Author's Notes: This hasn't been betad as if I wait for that I might not post.
This is the first Seaquest fic I've ever written, I recently bought the DVD's and have been enjoying them then this appeared.
They were berthed in Pearl Harbour taking on supplies, new crew and scientific staff which also meant that the crew were able to have some shore leave. In the conference room Nathan sat with Ford going over the details of their next mission, they were due to leave in an hour so the two men were enjoying the peace that came with being docked.
A knock on the door made them look up.
"Come," Nathan called, a little confused to see Crocker standing there, "Can I help you, Chief?"
Crocker grimaced before stepping to one side to reveal a woman standing behind him, a slight smirk on her lips. Confused Ford glanced from his captain who was glaring at the new arrival to study her. She wasn't tall, probably about the same height as Lucas but only because she was wearing heeled boots, she was obviously fit and she held herself proudly. Her wavy dark brown hair was sitting at her shoulders framing her pale face while her brown eyes glinted with mischief.
"Get off my boat," Nathan snapped finally.
"Now, Captain," she replied her voice dripping with honey, "That's a terrible thing to say to an old friend."
Nathan snorted, "If you were a friend I would be happy to see you but you're a nightmare I thought I'd got rid of."
"Hi," she turned to Ford, "I don't believe we've met."
"Kate," Nathan snapped, bringing her attention back to him, "What are you doing here?"
"I'm here on the orders of the UEO," Kate replied continuing to smile at him, "Read em."
As Nathan scanned the paper she handed him, Kate smiled slightly at Ford and Crocker obviously enjoying the annoyance of their Captain. When he finished reading Nathan turned and punched a few buttons making a call before turning to her.
"You really expect me to believe this?" he demanded, "Kate, your cons used to be less transparent."
Kate chuckled before she took a seat and waited.
"Let me explain, Nathan," Admiral Noyce stated the moment he appeared on the screen.
"Are you telling me this isn't a con?" Nathan demanded harshly, "That she is working under your orders?"
Noyce nodded, "Kate's orders are real and…" he quickly cut Nathan off before he could say anything, "And she is to be given every consideration you would any other member of the UEO."
Ford watched his Captain and the young woman who seemed to be enjoying herself far too much at Bridger's annoyance as they faced off.
"Should we go, Sir?" Ford asked for himself and Crocker.
"No," Bridger ordered, "I want witnesses here in case I kill her, you can testify she drove me to it."
"That's not nice, Nathan," Kate rolled her eyes.
Bridger glared at her, "Okay, I want the truth. What are you really doing here?"
Kate rolled her eyes, "I am here to help. I promise."
"No," the Captain shook his head.
"Oh stop it, Dad," Kate snapped standing to face him.
Ford knew he shouldn't but his mouth opened and he found he was asking, "Dad?"
"She calls me that when I'm being stubborn," Bridger replied without looking over at Ford.
Kate chuckled, "Actually I call you Captain when you're stubborn, I call you Dad when you're being pig-headed and obnoxious."
"Chief," Bridger stated coolly, "Take Miss King to some guest quarters. You will stay there until I send your escort."
"Escort?" Kate asked.
Bridger smiled at her, "I may have to allow you on my boat but under no circumstances am I allowing you free reign."
"Then I look forward to meeting," she paused and made a soft sigh, "My escort."
Continuing to smirk she followed Crocker out. Ford watched the captain sit down and drop his head into his hands.
"I hate her."
Nathan took several deep breaths; he'd forgotten how much Kate could get under his skin. Looking up he saw Ford watching him with a completely bemused expression, with a sigh he leaned back in the chair and looked up at his Ex-O.
"You want know who she is?" Nathan asked, sighing again as Ford nodded and sat across from him, "Kate King is a con artist. A very good one I'll admit but still a con artist."
"How do you know her?" Ford asked.
Nathan chuckled, "I saved her life after she got herself caught up in something that outraged even her sense of morality. Every time I see that woman things never end well."
"So," Ford mused, "You're going to make sure she's watched the entire time she's on board."
Nathan nodded, "I just need to find the perfect guide."
"Hitchcock? Krieg?" Ford suggested, "Lucas?"
Nathan shook his head vehemently, "She is going nowhere near Lucas, Krieg has corrupted him enough as it is. As for the other two they're both too confrontational for her. I need someone she can't get to, someone who will take her rubbish and politely nod at her, someone who is so even tempered it'll drive her crazy."
Ford suddenly realise who Nathan was describing and winced, "Are you sure, Sir?"
Nathan chuckled, "Get him here now."
Tim O'Neill knocked smartly wondering why he was being called to see Captain Bridger and Commander Ford, trying very hard to stop his stomach rolling. He liked both men, respected them but being called to see them with no idea of what was going on worried him.
"Lieutenant," Bridger greeted him, "Take a seat."
Slowly Tim sat facing the two men trying very hard not to think the worst.
"I have an assignment for you," Bridger started, making the ball of tension release slightly in Tim's stomach until he uttered the words, "I want you to know this is not a punishment."
Okay" Tim murmured before quickly adding, "Sir."
Bridger tapped a few controls and a picture appeared on the screen before them, "This is Kathleen King, or Kate as she prefers, who is a here on a special mission from the UEO. I may have to let her on Seaquest there is no way I'm letting her loose on this ship alone."
"Which is where you come in," Ford added.
"She goes nowhere on this ship without you," Bridger told Tim, "I don't care if it's only to get something to eat you will be watching her."
Tim looked at the picture of the pretty seemingly harmless woman on the screen, "Sir, not that I'm trying…I am happy to…why me?"
Bridger smiled, "Because Lieutenant, you won't rise to her. She will try to annoy you in every possible way, when she does you do what you do every time you encounter a superior officer who is an ass which is nod politely and simply ignore her any comments she makes about you."
Tim stared at him, he knew he had a reputation for being polite and he had always done his best to be that but right now he wished he hadn't.
"I know how hard this assignment will be," Bridger stated softly, "I know how annoying this woman can be and I know how hard she will try to drive you crazy. Just remember when you want to kill her, and you will, count to ten in as many languages as it takes and don't rise to her taunting."
Kate sat on the edge of the bed in the room she'd been shown to waiting for Nathan to appear with the promised escort aka bodyguard that she was going to have to lose when the time came. When Noyce had contacted her with this mission she'd been stunned but when he'd explained what it was she understood his reasoning. She was the best person for this and driving Nathan crazy in the process was just a bonus to the paycheque she was picking up for this little mission.
When a knock sounded on the door she smiled and moved onto the bed properly crossing her legs beneath her before calling, "Come in."
As the door opened she saw Nathan looking as annoyed as he had been when she'd left him earlier, he stepped into the room and Kate glanced behind him interested to see which goon she'd been assigned stunned by the man who followed Nathan in.
"Kate," Nathan grinned at her, "This is Lieutenant O'Neill, he'll be escorting you while you're on the ship."
Bemused at the geek standing before her Kate took a second before she could slip into her normal greeting, not missing Nathan smirking at her.
"Nice to meet you, Lieutenant," Kate finally managed to say moving to him a little puzzled that he wasn't a goon.
"Miss King," he nodded softly giving away very little.
"Lieutenant O'Neill will take you for something to eat then in half an hour I want you to meet Dr Westphalen for a medical," Nathan ordered.
Kate stared at him, "Why?"
"You know why."
Kate hesitated for a second before nodding, "Then let's go and get some lunch."
Tim walked through the corridors of the Seaquest watching the woman he was assigned to keep an eye on trying to work out exactly why the Captain felt it was necessary that he was to go everywhere with her.
"So, what's your actual name?" she broke the silence finally.
Tim frowned, not sure this was a good idea but he didn't see much harm in telling her, "Tim."
Kate smiled slightly as though thinking it over, "It suits you."
He was about to demand what she meant by that but Bridger's warning flitted through his mind so he simply nodded, "Thank you."
He saw a flash of annoyance in her eyes before she smiled back at him.
"And what do you do here?" she asked.
Tim smiled back, "Communications Officer."
"You can't be that good at your job," she mused, "Since they've got you babysitting me."
Tim understood his Captain's warning, "The Captain has his reasons."
Thankfully they reached the mess before she could ask anything else; he motioned her inside and stayed with her until she had some food before he found a seat where he could keep an eye on her without having to put up with her questions.
"Who is that?" Lucas asked as he climbed onto the chair beside Tim.
Tim shrugged, "Someone the UEO has sent here for some reason that Bridger wants watched."
"And you drew the short straw?" Lucas asked amused, "What did you do?"
"Nothing," Tim rolled his eyes at his young friend, "I think it's more what she did."
Lucas chuckled, "Really? She's pretty."
"Down boy," Tim told him, "From the brief time I've spent with her I can see why the Captain doesn't want her left alone. You never know what she might do. In the walk here she kept trying to make me mad."
"You're having fun with this," Lucas nodded amused.
Tim shrugged, "I don't know. It is kind of fun knowing I have permission to drive her crazy by being nice." Checking his watch Tim stood, "Captain wants her checked out by Westphalen. I'll see you later."
Tim walked over to where Kate was sitting watching him with that same smug smile she had when he met her less than half an hour before.
"Time to move?" she asked innocently.
Tim nodded, "The Captain said he wanted you to see the doctor."
"Do you ever not do what the captain says?" Kate asked as they headed back out of the room.
"He's the Captain," Tim replied as innocently as she had earlier.
Kate sighed as they walked, "I so need to corrupt you."
Kristin read over the file aware of the Captain hovering near her.
"Sit down," she told him without looking up, "You're annoying me."
Kristin held up a finger stopping him mid-sentence still not looking up from what she was reading. After five minutes she pulled her glasses off and looked at him in astonishment, "That is incredible. Her blood work is something I've never seen before."
Nathan sighed, "I know. We've had it analysed by a lot of people but no one has been able to remove the poison."
"You really care about this girl," Kristin noted.
Nathan chuckled, "This girl is a huge nightmare, thief and con artist."
Kristin gave a slight shrug, "Perhaps but she did get under your skin. And she is here for a reason, that's what's got you on edge."
Nathan gave a wry smile as he sat on the nearest bed, "I've seen Kate in many guises. When we first met she was conning one of my officers, when I managed to catch her I discovered why she'd targeted him."
"Why did she?"
"Because it turned out he'd been targeting women in clubs, getting them drunk and then…" he trailed off as Kristin nodded in understanding, "One of her friends was targeted by him and fell pregnant, I don't know the full details but the girl killed herself."
"So she's not as morally bankrupt as you originally painted her to be," Kristin smiled slightly.
Nathan sighed, "No, but she's still dangerous and I still don't trust her."
"And having O'Neill escort her everywhere?" she demanded, "Isn't that like sending a lamb into the lion's den?"
"Tim's a nice guy," Nathan chuckled, "Kate thrives on people who fight back, he won't - especially as I told him not to. It'll drive her nuts."
Shaking her head Kristin turned back to the file as her newest patient arrived.
Kate was getting annoyed, her guide was just not rising to her baiting and it really annoyed her. Nice guys, like this Tim appeared to be, always turned out to be anything but however as far as she could tell he was genuine. Entering the medical bay Kate studied the doctor, in her late forties she was the picture of professionalism and as she looked up at Kate the doctor gave a comforting smile.
"Miss King," she smiled with no seemingly ulterior motive.
"Dr Westphalen, isn't it?" Kate noted as she stepped inside.
"Lt O'Neill," the doctor turned to Kate's guide, "We'll be here for a while so you can go and I'll give you a call when Miss King needs your services again."
Kate smiled as Tim nodded to the doctor before turning to her and giving that same polite nod then disappearing.
"Oh Nathan," Kate chuckled as she leaned back on the bed, "You're good. He's…bland."
"O'Neill is a fine officer," Nathan replied with a completely innocent look, "This is simply to help him work towards promotion."
"I'll bet," Kate chuckled; she held her arm out to allow the doctor to take blood. Realising there were only two people here and one was one of the only two men in the world she trusted Kate relaxed back for a second, "Thank you, Doctor. Though you are wasting your time, every doctor connected to the UEO has taken a look at my blood."
"But they didn't have the resources we have," Nathan reminded her, for a moment forgetting his annoyance she was here, "Dr Westphalen is also the best there is. Let her have a look."
Kristin watched her friend as he spoke with their guest, she could see the genuine affection he had for her plain to see when it was normally hidden behind frustration. Returning to her work Kristin stared in fascination at the synthetic compound running through the blood before her.
"Bizarre isn't it?" Kate said when Kristin returned to the bed, "I'm guessing you have no idea."
Kristin laughed at that, "I've only had a few minutes to look at this. Give me a little time, Miss King."
"Why don't we let the doctor do her work," Nathan interrupted, "And I'll show you the bridge."
Kate looked at him bemused, "You're showing me the bridge?"
Nathan chuckled, "Just to ensure you know the power I have at my disposal if you feel the need to annoy me."
Kristin watched amused as they left her to her work, she smiled before turning back to study the bizarre substance in the young woman's blood.
The bridge was busy as Nathan escorted Kate onto it. She glanced over to the communications centre and spotted her escort sitting there engrossed in something at his station.
"Leave him alone," Nathan murmured to her, "He has work to do for the moment."
Kate smiled sweetly at him, "Why on Earth would you think I go anywhere near the bore you gave to entertain me?"
"Come with me," Nathan moved her to a spot where they couldn't be heard, "Okay, why are you here?"
"I know what you gave me said," Nathan cut her off, "I want to know why you are here."
Kate grimaced for a second before she let out a sigh, "Things have been slightly slow lately so when Noyce tracked me down and offered me a steady paycheque I agreed."
She watched him for a moment and rolled her eyes when he remained silent, "Nathan, once we get to the science station I will do what I have to there and then you can drop me off never to see me again."
"Don't get my hopes up," he muttered before turning back to the main bridge, "O'Neill."
Kate smiled amused as she watched the younger man jump instantly and walk over to them smartly.
"Escort Miss King back to her quarters," Nathan ordered.
Kate grinned at him as she followed Tim off the bridge, she knew she could lie to Bridger easily.
Tim stood just outside the room of the woman he was actually imagining gagging. He couldn't believe how annoying she was and if the Captain hadn't warned him beforehand just how aggravating she could be he would be trying to strangle her.
"So, where are we heading?" Kate asked him as she walked into the room followed by him.
"Lt Krieg shows a film every evening," Tim replied softly, "Captain Bridger suggested you would enjoy it."
"I'll bet," Kate said just before she pulled off her top.
Tim turned annoyed as he could feel a blush burn his ears and he knew she was enjoying the fact she'd managed to get to him. He took a few deep breaths and fixed his smile back on before turning back finding her wearing a new top waiting for him.
"If you're ready then we'll go," he told her, smiling as he saw annoyance in her eyes that he'd retained his professional demeanour.
Heading out Tim allowed himself a smug smile, he was ready to play.
The next day was tortuously long for Tim as he continued his guard duty for their guest. He was grateful that he at least got to hand off guard duty overnight to one of Crocker's men. It meant he was able to join the poker game Miguel was hosting this month. Although he had to listen to everyone's opinion on Kate, most hadn't talked to her so all thought they wanted to, Tim had been able to relax.
"Now we're at the station you at least get the full day of peace," she noted as they walked towards the launch bay.
"I don't know what you mean," Tim said softly, nodding at the officer at the controls to the bay doors.
Kate chuckled, "I'll see you later."
As she disappeared into the launch Tim let out a long breath of relief.
"Your girlfriend finally away I see," Miguel said appearing at his side.
Tim turned to his friend with a wry smile, "Bridger told me this wasn't a punishment for me, I'm beginning to think he was lying."
Miguel chuckled clapping his friend's shoulder as they started up to the bridge.
Kate walked slowly through the corridors of station back to the launch, Noyce had given her very specific instructions on what she had to do while here. She'd followed them to the letter but she also got the information she required.
Kate didn't trust people easily, men even less but for some reason she trusted Nathan Bridger and Bill Noyce. But she'd finished the job Noyce had sent her here to do which meant she was now free to follow her own priorities.
Pulling out her 'emergency kit' she checked what supplies she had to pull the plan forming in her mind off. She knew he wouldn't be happy with her but Kate smiled to herself, that didn't matter.
Tim swam his way back to consciousness, feeling nauseous and extremely confused. Fighting the urge to go back to sleep he managed to open his eyes finding he was staring at an alarm clock – which wasn't his. Shifting slightly he felt a pillow beneath his head and a blanket covered him. A memory of Kate appearing in his quarters flitted through his memory and he tried to surreptitiously check he was fully clothed.
"Don't worry," the familiar sarcastic voice came, "Your virtue is intact."
Tim winced as he tried to sit up, the furthest he could get was leaning on his elbows frowning at Kate who was sitting on a chair watching him.
"What did you do?" he demanded, wishing his stomach would settle.
Kate moved and offered him a glass of water, "It'll wear off in a few minutes."
Tim drank the water and after ten minutes or so he was able to sit up properly. As soon as he got his stomach and brain under control Tim glared at her.
"What did you do?"
Kate shrugged slightly, "I need you and your expertise but since there was no way I could persuade you to come I used a patch."
Tim stared at her understanding why he felt so ill now, "You're insane."
"It's a common theory," Kate smirked at him before resting one hand on his shoulder and holding up some handcuffs with the other, "I get what I want and right now you're going to help me."
"I'm going to kill her," Nathan snapped as he marched onto the bridge with Ford, "Then I'm going to kill Noyce for making me let her on the boat."
"How did she persuade O'Neill of all people to do this?" Ford demanded.
"She didn't," Kristin joined them, she lowered her voice, "I think she used a patch on him from the security camera evidence."
"What?" Nathan stared at her horrified; "Kate would never…" he trailed off rubbing the bridge of his nose. Looking up at the Communications' station where O'Neill's replacement was sitting, "Saunders, do we have anything coming in?"
"Not yet, Sir," the young woman replied.
Nathan grimaced; there was something off about this whole thing. Kate was many things but kidnapping wasn't her style, he was sure that she wouldn't betray him like this.
"Sir," Saunders called, "We're getting a message through."
"On screen," Nathan ordered.
The vid screen jumped to life and Kate appeared in front of him with that annoying smirk on her face. Just behind her handcuffed to a chair was his missing Communication's Officer.
"Kate," he glared at her, "I want an explanation and my officer. Not in that order."
"Nathan," Kate smirked at him, "Why on earth would I return something so valuable? The knowledge inside his head, the codes and the information on the ship as well as the crew is worth a lot of money to your enemies. And as I said things have been slow lately."
Taking a deep breath and stopping Ford from saying anything Nathan stepped towards the screen, "So this is about money?"
Kate shrugged, "I wasn't sure when I came on board exactly what I could get but then you dropped Tim into my lap, the one man who knows every way to talk to that ship and tell it to do anything. He's going to make me a fortune."
With that said she gave a quick wave and severed the link.
Nathan took a deep breath before turning to Saunders, "Trace the call. Once you have a location contact Noyce and have him scramble a team. We have a mission we can't delay. We'll be in the conference room if you need us."
With that said he tapped Ford's arm and motioned him to come with him.
"Lucas," Nathan said as he joined the two officers, "I need you to do something."
Lucas shrugged, "Sure."
"Sir?" Ford asked bemused.
"Kate made sure she pointed out several times how good O'Neill is," Nathan explained, "Lucas, check for any underlying signals, or files or something about the communication we just had that doesn't seem normal."
Sliding into the seat Lucas started working, only a few minutes passed before he turned to them.
"Found it," Lucas grinned.
"Not very well hidden," Ford commented as he leaned forward.
"Actually it was," Lucas explained, "But because the Captain noted that she kept saying how good Tim was I decided to check some tags he would use."
"What do you have?" Nathan asked.
Lucas tapped a control, "A message and a file."
"Play the message," Nathan ordered.
Lucas tapped a few more controls and leaned back as the message played.
"Nathan," Kate appeared, "I told you he was good. Tim is fine as you can see," she moved out of the way for a second allowing the lieutenant to give a quick wave and smile before returning to the screen, "I'm sorry for the way I did this but the information I got on the station meant I had to move fast. The mission you're on is a trap. Some of your new guys are part of a group who want to take over the seaQuest. Tim has attached the file detailing who they are for you."
"That makes a little more sense," Ford murmured pausing the message, "But why did she take O'Neill off the boat?"
"Maybe she'll tell us," Nathan started the message again.
Kate's image moved again and she took in a deep breath, "I can't return him yet though. I need him to crack Mason's communications net. It's time, Nathan. Once he gets me in he's free to go." She paused again and gave a slight smile, "If I don't get to see you again, thank you."
With that the screen went blank.
"Who's Mason?" Lucas broke the stunned silence in the room.
Nathan grimaced, "The man who poisoned her."
"Kate," Tim said as they sat eating breakfast, "If you want me to help you then I need to know the truth. What did this guy do to you?"
Concentrating on her coffee Kate sighed, "The reason Nathan insisted on the doctor checking me out when I arrived on seaQuest was because about eight years ago I reneged on a contract with a man called Travis Mason. There are very few things I am opposed to but what he was doing was one of them. I called Nathan and Noyce," she paused for a second chuckling, "They sound like a comedy duo. Anyway, Mason managed to get away and found me. I expected him to kill me straight away but instead he tortured me and injected a synthetic poison into my blood. It's dormant until the second component is introduced then from what we know I die within thirty minutes."
"That's horrible," Tim gasped.
"After Nathan got me out Mason disappeared," Kate continued, "Until yesterday I had no way to find the bastard. I need you because I don't have the skills to find my way in. Once you do that you can head home."
Tim chewed on his toast for a moment, "And if I refuse to help?"
"I'm going anyway," she told him, "With your help I have a better chance of surviving."
Tim let out an annoyed sigh, as much as she infuriated him during the time he'd been stuck with her Tim was finding he was actually quite fond of her. Especially as she now seemed to be talking to him like a normal person instead of an annoying brat.
"I'll help," he said finally, "But I'm not leaving you to do this alone."
Kate shook her head, "I can't let you put yourself in that kind of danger."
"And you'd rather walk in alone?" he demanded.
Their eyes locked for several minutes, Kate looked away first and nodded.
"Thank you," she said softly, "You know I've only trusted two men in my life. You're getting close to being the third."
"There is a gap here," Tim explained, the schematics of the compound open in front of them, "This sub is small enough to get through the net."
"How good a pilot are you?" Kate asked.
Tim winced, "I can get it from A to B but I don't think I can get through there without being caught."
"But you can get out?"
He frowned at her confused before realisation struck him, "Kate…"
"If he can get the second part of the poison into me then I'm dead," she reminded him, reaching out she squeezed his arm, "I'm not looking to die, Tim but I want to make sure if anything happens I'm not responsible for getting you killed."
He paused for a second before nodding, "Fine. Are you ready?"
Kate smiled annoyingly, "Of course I am."
Annoyed Tim cleared the screen, looking over when she touched his arm again, "Stop it," he told her.
"It's the way I am," she reminded him.
Tim stabbed the controls, "Be someone else for a while."
Rolling her eyes Kate headed to check she had everything she needed for this, making sure she wasn't watching Tim sent a small message. He wasn't letting her die.
Tim realised suddenly he was holding his breath as they manoeuvred their way through the security net to the back entrance where Kate was heading. Slowly letting out the breath he glanced over at her and saw how pale she'd become.
"We don't have to do this," Tim murmured to her, "We still have time to turn around."
Kate shook her head, "I can't do this anymore, Tim. My life revolves around waiting for the day he gets the second component into my blood. I need to see this through."
"Okay," he nodded softly.
She smiled at him before turning back to the controls and moving them to the airlock.
"Stop," Tim said suddenly, "The net's changed shape. Head for the co-ordinates I'm sending you.
Kate nodded and did as he told her finally reaching the station. They listened to the sound of the seal being made and Kate took another deep breath before she stood. Grabbing her bag she entered the code to open the door.
Nathan leaned back in his chair as his second-in-command updated him on the situation with the people who had been planning on trying to take over his boat. This meant he could now focus on trying to find the woman he should have had arrested years ago.
"Lucas traced the signal," Ford told him, "But by the time a team arrived…"
"Don't tell me," he sighed, he was well aware of the drill, "Okay, our only other option is to find Travis Mason."
"Tried that as well," Ford replied, "We have no records and no trail."
Nathan slammed his hand on the table, "Then how did she find him? And why does she need Lt O'Neill?"
"Tim is a communications specialist," Ford reminded him, "He speaks about eighteen languages. That's a pretty good reason to grab him."
Nathan shook his head, "There's more to it. Kate does nothing without a reason."
Ford frowned, he knew he didn't want to ask this but it was something he needed to know, "How dangerous is she?"
Nathan let out a long sigh, "It depends. Kate has an interesting sense of right and wrong. She has no qualms about stealing or conning people out of their money but if someone hurts a friend or even a person she deems as vulnerable then she will do everything in her power to destroy them."
"So a lot and not much," Ford sighed, "Wonderful."
"Captain," Lucas barrelled through the corridors to catch up with the two men, "Captain, wait."
Bridger and Ford turned as he ran over to them.
"What's wrong, Lucas?" the Captain asked.
Trying to catch his breath Lucas nodded as Bridger motioned him to take a moment. Finally he managed to speak again.
"I just got a message from O'Neill," Lucas told them, handing Bridger the piece of paper he'd been carrying.
Bridger glanced through it before handing it to Ford.
"S.H.S and some numbers?" Ford asked Lucas who shrugged.
Bridger rolled his eyes, "Save Her Soul and the co-ordinates. Let's get to the bridge and if we do save her, I get to kill her."
As their Captain marched to the bridge Ford and Lucas shared a worried look before they followed on.
Tim walked slowly behind the nut he was somehow trusting with his life wishing this was over and he was back on seaQuest with this as a memory and amusing anecdote. As they moved through the corridors of the lower levels of the station Tim caught a glimpse of Kate's face and realised she was terrified. For a second he thought maybe she was playing him but then he thought about it and realised she probably didn't realise he could see her face. His confirmation came when he gently touched her shoulder and she jumped.
"Don't do that," Kate snapped at him as she gasped slightly, "I don't take surprises well."
Tim held up his hands, "I guessed. Look, do you know where we're going?"
"He's holed up in one of the upscale apartments," she replied, "I just want to make sure none of his goons see me…us."
"Considering the last time you saw him I'm all for that plan," Tim told her, frowning as she got that contemplative look in her eyes, "What?"
"They have no idea who you are," Kate reminded him, "If they see you all they'll think is there's some guy on leave from a UEO sub."
Tim shook his head, "Kate…I…it's not…I'm…"
"It's okay," she smiled at him, "I'm not asking you to do anything. I doubt you'd manage to lie to them without turning bright red."
As he grimaced at her Kate started moving again.
Kate gripped the gun she was carrying knowing that beyond the door she was standing in front of was the man who had poisoned her. The man who had made her look over her shoulder and jump at shadows. Glancing to one side she saw Tim waiting for her to decide what she was going to do.
"You don't have to do this," Tim reminded her softly, "We can leave right now, if you want."
Kate turned to him, "No. I'm not running from him."
Without another word she used the card key she'd stolen and opened the door to the apartment.
Tim looked around the room they'd just entered knowing that he would never in a million years manage to afford a place like this for an hour never mind a night. Opulent was the only word he could think of as he stared at the room.
"Hey," Kate's sharp whisper interrupted his gawping, "Help me."
Duly chastised Tim started looking around for the antidote Kate assured him was in the room.
"Kate, is this something he would leave in his hotel room?" he asked.
She nodded, "He keeps it where he can get to it easily."
Before he could say anything else the door opened and Kate spun, she aimed her gun at the bald headed man as he walked into the room. To Tim's bemusement the man wasn't fazed by the weapon trained on him, in fact all he did was smile.
"Hello again, Kate I was wondering when you'd show up."
Tim watched the standoff before him worriedly; Kate wasn't moving still holding her gun on the other man who was simply smiling at her.
"What did she tell you?" Mason asked making Tim jump a little in confusion.
Mason chuckled, "What did she tell you about what she came here to get? Let me guess, it's a rare necklace that belonged to her grandmother or maybe it's a formula for something a friend has discovered."
"Knock it off," Kate snapped, "And give me the serum."
"So it's a serum," Mason continued to talk directly to Tim, "I take it the story was interesting. They usually are."
"Stop it," Kate snapped, "He's trying to get you to doubt me."
Mason chuckled, "You're a con artist, Kate. Of course he doubts you," he turned to Tim again; "You're UEO, aren't you. I won't report this to your superiors if you get her out of here now."
"Kate," Tim said softly, "We should go."
Kate shook her head, "I am not leaving without the antidote. I'm not letting this bastard get away again."
"Miss King, I have nothing to hide," Mason told her loftily.
Kate moved forward slamming the gun into his chest, "Stop it. Give me the serum."
Mason laughed grabbing her arm he twisted her wrist, Kate slammed her knee into his stomach crying out as he grabbed her hair yanking her head back. Tim tried to help but before he could get close a sudden bang sounded in the room and he fell back against the wall.
Kate dropped down next to the man she'd dragged along with her who now had a bullet wound in his chest pouring with blood.
"Tim, I'm sorry," she whispered as she pressed her hand against the wound trying to stem the blood.
He was shaking, his eyes wide with bemusement at what had just happened.
"Kate," Mason sighed as he tossed the gun away, "You never learn. And now you've got your little friend hurt because you just can't leave it alone."
Glancing around as she tried to stop the bleeding Kate glared at him, "You poisoned me and I'm not waiting for the day you decide to finish the job."
"You won't have to," Mason laughed grabbing her arm he jammed the needle into her arm.
Kate gasped as she realised the two compounds were combining and in thirty minutes she was dead, so was Tim because there was no way she'd be able to get them both to safety.
"I'm sorry," she whispered to Tim aware of how much blood he had lost and the fact her hands were becoming numb.
"They'll come," Tim murmured as his eyes began to close."
"It looks like I need to move out of this room," Mason stated annoyed, "Two dead bodies make the place look messy."
Kate leaned forward against Tim's chest trying to use her body weight to stem the bleeding so that he had more chance of surviving. As the world around her began to darken Kate saw the door burst open and Nathan arrive with several men holding guns just before she passed out.
Tim forced his eyes open confused to find Dr Westphalen standing over him smiling down at him.
"Welcome back, Lt," she said softly as she checked something behind him, "How do you feel?"
"Sore," he muttered grateful as she placed a cup of ice chips to his lips, "What happened?"
"I'll let Captain Bridger fill you in on that," she chuckled, "For now I'm going to do a few tests then you're going to rest. Okay?"
Tim nodded before his memory of the events that put him in the hospital bed came flooding back, "Kate? What happened to her?"
Westphalen smiled slightly, "She will be fine. Luckily I've been studying the poison so I was able to counteract it."
"Good," he moaned as the effort of being awake finally overcame him and he slipped back into comfortable unconsciousness.
Nathan looked down at the woman on the bed wrapped in the ice blanket that Kristin was using to keep her temperature low. From what he'd been told it was to ensure the poison remained inactive while it was breaking down.
"Nathan," the shaking voice from the woman on the bed made him look down to find Kate was awake.
"Welcome back," Nathan smiled, "You know once you're feeling better I'm putting you in the brig."
Kate rolled her eyes, although it looked extremely strange as she was shivering at the same time.
"Tim?" she asked.
Nathan nodded, "He'll be fine. No thanks to you."
"He made the decision himself to come with me," Kate argued back, "Can we raise the temperature in here a little before I freeze to death?"
"Dr Westphalen will be here in a few minutes to let us know if it's gone," he told her.
Kate closed her eyes as the shiver moved through her, "Can you tell her to hurry up?"
Kate huddled under the blanket she had wrapped around her over the three sweaters she was wearing as she watched Nathan pace the room.
"What the hell were you thinking?" he demanded.
"I was talking to him," Nathan cut her off turning to Noyce who was on the screen.
Noyce frowned, "Kate did send give you the information you needed to stop the intended mutiny."
"She then kidnapped one of my officers and he's now in the infirmary with a bullet hole in him," Nathan retorted.
"Tim made the choice to stick with me," Kate reminded them, "I told him he could just help me find the way in and then he could go."
Nathan turned on her, "Please. Kate, you knew he wouldn't leave you. That's why you targeted him."
"Hey," she held her hands up, "You were the one who assigned him to 'escort' me around your ship."
"And you didn't know who he was before you got here?" Nathan snapped back.
"Enough," Noyce yelled forcing them to look at him, "I have other things to do and I'm not listening to the pair of you yelling at each other."
As the screen went blank Kate looked up at the man who was glaring at her.
"I'm sorry," she said softly, "But I couldn't wait for him to come after me. When I met Tim I knew that I had someone who could bypass the security net and he was a nice enough guy who wouldn't let me go alone."
"Always the con artist," Nathan sighed dropping into the seat across from her.
She smirked slightly at him, "When have I ever been anything else?"
Nathan shook his head with a slight smile, "We found you using your body to stem the bleeding trying to save Lt O'Neill. Normally you would have been miles away."
Kate let out a soft sigh, "I may now have three men in this world I trust. And I'll be off this ship as soon as we dock and I'll be out of your hair."
"I bet it won't be for long enough."
Tim opened his eyes surprised to find Kate sitting at his bedside, "Hi?"
"Hi," she replied with a slight smirk, "How'd you feel?"
"Like someone shot me," he replied darkly.
She grimaced wincing slightly. She'd avoided coming here until now as she really didn't want to face him after everything. Kate took a deep breath, reached out and took his hand, "Really sorry about that. I didn't mean to lose my temper with him."
"What about abducting me from my ship?" he asked with a roll of his eyes.
Kate shrugged, "That I meant to do. But I have apologised for the shooting thing so trust me that's more than I usually apologise."
As she smiled at him Tim shook his head, "I can see now how you manage to con people so easily."
Leaning over Kate kissed his forehead, "Hope you feel better soon. We'll be docking in five minutes, wanted to say goodbye to you before I left. Thought I owed you the knowledge I'll be well out of your way by the time you get back to work."
As she started out Tim called her back.
"Keep in touch," he told her with a smile, grinning even more at her stunned expression before he closed his eyes again to get some rest.