Time on her hands… time on her hands… what will she do with all this time on her hands? So they cry, when really they should stop, be silent, listen. Listen to the sounds of the healer's heart mending.

Mending, after five long months. Five long months of shut down and closed doors and pleas to know if she's still alive. Five long months, and I know the worst of it. Better than any of them, I know.

Because I did it to her.

Not on purpose. I didn't want to. But I couldn't refuse her commands. She is the healer—she knows how to get around me. I tried. I tried to warn her. But my warnings only fueled her desperation.

So I gave in, and wept as she hurt herself to live. I wept in my own silent way, unnoticed, forgotten, wept the tears I knew she couldn't. I'm only a ship, only a vessel built to carry them from here to there and back again, but at the same time I am not only. I am more, so much more, but they will never know.

Still, it is my duty to carry on as if they do.

And so I wept, wept for the healer as she surrendered to the darkness over and over again in an attempt to heal the great Hurt.

I was weak; I couldn't stop her. I watched, helpless, as her demons toyed with her body like a rag doll, flinging and flipping and contorting her, all so she could feel, feel, feel. I heard her wild, empty laughter bouncing off the cave walls and smelled the thick copper of her blood as it shimmered through the air. I felt the crunch of her bones and the sickening thud of bruises painting flesh—oh flesh, weak, empty flesh—and I cried, cried when she could only go back for more, more, more.

And when it became too much, when she couldn't hide her nothingness anymore and they began to see, I rejoiced. Yes, I said, yes. Now my Voyagers will know what to do. They will know how to fix her, how to help her. And even when they didn't, when they let me down, I had hope. Because they knew, and she knew, and I knew, that something wasn't right.

Now I look on her with a smile, a deep, engine-thrumming smile, because she's started feeling once more—feeling without the pain. Gone are the days of darkness, of no one noticing and tears not coming and thrown-wide arms to the Pain, dark Pain. No more turned-off safeties and hissing Cardassians—she's dreaming of leather jackets and soft fingers and whispers along her neck while puzzling around the latest hitches in my circuits.

The morning has come, and my healer is healing at last.