Rating and Warnings: NC-13, because Jesse felt like swearing (I don't think it's too bad, but it might get worse later.)

Disclaimer: Not mine, I just like to play with them for a little while.

Archive: For now, please ask as I'm not sure when I'll have time to finish this. I ought to be working on a Harry Potter fic right now and there are several other projects I've been promising people for a while. I don't like leaving unfinished work hanging around the net.

A/N: Sorry, this isn't the new chapter of Double O Seve . . . rus. I'm still working on that one and since I felt I owed you something at least and had this one lying around I thought I might as well post it, though the fic isn't finished. I don't know when the next chapter will be up. It probably depends on how fast Double O goes. Well, chapter one: Jesse isn't feeling too well, Jean Claude wants to help and Moku is very curious. Who's Moku you ask? Read and find out. "" means somebody's talking in English, -- in outrider language.






Chapter 1: A Simple Cold



A rather annoying flu virus had been making it's way through the Outrider forces for at least a week when Jesse first started coughing. Nemesis was beginning to feel the increasing shortage of personnel and accordingly was in a bad mood. His nastiness was probably quite aware that the number of affected soldiers would increase dramatically before this was over and was generally not very willing to accept the fact people sometimes got sick in the first place.

All in all Jesse decided that this was probably not the best time to call in sick and, hell, it was just a simple cold.

His Outrider colleagues however didn't seem to see things the same way Nemesis did. Most of them just did their best to stay as far away from Jesse as they could, but one particularly big and stupid specimen whose name escaped Jesse's memory, actually dared to grumble something about killing Jesse, if he passed the flu on to him.

Jesse glared at the offender. He was not in the mood to deal with this guy. Actually he wasn't in the mood to deal with anyone or anything. He was tired. Those stupid coughing fits had kept him awake most of the night and now his throat was all sore and swallowing hurt.

"It's not your damn flu at all." he croaked. "It's just a stupid cold."

"Looks a lot like it." Razzle commented from the safety of the other end of the meeting room.

Several others nodded agreement. If Jesse had felt a little less sore he'd probably have considered murdering at least Razzle for this. Luckily he wasn't left completely without allies in this fight.

"Jesse can't even get the same diseases we do." Jean Claude explained in a rather bored tone. "He's a different species."

"Lots of diseases kill all sorts of animals." Big and stupid insisted.

"Yeah, but not creatures from different planets, much less different dimensions. They have to be related somehow." one of the scientists pointed out. "Fleshlings getting or giving the flu from or to Outriders is an absolutely ridiculous idea."

"Fine, in that case could you please return your attention to our latest project." Nemesis hissed effectively ending the discussion.

The strategy meeting seemed endless today. Jesse was still dead tired, sore and now also developing a headache. Between coughing fits and trying to keep himself from nodding off he barely caught the basics of Nemesis' latest plan and he didn't even notice it until Nemesis asked for comments.

Uncharacteristically Nemesis accepted a half hearted shrug as his only answer and after a measuring look passed him over.

Jesse began to wonder whether he looked even worse than he felt, if even Nemesis didn't want to bother with him. And what had they done with the temperature controls? He was feeling decidedly cold.

"Maybe you should go down to med bay and let the doctors check you out." Jean Claude suggested on the way out after the meeting.

"And what exactly do you think an Outrider doctor is going to do with me?" Jesse tried to say. Damn, his voice was gone.

Jean Claude had apparently understood him anyway. "Well, I didn't think you'd appreciate me suggesting you see a vet too much." he teased.

When Jesse had first joined the Outrider army Nemesis had insisted on a quick health check ... performed by an exobiologist, as Jesse had found out later. The guy was the Outriders' best expert on life forms from the sol system, but the incident still irked Jesse as Jean Claude well knew.

"I'm not going to see anyone. It's just a simple cold. It'll go away in a few days." If only he weren't feeling so dizzy. Had to be the lack of sleep.

"At least go back to bed until then." Jean Claude tried. "You look feverish."

"It's nothing, Jean Claude." Jesse somehow managed to say through another coughing fit. Why the hell did the Outrider have to look so concerned? It wasn't like they were friends.

Yes, they did spend a lot of time together, mainly because Jean Claude spoke English quite well and made a good translator. Not that Jesse thought he'd have been lost without his help. The most important Outriders all spoke English, though not always fluently, and he'd picked up more of the Outrider language then he wanted people to know in the time he'd been here. Still Jean Claude was the most comfortable person to talk to and for some reason he put up with Jesse's frequent company even when he was off duty.

"It's not nothing." the Outrider insisted. "And you aren't really needed today. Go get some rest."

"You're not seriously suggesting I should ask Nemesis for sick leave, are you? He'll kill me."

"No, he won't." Jean Claude said patiently. "Even he has already noticed that you are practically asleep on your feet and of no use to anyone in your condition. Go to bed, Jesse. Sleep it off."

"No." croaked Jesse stubbornly.

And that was how things continued for the rest of the day and the day after. Jean Claude did his best to convince Jesse to either see a doctor or stay in bed, Nemesis ignored them both after a while and everybody else avoided him, but Jesse insisted on continuing his usual routine. Well, with a few alterations. He skipped breakfast that second morning, because he couldn't swallow anything anyway, ate half a bowl of soup for lunch and flat out refused when Jean Claude tried to coax him into having dinner. He also skipped weapons training due to his pounding headache. Just walking and sitting around was hard enough.

When Jesse didn't show up that next morning Nemesis sent Jean Claude to check up on him.

-Uh, you want me to drag him out of bed, Sir?- Jean Claude asked cautiously.

-No, if he's still sick, just report it and leave him there. It's getting seriously boring to watch him drag himself around anyway.-

And that's how it came that Jesse woke up that morning just as Jean Claude carried a tray of food into his room.

"How'd you get in here?" he grumbled almost incomprehensibly since his throat still hadn't gotten any better.

"Morning." Jean Claude tried brightly. "I brought you some breakfast."

"I'm sure I locked that door." croaked Jesse.

"Oh, I asked one of the technicians at the hangar to rewire it for me." Jean Claude shrugged. "Took him only ten minutes which was just enough to get your breakfast."

Jesse cautiously inspected 'breakfast'. It looked like some kind of fruit, which wasn't really a surprise. The Outriders appeared to love fruits of all kinds and so far none of the alien fruits had proven to be poisonous to humans. He'd stopped importing human food after a while. It was quite difficult, expensive and time consuming to arrange and all in all Outrider food wasn't that bad. Not that he'd ever admit he liked it.

Jean Claude used Jesse's distraction with shoving the food around his plate to secretly inspect Jesse. He definitely looked worse even though he'd apparently slept through the whole morning. They'd already been setting up for lunch when he'd arrived in the mess to ask them for some breakfast for Jesse.

He suppressed a sigh. This didn't look like a simple cold to him at all anymore, but Jesse couldn't have caught the flu from an Outrider. Maybe he'd picked up some Fleshling flu during their last mission? He had met other Fleshlings there, so it was possible.

"Are you sure you don't have a fever?" he asked once again.

"I don't have a thermometer." Jesse growled.

"No problem. I'll ask the Physics lab. They've got all kinds of thermometers."

"No time." Jesse gave him a very weak smirk. "I'm late already."

"No, you're not." grinned Jean Claude. "Nemesis granted your sick leave."


"He thinks sick Fleshlings are boring."

If Jesse's head hadn't hurt so much, he'd probably have thrown his pillow at Jean Claude. As it was he just sank back into it and pulled the covers up while Jean Claude went to get that thermometer.

Which he pushed straight into Jesses mouth when he returned.

"Hey, what ..." Jesse tried to protest.

"Shush, talking will mess up the thermometer's readings." Jean Claude interrupted him.

Jesse was beginning to suspect that the Outrider was enjoying the chance to boss him around, but he felt too weak to fight back. He decided to just close his eyes and let it all happen.

"What is the normal body temperature of a ... 'human'?"

Jesse cracked one eye open again to look up at Jean Claude. Should he answer him, or follow the 'no talking' command?

"Never mind, it's got to be in the computer."

Jesse sighed and closed his eye again. At least this way the headache wasn't as bad and as long as he didn't try to get up he didn't feel dizzy either.



For two days Jean Claude continued to play nurse, but Jesse still wasn't much better and now the Outrider was beginning to cough as well. And in his case it had to be the flu for sure.


"What?" Jesse answered. Right now his voice actually sounded better than Jean Claude's.

"I feel terrible." Jean Claude complained.

Jesse sat up and looked at him. Poor guy, he really did look sick. "Sorry, but what do you want me to do about it."

"I have to go down to med bay." Jean Claude stated.

"So, why don't you?"

"If this is the flu, they'll keep me there for at least two weeks and then there'll be nobody to care for you."

That was a problem. He'd have to get his own food then.

"Come with me Jesse." Jean Claude begged.

"Your doctors don't know a thing about humans." Jesse reminded him. "What more can they do than put me into bed and wait till I get better?"

"They do have medical data about your race." Jean Claude corrected him. "And they have nurses who'll care for you and I'll know you don't need me."

And somehow Jean Claude really did manage to talk Jesse into accompanying him to med bay.

The place was rather hectic since the flu had spread unexpectedly fast causing an unusually high number of patients while part of the medical staff was sick as well. Jean Claude took several minutes to track down a young doctor and explain the situation to her. That was when Jesse realised he had another problem. Unlike the warriors and spies which were expected to have contact with the humans, the Outriders' medical personnel had not been taught any enemy languages. If he got separated from Jean Claude in here he'd have to rely on the little bits an pieces of Outrider language he knew to communicate.

The young doctor stared at Jesse wide eyed. -I don't know what to do with a Fleshling!- she gasped.

Jesse understood that sentence without a problem. Fleshling had been the very first Outrider word he'd learned to recognise and 'I don't know what to do.' were words he often heard from his soldiers.

"I told you so." he informed Jean Claude, but the doctor seemed to have had an idea.

She indicated for them to sit down and dashed off.

"Don't worry, I just have to convince them they have a bed left over for you." Jean Claude tried to console him.

The young doctor returned with another doctor in tow. This one was older and Jesse thought he'd seen him before. Of course, he had to be the head doctor. She'd just passed the problem on to her boss.

-Hi, Moku.- Jean Claude greeted him like an old friend. -I've probably just got the flu, but Jesse's sick, too and nobody seems to know what to do with a sick Fleshling.-

Jesse unfortunately didn't understand much more than that the guy's name was Moku and he apparently didn't speak English either, so he just shrugged at the doctor when he looked at him.

Moku decided to deal with the easier task first. He examined Jean Claude, gave him some apparently very bad tasting medicine and put him into the next available bed. Jesse decided to stay next to Jean Claude, but unfortunately the medicine had a strong drowsing effect and Jean Claude quickly fell asleep.

Moku turned to Jesse and said something Jesse couldn't understand.

"I think we'll need a translator, Moku." he informed the doctor.

Moku turned towards one of his assistants and asked him to get someone who spoke 'Fleshling'. The assistant stared at Moku in complete confusion and answered -Where the hell from?-

Jesse sighed. Those were two more sentences he knew very well.

Moku turned back to Jesse at this sign of possible understanding. -Come.- he said making 'follow me' gestures.

-No.- Jesse made his very first attempt at actually pronouncing an Outrider word. -Jean Claude speak Fleshling.-

-Jean Claude is asleep.- Moku insisted. -Come.-

-No. Jean Claude.- What Jesse really wanted to say was that he didn't want to be separated from the only person around who spoke his language, but unfortunately he had no idea how to say 'separate' in Outrider language. Just what was the order to split up? He must have heard that somewhere sometime, but his head hurt again and he couldn't remember.

Moku looked from Jesse to Jean Claude then back to Jesse. -Come now. Back later?-

Back later? Did that mean he'd take him back to Jean Claude after whatever he was planning to do with him? His head hurt too much and he was getting dizzy again as well. He wasn't well enough to stay up this long.

Slowly to demonstrate that he was still hesitant to leave he nodded and Moku smiled and led him back to the examination room.

What Moku planned to do with him turned out to be a very thorough examination of every part of his body in front of several younger doctors, who looked on wide eyed. At least Jesse was allowed to lie down during most of it. Apparently the results were compared to data from the computer. The young doctors asked lots of questions with the word Fleshling in them. That's what tipped Jesse off to what they were doing there. They'd never seen a human before and Moku had decided Jesse made good teaching material!

Why had he come down here again?

Finally Moku finished by taking a blood sample and handing it to one of the onlookers with the words: -Take this to my ...- Unfortunately Jesse didn't know the last word, but at least Moku was giving 'follow me' signs again, so this ordeal seemed to be over.

Indeed Moku led him back to where they'd left Jean Claude just like promised. They'd set up another bed for him, right next to Jean Claude's.

-Good.- Jesse told Moku. He wasn't going to thank the guy even if he'd known the word.

Moku smiled again nodded and went off to his lab to study the Fleshling's blood. Maybe, if he could find some virus or bacteria or any substance that didn't belong in there, he'd be able to come up with a way to actually cure the Fleshling. That feat might make him famous! What other Outrider doctor could claim to have successfully treated a Fleshling? Of course it meant he had to analyse everything in there and compare it to the partially unclear data their spies had stolen from Fleshling medical computers. Whoever had made the translation had apparently had no idea of medicine or even chemistry at all.

Several hours later Moku stared unbelieving at the first set of results. This was impossible! Absolutely impossible! It just couldn't be!

But it was. Moku dashed to the next communication station. -I have to talk to Nemesis, right now.- he told the surprised soldier who answered his call.



Next: We find out what Moku's so excited about, Jean Claude has to break it to Jesse and Jesse is not inclined to accept the news.