why though?" Kathryn said in a nervous voice. "Split up, we have to find him."

 

James walked down the corridors of the hospital looking sorry for himself. "Some birthday." He saw Kathryn talking to a few nurses around the corner, he hid while she walked away towards the canteen. A few men who creeped him out followed her inside, then he heard her gasp when the door closed behind them. "Mum!" He ran after them.

Inside the canteen the men forced Kathryn to the ground, one put a knife in front of her neck. "Your son is on his way here, you didn't teach him a thing did you?" one sneered.

"No," Kathryn stuttered. "James get out of here!" she yelled as James appeared at the door.

The men sneered at him. "We usually don't go for the younger one as well, but this time we'll make the exception. First though." One man pulled out a large dagger.

"No, it would be more fun to kill her first," one moaned.

"Get the hell off my mother," James grumbled.

"Hmm no," one man laughed.

The one with the dagger walked closer, "aaw, they're so cute when they're helpless and untrained." James did nothing except pretend to look scared, when the man reached him and knelt down James gave him the same punch he gave Chakotay. Well he did the same, but it knocked the man quite far backwards and to the floor. The other men looked pretty freaked as his face was barely recognisable now.

James smiled, "who's next?"

"Not so helpless," one stuttered.

The one with the knife at Kathryn's throat groaned, "try anything else boy and we kill her, simple as that. Get him over here." The others went over to grab him.

"It's ok James, fight back. This time you're allowed," Kathryn muttered.

"But mum," James moaned, "they'll kill you." The men kept a hold of him as they put him next to Kathryn.

"Don't worry about me, you can still get out," Kathryn stuttered.

"Ugh I'm getting sick of this mother and son mush," the vampire with the knife groaned. "Who should we kill first?"

Two people burst in, a girl in her thirties held a crossbow in her hands. "I'd say you." She fired, the one with the knife got an arrow in his back, he turned to dust. James quickly grabbed his knife, the other men widened their eyes, and were smart enough to back away from him.

The middle aged man with the girl smiled smugly, "you failed, send our regards to your Masters."

"No we haven't," one said, pulling a gun out to point it at James. He wasn't where he was before, he looked around confused. "Hey, where did..." He interrupted himself by crying out in pain, he looked down to find a knife in his leg. Then he noticed James in front of him, he punched him in the face. Meanwhile the girl ran forward to finish off the other men.

Kathryn stared bewilderedly, "what, uh just happened?"

The girl held out her hand for her, she took it and stood up. "Yeah um, sorry we're late. We were going to explain before this happened but..."

"We were held up in England, there's a lot of um... activity there," the man said.

"What were those things?" Kathryn asked. "Why did they try to kill us?"

"That's what we're here to discuss," the girl replied. She walked over to stand next to James, she held out her hand. "Hi, I'm S'Tara."

"James," he said.

"You're very good you know, we were expecting a helpless boy considering you have no training," S'Tara said.

"Um James has never really been helpless," Kathryn said. James frowned at her. "Well, more or less. So what's going on?"

"We were looking for him. The good thing about this attack is you won't think we're as crazy," the man replied. "Your son is the next Chosen Slayer."

"A what?" James muttered.

"Um, what he said," Kathryn said.

"Another like me," S'Tara said. "In laments terms, we fight evil. There are Natural Slayers, but we're stronger than them. There's only two like us every generation."

"Your sister will be too," the man said.

Kathryn's eyes shifted nervously, "what are you talking about?"

James looked up at her with a raised eyebrow, "oh yeah, thanks for not telling me mum. I heard you."

"Oh," Kathryn mumbled. "So it's a girl huh, how do you know?"

"Brother and sister are the Chosen's everytime," S'Tara frowned. "Wait, she hasn't been born yet. That's odd."

"It was predicted that this generation would be different," the man said. "We should find somewhere else to talk, there is much to discuss."

"Um J'Lian, these people are um pre-warp," S'Tara whispered to him.

"I know, but we haven't got a choice. I really hope you two have open minds. Come," the man said, gesturing to the door.

"Depends what it's about," Kathryn muttered, putting a protective arm around James. They and S'Tara followed.

"Basically other worlds, aliens," J'Lian replied. S'Tara shushed him as they left the canteen. "Again we need somewhere private."

"Aliens, that's what they were?" Kathryn whispered.

"Well they probably used to be before they were turned," S'Tara whispered back.

"This isn't going to end well," Kathryn commented.

 

James opened his eyes, straight ahead of him lay an unknown crewmember on another biobed. The Doctor was busy treating him.

"And he awakes, finally," Jessie sighed in relief. James turned around onto his other side so he could look up at her. "How are you feeling?"

"Better, but..." he replied.

The Doctor rushed to Jessie's side, "there shouldn't be a but. What's the matter?"

"Doc, stop acting like me," Jessie muttered. He glanced at her, confused. "You know panicky over his health."

"Oh," the Doctor muttered.

"How long was I out?" James asked.

"Three hours," Jessie replied. "The stuff's out of your system, but the Doctor expected you to still feel weak and a little dizzy if you tried to sit up or something."

"Yes, is that what the but was?" the Doctor questioned.

"Why so nervous Doc?" Jessie muttered.

James frowned at them both, "I dunno, my head feels heavy and my hand hurts." He raised his right hand, he saw the same cut he had from the glass. It was bleeding heavily. "Uh Doc, you forgot something."

The Doctor frowned as well, he looked at his hand. "There's nothing wrong with your hand."

James glanced at him bewilderedly, "there's a huge cut on it, I don't know how I did it though."

Jessie placed a hand on his arm, "James there's nothing there."

"But there is, I can feel it and see it," James said. He looked back at his hand, the injury was gone and the pain was fading away. "I don't understand."

Chakotay walked into Sickbay, minus his tattoo and wearing twentieth century clothes. "James, it's time to get up."

"What?" James muttered.

"What what?" Jessie questioned, looking concerned.

Meanwhile the Doctor had picked up his tricorder, and was making his way back to James. "Chakotay, he said it was time to get up. That's why I said what." He looked back to where Chakotay was, he was gone. "What the?"

"What's wrong?" Jessie asked.

The Doctor sighed as he scanned him. "I really don't know. This is odd."

"What's odd?" James questioned. "I haven't finally snapped, have I? Or hit my head?"

"No. My first guess was the chip, but it's deactivated still. You're not hallucinating either," the Doctor replied. "There is something there I can't explain though."

"Is it because of the treatment? You did seem panicky like you expected something to happen," Jessie said.

"No, it's not related to the drugs. That's all I was concerned about," the Doctor said. "I can't even begin to explain how but, his brain's sending false signals, and there's a second memory pattern."

"Second? But I don't have other memories that don't belong there," James muttered, looking confused.

"Well you probably wouldn't know the difference," the Doctor said.

James sighed, "I guess not."

"If you don't mind, I need to do a more detailed scan. Jessie can you back away a little," the Doctor said. Jessie stepped back, the large scanner on the biobed went over James.

The Sickbay doors opened again, the vampires from before walked in, sneering at him. "Doc it's doing it again," James muttered.

"I know," the Doctor said as he worked at the station. "It's not real, keep saying that."

The vampires surrounded Kes, she appeared to be able to see them though. They grabbed a hold of her, one pulled a knife out.

The scanner finished, the Doctor turned away for a second. James tried to get up, Jessie held him down. "No no, what are you doing, it's not real."

"But Kes," James stuttered.

Jessie looked over at Kes, to her she was working at the station on her own. "She's fine, you're seeing things."

James settled down, he looked over to her. She lay on the floor with a slit neck, the vampires headed toward where Jessie stood. He closed his eyes, "not real, not real."

The station started doing the warning beeps, "ohno." Jessie looked at the Doctor with wide eyes.

"What is it?" her voice sounded like it was fading away to James. He could hear the Doctor speaking, but it was so quiet he couldn't hear what he was saying. He tried to open his eyes, but they wouldn't. All he could hear was a buzzing sound getting louder and louder.

James now was lying underneath the bed covers of a double bed, he now looked seventeen years old. The alarm clock was buzzing loudly, a hand emerged from the covers. The alarm clock was soon on the ground a little broken.

The door opened, Kathryn pushed the door the rest of the way and made her way over to the bed. "James come on get up, you don't want to be late on your first day."

James appeared from the covers, "no whatever."

"Your sister's nearly ready so you better hurry. I made some coffee, providing that Lena hasn't drank it already," Kathryn said as she headed for the door.

James groaned as he pulled himself out of the bed, "that's no different from any other day."

A little while later:
"Fine whatever, we'll ask him," Kathryn muttered.

"Oh yes, ask the boy who'll probably get expelled on the first day," Chakotay commented.

James cleared his throat, the pair glanced at him. "The arm's fine, and this is college, I won't get expelled from it, promise."

"This'll be the one and only college, we're not moving our lives for you a third time," Chakotay grumbled. He pushed passed James as he left the room.

Kathryn sighed, "don't worry honey, he's just being him."

"More than usual, where's that coffee?" James muttered. Kathryn pushed a coffee cup towards him.

The little girl peeped her head through the door, "is it safe to come in now?"

"Of course it is," Kathryn replied.

"It is until I finish this cup," James said.

"Ohno, should cut him off mum," the girl commented as she grabbed a hold of a glass of juice.

"I think I should cut you off instead Lena," Kathryn said.

James finished off his cup, he dumped a bag on top of the table. "So is this really my only chance?"

"I don't know, I haven't really thought about it. This isn't a school, it's a college so it's up to you if something happens," Kathryn replied.

Chakotay walked back into the room, "James, that new watcher of yours is on the phone."

James groaned, "oh god, so glad I had a coffee." He walked out of the room.

A minute later he walked back in, "he's coming tomorrow night, that's just great. Tell me why I need a new one?"

"This one will train you to be better," Kathryn replied. She whispered, "and the other one kinda died, didn't he?"

Lena started to dig into some cereal. "Better at what?" she asked with a mouthful of cereal.

"School work," Kathryn blurted out. Chakotay and James looked at her with the same eyebrow raised. "Don't look at me like that."

James looked at his watch, "we should be going, hurry up and eat that."

Lena pulled a face at him with another mouthful of cereal. She quickly swallowed, "maybe you should hurry up and sort that hair out."

James looked at Kathryn, "what's wrong with my hair?"

Kathryn tried to keep a straight face, "nothing, she's just toying with you. Now remember I'll take you two today only. James you memorise the route cos you'll be taking your sister home after school."

"I know, you did the same last time," James said.

"And the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that," Lena said in a sing song voice.

James looked down at her, he messed up her hair with his left hand, "now who's hair needs sorting out?"

"Hey," she moaned with a pout on her face.

Chakotay rolled his eyes, "I'll be off to work then. Lena be good, James no more female friends, starting fires in a classroom and beating up people on campus." He walked out of the room.

Kathryn headed for the kitchen doorway, "come on then."

Lena jumped down from the stool, "where's my bag?"

"Oh I fed it to the neighbours dog," James replied.

Lena kicked him lightly in the leg, "you're scared of that dog, don't be dumb."

"No I'm not," James snapped. He looked Kathryn's way, "it's their cat I don't like."

"I know what you mean," Kathryn said.

Later:
A blue Citroen car pulled into a space in between two other parked cars, nearby was a large college building with lots of students standing around outside.

Kathryn glanced over at James, who was keeping an eye on the view outside. "Listen I know Chakotay was a bit harsh but he did have a point before."

James glanced at her, "you mean the no female friends, no setting fire to classrooms and no fights on 'campus' part?"

"Definitely right about the other two, the first one's up to you. What I meant was he was right about the whole we can't move again for you," Kathryn replied.

"Yeah but I got expelled because of my job, there's nothing I can do," James said.

"I know but maybe this watcher will actually help you," Kathryn said.

"He's nineteen, they're not even supposed to train at that age," James said.

Kathryn's eyes widened, "nineteen, really? Well bring him home sometime to make it look like you've made a male friend for once."

James rolled his eyes, "why do you two keep bothering me about that?"

"Well your step father isn't exactly a good male role model is he? You need another male influence, you've only been friends with girls," Kathryn replied.

"This Daniel will be that crappy influence, I can't make friends with guys, I've tried. All the ones I've met seem to talk about sports which I'm rubbish at," James said.

"What was the longest time you talked to one?" Kathryn asked.

"About two minutes," James replied meekly.

Kathryn shook her head, "you'll find that quite a lot don't like sports either. Besides you're not rubbish at sports."

"Yes I am, the first time I played football the ball got stuck in the wall. Basketball I hit some guy in the face and he was in hospital for several days. And what about the bowling incident?" James said.

Kathryn tried not to laugh, "well look on the bright side, in England that Bowling Alley banning thing isn't a problem anymore."

"Ugh whatever," James muttered as he opened the car door, and stepped out of the car itself.

Kathryn sighed, "honey, just remember you'll be fine if you just leave your work out of college."

James nodded his head. He made his way towards the college buildings. Kathryn watched him until he was out of sight, then pulled away.

Later:
James and a posh looking girl were standing in a narrow corridor, the girl kept on glancing at him.

"So what are you here for?" she finally asked.

"I'm new here," James replied.

The girl nodded her head, "oh, well I'm here cos the teacher thinks everything is illogical. Since when is taking care of my nails illogical?"

"Your teacher sounds like a Vulcan," James muttered to himself.

"I'd call him an ass, if you get him just skive or something," the girl said with a frown.

James glanced around uneasily, "uh huh."

The girl eyed him up and down, "hmm you're kinda cute."

James quickly took a few large steps to the left, "um that's nice."

The girl just shrugged, she decided to start staring at her nails instead.

One of the doors opened, a middle aged man appeared at the doorway. "James Taylor-Janeway?"

The girl put her hand up, "yep that's me, I have a boys first name. Dumb ass."

The teacher narrowed his eyes, "Trinity you're here again?"

The girl smiled sweetly, "yes Mr Roberts, it's me again."

"That'll make my day," Mr Roberts muttered. He disappeared back into his office, James followed him quickly.

"He loves me," Trinity commented.

Later:
An entire class were sitting on stools listening to the teacher, who was in fact Tuvok, going on and on. A group of girls were talking quietly amongst themselves, the girls were in fact Danny, Jessie and Trinity.

"Yeah the new kid is so cute but so gay," Trinity whispered.

Danny glanced behind her to look at James who was just scribbling on the notepad he had. She turned back around, "what makes you think he's gay?"

"Duh I asked him out and he panicked, ok I only said he was cute," Trinity replied.

"Trin, you scare every guy you say that to. You have this psychotic glare on your face whenever you do," Danny said.

"I just thought everyone was gay," Trinity said.

"Who are you talking about exactly?" Jessie asked as she looked up from her notepad.

"The new lad," Danny replied.

Jessie raised her eyebrow, "I don't pay much attention, for all I know the teacher is the new guy."

"Oh please the new kid is like, wow. Mr Tuvok is like, ugh," Trinity whispered.

"I'll take your word for it," Jessie muttered.

Danny leaned in closer to her friend, "Jess he's sitting right behind me, you've got a better view for goodness sake."

Jessie glanced a little to the side of Danny. James had finished fiddling with the pen he had, and was now fiddling with one of the screwdrivers that they had been given. It broke in his hand, he quickly put the pieces next to his neighbour and tried to look like nothing had happened. He went back to fiddling with the pen.

"He's pretty clumsy," Jessie commented.

"Is that all you got from him? My god girl we need to do some more work on you," Trinity commented.

"I don't want you to, I'm fine with the not liking guys thing," Jessie said.

"Honey if you're not careful the rumours will start flying again," Trinity said.

"Ok fine I'll pretend to look at a new guy in the class, that'll cure that problem," Jessie muttered sarcastically.

The lad sitting next to James put his hand up, "Mr Tuvok sir?"

Tuvok raised his eyebrow, "yes Sean?"

"Somebody broke a screw driver," Sean responded. He glanced at James.

"Don't look at me, it's on your side near your book," James said.

"Sean it is logical to assume that you put your book on it and didn't notice you broke it until now," Tuvok said.

Sean looked around helplessly, "but I didn't move the book, the driver was nearby him."

"Hey I have witnesses, the table in front of me has two people who are facing my way. They'll have seen it," James said.

Tuvok walked over to Danny and Jessie's table. "Did any of you see the incident?"

A shy girl shook her head. Tuvok glanced over at Jessie. "Nope, didn't see anything," she said quietly.

"Sean, you should move to another table, it will be cleaned up after the lesson," Tuvok said. He walked back to the front of the class. He looked at his watch, "that is all." Everyone quickly started to pack up.

"Now remember the assignment is due in this Friday," Tuvok said. He packed up his things and followed several of the quicker students out.

Danny, Trinity and Jessie stood up more or less at the same time. Danny turned around to face James' direction. "I take it you broke the screw driver," she said.

James put his bag over his shoulder as he looked at her, "was it that obvious?"

Danny briefly glanced back at Jessie, "my friend mentioned something about you being clumsy, I figured that's what you broke or whatever."

"Well, Sean and the teacher fell for it," James said.

Trinity turned to Jessie, "just look at her, hitting on the new guy, so shallow."

"Trin you hit on him, and Danny's just talking to him," Jessie muttered.

"Shh, I won't tell if you won't," Trinity whispered.

"Look do you know where the Application of Number class is?" James asked.

Danny glanced back at Jessie again, she shook her head. "That's handy, my friend is going there next. She can show you."

"You are dead Danny," Jessie muttered.

"Hey I'll swap you anytime," Trinity said quietly.

"Thanks but I don't think she likes me or something," James said uneasily.

"Oh she's just shy, right Jess?" Danny said.

Jessie sighed, "whatever."

"See, she'll take you. Better get going," Danny said. She attempted to push James in Jessie's direction, but she failed.

"It's ok I can walk on my own," James said.

Danny nodded her head nervously, "right."

Jessie headed for the door, "just follow me." James followed her out of the classroom.

Trinity stood next to Danny, "what are you doing?"

"Helping the newbie," Danny replied.

"No, what are you doing? After spending five minutes with her, he's going to wish that maths was his only problem," Trinity said.

"Maybe, but think of it this way. After spending five minutes with him, she might tolerate guys more," Danny replied.

Trinity nodded her head, "good idea, but you do know it's Jessie. I mean for all we know he's a complete jerk, that won't help."

Danny's face dropped, "yeah he'd have to be 100% friendly, have a good personality, and not try and get off with her."

"In other words he'd probably have to have a sex change for her to like him," Trinity said.

Danny groaned, "crap, what do we do about her?"

 

****TO BE CONTINUED****

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