Ok, I'm not entirely sure myself yet where this one is going to go! But a little bit of cutesy wouldn't-you-love-Jean-Luc-to-be-there-when-you're-sick can't hurt for an opening, can it?

disclaimer: Paramount is big brother - I'm just borrowing his toys :)

hope you enjoy!

Jessie xx


"And there's no such thing as the common cold," he teased quietly as he entered the room.

"Funny guy," she grumbled from where she lay on the sofa. "Funny…" here she was interrupted by an attack of coughing.

He pulled a face and pushed her legs off the sofa, he sat next to her and pulled her up. She curled gratefully around his chest as her cough subsided. He felt her chest rise and fall quickly against his as she caught her breath and calmed down as he stroked her back.

She sighed, "I'm sorry."

He relaxed as she pulled away. "Why?"

"I'm not supposed to get ill," she grumbled, reaching to the table to pick up what turned out to be an empty glass. "Damn," she cursed and then regretted it as her irritated throat punished her exclamation by causing her to cough again. She leant heavily on the arm of the sofa and tried to stand up but quickly sat again as her head rewarded her with dizziness.

Jean-Luc rose instead and walked to the replicator ordering a glass of water and a cup of tea. He looked back at her as he waited for the drinks to appear. She sat on the edge of the cushion with her head in her hands looking as sorry for herself as she could. She still wore her uniform from yesterday having been too ill to care much for getting changed when she returned from sickbay. She had been asleep on the sofa when Alyssa had called round in the morning, concerned that she hadn't turned up for work and hadn't moved much from there since. He returned to the sofa and pulled her hands down from her face to press the glass of water into them. He waited for her to drink and settle her breathing again before sitting down opposite her as she pulled her legs onto the sofa and curled into the corner. He sat down opposite her and observed her from over his teacup.

"So, feeling better?" he asked.

Her reply was a scowl as she did not trust her throat to stand for her speaking again.

"Would you like some dinner?" he bit in his laughter.

She sighed and hung her head taking several breaths before answering quietly, "I'm not hungry. I should eat, but I can't be bothered. My head feels like there's a small man murdering a rat with a hammer in there. And I have no idea what's going on in my department…"

As she finished her head rose and she was visually agitated. He leant forward and placed his hands on hers. "Sick bay is fine, the virus has been confined. It seems that you are the last victim."

She pursed her lips.

"Lieutenant Hawk and Ensign Lynch are still in quarantine and Commander Riker is contemplating exactly what punishment to subject them to when they are strong enough to receive it."

"Like actually being ill isn't punishment enough," she managed a weak smile and leant forward for her water. He could tell the effort it took from the relieved expression she gave sinking back into the cushions. "Why are you here, anyway? Shouldn't you be on the bridge?"

"My bridge duties are quite flexible, doctor. An especially useful coincidence as my chief medial officer is feeling unwell and refuses to have any of her staff near her."

"I don't want to …"

"The contagant was neutralised some fifteen hours ago. By yourself," his serious tone was controlled with levelled amusement. "Simply put, you are just punishing yourself for no reason."

She scowled.

"You know, you're adorable when you pull that face," he teased. "Now, are you going to let me look after you, doctor?"

She shook her head. "You have got better things to do…"

"I actually haven't. We won't arrive at Starbase 118 for another two days. My reports can be finished after dinner, while I ensure that you are getting a proper sleep."

"I don't want…"

"Dinner. I know. You said. But I know enough about home medicine to know that you need to keep your strength up. So, while you have a bath and change out of that uniform, I shall make some dinner."

"A bath?" the thought of moving that far clearly offended her.

"Wesley sent a message for you. I suggest you take that while I run you a nice warm bath."

He stood up and left her to turn to the console on the table and call up Wesley's message while he went into the bathroom and ran the taps.

"Ready?" he asked.

She nodded slowly, leaning heavily on the arm of the sofa then sinking back into it. "No, every time I stand up…"

"Come here," he said softly, reaching down and helping her to stand, supporting her into the bathroom. "I'll be just on the other side of the door, if you need anything…"

"No peeking," she grinned.

"No peeking," he promised.