7

Crew Quarters, B Deck, 1348 hours June 9 2151

"Oh no you don't," she said, gently but firmly stopping him from getting up.

Reed was sitting up in bed and leaning against the locker that formed a headboard for his bunk. He was feeling much better than he had the day before, so he'd been trying to convince Jean to let him do some work. Of course, she wouldn't hear of it.

"Ensign..." He gave her a long-suffering look, secretly glad that he'd kept the whine out of his voice and managed to only sound irritated. A pillow had been put behind his shoulders, so when he let his head fall back against the locker in defeat he didn't hurt himself.

"Phlox gave me very specific instructions. In addition to looking after you, I've been ordered to make sure that you actually rest..."

He cut her off, raising his voice slightly and fixing her with a stern look. "Ensign, I still outrank you."

But she kept on talking as though he hadn't said anything. "... and if necessary I'll recommend to Phlox that a security detail be posted outside your quarters. Or I could just sedate you for a day or two."

He looked scandalized, not wanting to believe her. "You wouldn't."

She tilted her head slightly and one corner of her mouth twitched defiantly. "Try me. It would make babysitting you much easier. Besides, where medicine is concerned Phlox outranks everyone on Enterprise, so you can't countermand his orders."

The fact that he was fighting her and being less cooperative meant that he was indeed feeling better, but he still needed to rest and not do anything to overexert himself. At the same time, she knew that he was a very work-oriented person, so she understood that not being able to do any work for an entire week must be killing him. She decided to ease up a little.

"If you'd really like something to keep yourself occupied," she held out a PADD to him with its blue screen softly glowing, "here's a crewman's report on Terra Nova. If you'd like to add anything to read it."

He took the PADD from her reluctantly and started to skim it, but after a short while he put it aside and gave her a strange look. "Ensign, this report seems very familiar. Do you have any idea who wrote it?"

She smiled mischievously and nodded, barely able to contain herself. "Yes sir. You did."

Instead of clearing it up, this seemed to make Reed even more confused. He picked the PADD up again and looked for the byline, but was further confused to find his own name there, along with yesterday's date as the date for when it was written.

"It's not possible. This report contains details that only I observed, and I haven't recorded any of it. Ensign, where did you get this?"

Jean grinned at him sheepishly, slightly less eager to give her explanation than she'd been a few moments before.

"Well sir, yesterday you mentioned wanting to write a report on Terra Nova, so when we started talking I set this PADD to record our conversation. Right now it's in an interview format but all the things you said yesterday are there, so editing it into whatever format you'd prefer should be fairly simple."

She sat on the edge of his bed gnawing at her lip, waiting for him to say something. He looked from her to the PADD and back several times without saying a word. Finally, when she could hardly stand it anymore, he cleared his throat and spoke up.

"Well, ensign, it seems that you are willing to let me do some light work today," she nodded, smiling and waiting for him to continue since it was clear that he had more to say.

"I suppose I should thank you for letting me work yesterday... even though I didn't know it at the time. I did want to get something done and the way you did this was very creative. Thank you."

"You're very welcome. I'm willing to let you work, as long as you'll promise to do the work in bed and to put it down when you start feeling tired."

He narrowed his eyes at her. "Agreed." He pointed towards two bowls which had mysteriously appeared in his quarters. One was full of crackers and the other held red, presumably cherry-flavored, jiggly stuff which he believed Americans referred to as 'gelatin' instead of 'jelly'.

He had learned the difference during his Starfleet training when he had asked for a bowl of jelly at a diner in San Francisco. The waitress had given him a strange look and gestured at a wire holder on his table which contained small packets of jam. "Hon," she had said, "That right there is jelly. Did'ja mean you wanted a bowl of that stuff, or did you want flavored gelatin?"

Reed shook his head at the memory and brought himself back to the present.

"I assume you left these here for me?"

She nodded, enjoying his amused tone. "You were asleep when I came by earlier. I didn't want to wake you, so I just left the bowls. It's been a few days since you've had anything solid to eat, so it'll be good to start off with something easy to digest."

He nodded and took a few crackers out of the bowl. "Thanks"

Not only am I being kept here against my will, but they've got me on a diet of bread and water, too. The irony of it prompted him to smile.

She raised her eyebrows in mild confusion and her mouth smiled again. "Just doing my job." She wasn't sure what was amusing him but hoped that he'd let her in on it.

He was still smiling when her response sank in, and then the smile began to fade. He chewed on one of the crackers thoughtfully, washing down a dry mouthful with some water and then waving the rest of that cracker at her.

"No, this is more than just your job. As a doctor you aren't obligated to do anything more than give me medicine and advice, but you've been staying here to visit and talk with me, bringing me food and, well..." He shook his head helplessly, not knowing how to articulate everything she'd done for him over the past few days.

She looked down at the carpet for a second, almost seeming embarrassed. "Well, maybe my duties as doctor and friend have overlapped some, and I'm sorry if I've been fussing over you too much. I know it makes some people uncomfortable..."

He finished off another cracker. "I'm not one of them. If you'll recall, I was the one who asked you to stay yesterday."

Her head tilted to one side and she showed an evil half-smile. "Really, sir? I don't remember that conversation." He was well enough now that she didn't feel guilty about giving him a hard time.

Reed shot her a surprised look which he managed to turn into a playful glare. "I'm sure I don't know what you mean, ensign." So you know that I wanted you to stay, just don't say anything about it.

Fortunately, she seemed to understand. "Alright sir. There are a few things I need to take care of in Sickbay. It shouldn't take me more than half an hour, but if you start to feel daring before I come back, comm. me and I'll bring you some soup." She paused, looking at him sternly. "Can I trust you to stay in bed while I'm gone?"

He nodded, smiling a bit and relaxing against the pillows to show her that he'd behave. Alright. Soup could be good. I am starting to feel hungry again, and she'll come back here when she's done with whatever she needs to do. She'll come back. She doesn't have to, but she'll do it anyway.

"I can't thank you enough."

She patted his arm as she stood up, flashing him a reassuring smile on her way to the door. "You already have."