When Jean-Luc Picard recognized the man who had materialized on his bridge as the abductor of the Enterprise's Chief Medical Officer, he did something very UN-Jean-Luc Picardish. He leapt at the man, leading with a left hook. The blow landed with a satisfying crunch, the momentum taking both men to the floor.

OK, so he was pissed that this terrorist had shot out the nav and communications consoles. He was more pissed the cowardly fighters had tried to set a bomb on the warp core. Hell, he was pissed that the man had the balls to appear on HIS bridge! But deeper than those, was the knowledge that this man was responsible for taking Beverly Crusher against her will and possibly harming her. He threw all his weight into the punch.

He had the man pinned on the carpet when suddenly an overwhelming pain grabbed him, as if from the inside out. It seemed to last an eternity, over in an instant. The Dimensional Shift left him nauseated and with a headache throbbing behind his eyes. Before he could regain his senses or his feet, he felt a knee in his back, then his arms being seized and pulled sharply behind him. The decisive click of manacles accompanied the uncomfortable restraint. He was unceremoniously hauled to his feet.

Around him he saw rough-hewn stone. Technology nested inside primitive caverns. He fought his captors for a moment, rewarded by the men on each arm merely lifting his bound arms, causing excruciating pain. He resigned himself to captivity for now, saving his energy to discover an escape.

He was led to a small alcove, carved out of the rock. A bed of sorts appeared to be laid out—at least blankets and a pillow were laid on a flatish surface, as if for sleeping. A quick glance around showed only the one entrance, the one he had been led through. He was shoved hard against the 'bed', and held in place by one captor, (and his disruptor) while the other reached down to shackle his ankles.

His eyes were caught by a flash of copper coming around the corner, into the stone niche. His unconscious recognized her before he even saw the blue lab coat. She stopped abruptly, shock crossing her features for a moment.

Myriad emotions swam through him in that instant. Relief—she was alive. Fear—she was captured by these terrorists. Guilt—he should have beamed her up. Joy—she was alive and she was in one piece. GUILT—again, for being so relieved and joyful that she was here.

He squared his shoulders and lifted his chin as he met her gaze. Her eyes widened. He imagined he saw relief in their blue depths, then was sure he saw pain cross her features—had she been hurt? Had they hurt her? He looked hard at her, he could discern no marks on her, but her skin was pale, the shadows underneath her eyes smudges of dark purple. She looked drawn, exhausted. Terrorized. He watched as she visibly gathered her poise around herself and blocked her emotions from their captors.

Her gaze never left his.

Remarkably, they were left alone. He was sure there were listening devices, or spies nearby, but he did not care. As soon as she drew near, he spoke. .

In a low voice he told her of Worf, of Wesley.

"But you are alright though?"

"They needed a Doctor…" She refused to meet his gaze, trying to find things to busy her hands. His arms ached slightly from the position of the restraints. The greater ache was to be able to wrap around her, to comfort her; To reassure her they would find a way out of this.

Their gazes locked when he told her of Wesley's work, his own delight in her son's insight and technical prowess…

Her voice began to break, "he's had good role models."

She sat next to him on the 'bed.' Her knee nudged his thigh, the contact reassuring to him. He wanted to touch her, the small connection was all they had. He shifted ever so slightly, gaining an inch more of contact.

They argued about orders, each having their own guilt to contend with.

He made the mistake of bringing up Stockholm Syndrome. She disdainfully disregarded his observation and drew further into her disquiet.

Finn exposed himself, as Jean-Luc had been expecting, he had been listening to their exchange.

"She wouldn't even tell me her name." Captain Picard felt pride well up in him. Sometimes he forgot she was a StarFleet Officer as well as a Doctor. She could defend herself and hold her own with the best of them. But her Healer's heart so defined her very essence, it was easy to forget she was a warrior, a diplomat, a soldier and an emissary, the way they all were…

Finn took her away. Jean-Luc had a bad moment then. But he reminded himself they needed a Doctor. She would help those in need—she could not deny them that, would have offered them that had they not forced her to it against her will. She had left with a look meant to reassure him.

When she returned, some time later, (he had lost track of time in the dark shadows of stone,) she looked even more weary, more pale. Her copper hair hung in disarray from many passes of her nervous hand through it. He worried, ineffectually, since there seemed no way out of this one, and he was in no position to comfort or console her.

They argued again. He, contending it was their duty to find a way out… she, sounding lost and defeated, wondering aloud if the Federation were not part of the problem rather than the solution.

Four steps, turn, four steps. He wished for the freedom to step in front of her and hold her still. She paused, finding something to occupy her hands… then coming nearer to him, eyes downcast...

"Jean-Luc," Something in the way she said his name frightened him to his core. "There are some things I want to tell you, in case we don't make it out of this… " He met her gaze, evenly, now absurdly hopeful, despite the circumstances.

The lights went out.

He had been waiting. He knew Wesley was very, very close to locating the source of the dimensional shifts. He had faith in his crew. He had no doubt the sudden loss of power was anything but coincidence.

His relief was palpable, though his body tensed for action. "They've found us then." He cleared his mind of all but concentration on what was to come—being ready to take advantage the moment it became available.

They would be fine.