Disclaimer: I don't own Star Trek, though MACO Lt. Kaitlyn Donovan does belong to me.

Thank you to Hummingbird2, Just a Crazy-Man, bina W, LoyaulteMeLie, SerendipityInSerendipity, jeangreyten, and sawyer finn for the reviews, and to all of you that are reading and following this story.

All's Fair in Love and War

Chapter 15

1620 - Rangel IV

Kaitlyn walked slowly down the path to the main building of the resort. The breeze was just right and the sun was warm against her skin. After she and Malcolm had returned from their hike to the waterfall, they had fallen asleep. She'd woken up a little while ago with a massive headache and had taken a hypo to get rid of it. Malcolm was still asleep, so she'd set the alarm for him and decided to go pick up her package in the main building. She'd changed into a stylish red dress and slipped into a pair of sandals. She walked into the cool building and headed directly to the concierge desk.

"Any messages?" she asked.

"Just your package, Mrs. Steel." the manager smiled and handed her the wooden box.

She opened it up. The jewelry.

"Very beautiful, Ma'am." he nodded.

She quickly put the jewelry on. She looked at the manager questionably.

"It is very becoming on you." he admitted.

"Thank you." She handed the wooden box back to him and indicated for him to hold it for her.

"Your dinner reservations have been confirmed for six o'clock at the Duraby." he stated as he put the box under the cabinet.

"Thank you again." she smiled and headed to the pool bar. She sat down on one of the stools and the bartender quickly came over to her. "I'd like a White Russian."

The bartender quickly started to mix her drink.

Kaitlyn tried to keep calm as she felt someone walk up behind her.

"Do you mind if I sit here?" Mardock questioned.

Kaitlyn turned to him, "I don't mind."

Mardock looked over her and chuckled as he sat down, "If I were Malcolm, I wouldn't let you out of my sight. Those men at the other side of the bar are practically salivating."

Kaitlyn glanced at the other men and smiled slightly at them, then turned her attention back to Mardock as the bartender set her drink in front of her. "No harm in them looking." she shrugged.

Mardock smiled slowly, "I guess not." He noticed the jewelry, "They compliment you nicely."

"Malcolm will be pleased." Kaitlyn took a sip of her drink as she watched Mardock carefully. "What do you want us to help you with on Ceti Alpha?" she questioned him quietly.

"The people of the outlining provinces want to rise up against the government that refuses to give them a voice." he stated.

"That is not the information that I've heard. They want a place in their government - not to go against it." she pointed out.

Mardock shrugged, "Same difference." He took a sip of his drink and watched her.

"No, there is a big difference. One involves a peaceful access into the government, the other involves force. Who, exactly, are you helping?" Kaitlyn asked.

"A group that call themselves the Populist's Republic. They are tired of the pedantic ramblings of the government that refuses to give them a voice. They are gaining support in all of the provinces that are reaching the point to demand a seat in the government." Mardock explained.

"And they want weapons and explosives." Kaitlyn took another sip of her drink and contemplated the amount of destruction this Populist's Republic could do.

"A few strategically placed bombs would convince the government to see reason quickly." he pointed out.

"Possibly." Kaitlyn swirled the liquid in her glass with the stirrer distractedly.

"I think marriage has made you soft, Kaitlyn. You were never this contemplative with a job that needed to be done." Mardock leaned closer and slowly ran his hand over her back as his breath warmed her neck, "I've missed you, Kaitlyn." he whispered next to her ear.

Kaitlyn willed herself to relax and not to tense up as he touched her. She placed her hand on his thigh and turned her face to him slightly, "I have missed our sparring." she stated and closed her eyes to hide her trepidation.

Mardock grinned and sat back, "I knew you did." He removed his hand from her back and covered hers that was still on his thigh. "What else do you miss?" he massaged her hand with his thumb.

"Our travels together." Kaitlyn sighed softly as she opened her eyes. "Life has been rather uneventful as of late." She watched for his reaction.

Mardock felt the hairs on his neck rise - he could feel someone watching him. He removed his hand from hers and picked up his drink and took a slow sip. He glanced over his shoulder and saw Malcolm walking towards them. "Your husband is here." he stated softly.

Kaitlyn took a deep, calming breath and rolled her shoulders. She smiled as Malcolm came up and ran his hand over her back.

"Thank you for letting me sleep for a few more minutes." Malcolm kissed her forehead. He could feel her apprehension quickly diminish as he put himself between her and Mardock. He'd woken up soon after she'd left, and started to get ready for dinner. He'd quickened his pace when he felt her apprehension rise - how had he known how she was feeling? He didn't question, he just wanted to get to her as quick as possible. What he'd seen when he'd arrived had explained everything. Mardock was encroaching Kaitlyn's personal space and his touch was making her apprehension grow with each passing moment.

Mardock raised an eyebrow, "Taking a nap in the afternoon?"

Malcolm smirked, "What can I say - she wore me out."

Mardock frowned, but quickly recovered. He finished his drink and stood up. "You two have a wonderful evening." He gave them a quick nod, then left.

Malcolm took the vacated seat and touched her cheek gently, "Are you alright?"

Kaitlyn nodded slowly, "I am now, thank you." She watched as the tension left him. "How did you know?"

Malcolm shrugged, "A feeling." He wanted to get her away from this spot, "Let's get going." he suggested.

XXXXX

Mardock was seething. Malcolm was an obstacle and he needed to get rid of him in order to get to Kaitlyn. He walked down the street and went into the bar and sat down at one of the tables in the back. He ordered his drink and waited for his informant on the Odyssey to arrive. He looked up and smiled as the man approached the table.

"Mr. Obsourne, sit down, please." Mardock offered. "Thank you for the video feeds and the information." he waved the waitress over and she took Osbourne's order, then quickly left.

"I'm glad I could be of service." Rex Osbourne nodded as he accepted the envelope Mardock slid across the table to him.

"I have another job for you." Mardock lifted his glass to the man across from him and smiled. "I know you won't let me down."

XXXXX

Kaitlyn woke up and slowly stretched over Malcolm. She opened the drawer on her nightstand and pulled out a plain wrapped package, then handed it to Malcolm.

Malcolm raised an eyebrow in question.

She smiled, "Happy Tuesday."

Malcolm unwrapped the paper and grinned at the hardback collection of works by Tennyson. "Thank you, Kaitlyn." he kissed her gently. He looked a bit embarrassed, "I didn't get you anything this week." he admitted.

Kaitlyn pushed him back and moved over him, "Yes, you did - you had the jewelry made for me." she reminded him as she placed light kisses on his chest.

"You helped with that selection, it doesn't count." he shrugged and pulled her body closer to his. Bloody hell, she knew how to ignite that burning desire he had for her at a moment's notice.

She grinned when she heard his thoughts and sent him a vivid image of what she wanted from him.

Malcolm rolled them over and smirked, "Seems like that's another gift for me."

Kaitlyn kissed him slowly, then smiled as she ran her hand through his hair, "You can consider it whatever you want."

XXXXX

Malcolm made his way to their shuttle with the bags while Kaitlyn checked them out of the resort. He stowed the bags and came out of the shuttle. He found himself face to face with a masked man with a phase pistol pointed at him. He felt the phaser shoot through his side like a hot poker stick. He grabbed at the weapon and fought his assailant to the ground. He managed to turn the weapon and shoot the man in the upper arm. The man quickly ran off. Malcolm sat up slowly and tried to breathe through the pain. He pulled himself back into the shuttle and grabbed a towel from the bin and pressed it against his side.

XXXXX

Kaitlyn thanked the manager, then headed for the shuttle parking. She had gotten just a few feet out the front door of the resort when a man stepped in front of her. Her eyes widened in surprise, "Tolian!" she hugged him quickly. "I'm so glad you're alive! How did you know I was here?" she questioned him.

The older man patted her arm gently, "It didn't take too much guess work to figure out the ship you were leaving on was the Odyssey. Guinan is here as well, she interviewed to be the new bartender on the ship." he explained as they walked down the path to the shuttles.

Kaitlyn shook her head, "You two need to get away from here. These people are dangerous, Tolian." She walked another step and felt a searing pain in her side and doubled over. She realized that she wasn't injured. Malcolm! She took off running to the shuttle. Her heart faltered when she saw all of the blood on the ground near the shuttle. "Malcolm!" she yelled as she approached. She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw him on the floor of the shuttle. She quickly got in and kneeled next to him.

"Please don't yell, I've got a rather nasty headache right now." Malcolm winced.

She kissed his forehead, "It's from the loss of blood." She looked up as Tolian stood next to the door. "Get in - I need you to help me." she demanded.

Malcolm looked at Kaitlyn questionably.

"Malcolm, this is Tolian - he's one of my mother's friends." she explained as she slowly removed the soaked towel Malcolm had pressed to his side.

"Seems like you got in a bit of a scuffle." Tolian tried to ease the young man's apprehension. He kneeled next to Kaitlyn. "You'll need to stop the bleeding, first."

Kaitlyn frowned, "I know what I need to do. Get the kit from over there and bring it over here." she directed him. She focused her attention on Malcolm. She gently unbuttoned his shirt and took it off of him. "Sorry." she apologized when he sucked in a deep breath. Tolian put the kit next to her and she got the hypo out and set the dosage of the pain reliever and pressed it to his neck. She scanned him with the medical scanner quickly to find out what damage had been done.

"Well?" Malcolm questioned through clenched teeth.

"No major organs. I can repair the damage." she told him. "I need to give you a sedative."

"It would be better if I stay awake." he pointed out as he winced.

Kaitlyn closed her eyes as she took a slow breath. She opened her eyes and leaned closer to him, "I'm finding it very hard to concentrate with you in this much pain." she admitted.

"You can feel it too?" he touched her arm.

She nodded slowly. "I promise that as soon as I'm finished I'll wake you up." She traced the worry lines on his forehead.

Malcolm nodded and kissed her gently, "Don't take too long."

She smiled as she released the sedative into his bloodstream and his eyes closed. Kaitlyn quickly went to work repairing the damage.

"Kaitlyn . . ." Tolian tried to get her attention.

"I need to concentrate on what I'm doing." she pointed out as she continued to work on the damaged muscle and tissue.

Kaitlyn finished sealing the wound and started to clean the skin around it. She cleaned her hands with a wet sterilized-towel. She took out the jar of purple gel and put some on Malcolm's wound, then put the gauze and large square bandage over it. She put everything back where it belonged and got a clean shirt out of Malcolm's bag and put it on him. She sat back and sighed deeply. "You and Guinan need to leave." she reiterated.

"If you won't leave this insane mission, then we are here to help you." Tolian stated firmly.

She was mentally exhausted and her adrenaline levels were quickly dropping. Kaitlyn injected Malcolm to wake him up. "Please stay by him while I pilot the shuttle. Do you have any bags?" she asked Tolian as she got in the pilot's seat.

"They were already taken aboard." Tolian replied as he moved to Malcolm as the man started to stir awake. He sat back as she expertly flew the shuttle up to the ship.

By the time they docked, Malcolm was awake.

"I'll help you get him to your quarters." Tolian stated as he helped Malcolm stand and get out of the shuttle.

They walked without seeing any passengers all the way to their Stateroom. Tolian helped Malcolm get into bed and took off his shoes as Kaitlyn got him a bottle of water and opened it for him.

"I'll be right back." she promised Malcolm as she indicated for Tolian to go to the living room. "I appreciate you helping me get Malcolm back here." she thanked Tolian as they sat down.

"Kaitlyn, I think you need to stay with Malcolm - it will help him heal faster." he stated. He'd been carefully watching their interactions and it was apparent to him that she had acquired some Vulcan traits. He would have to discuss this situation with Guinan.

She looked at him curiously, "Of course I'm going to stay with him." Did he think she was going to go to the spa while Malcolm was here recovering?

Tolian leaned forward, "I think you two are physically and telepathically connected and as such, he will recover faster if you stay in bed with him."

Kaitlyn could feel her face reddening, but tried to recover. "Stay in bed with him?" she asked for clarification.

"Yes. Keep physically connected to him - that will allow you to know if he starts to develop an infection." he stated.

"How do you know this?" she questioned.

Tolian smiled as he stood up, "I have been to many worlds, Kaitlyn. Contact me if you need any further assistance." He gave her a quick hug, then left.

Kaitlyn looked around the room. She went to the monitor and asked for Timai to bring them some sandwiches and put them in the fridge because they weren't feeling well and she also requested that she send their regrets to the Captain that they would not be dining with him tonight. She went back into the bedroom and shut the doors to the living room so they wouldn't be disturbed when Timai came in later.

She walked over to the bed and sat down beside Malcolm. She ran her hand through his hair and took a deep breath. "How does it feel?" she questioned as he opened his eyes.

"Really sore and tight." Malcolm admitted.

She nodded slowly, "Tolian says I need to stay with you while you recover - he knows."

Malcolm raised an eyebrow, "How?"

Kaitlyn shrugged, "I don't know, but he said I need to stay physically connected to you for you to heal." she relayed his directions. She set the alarm on the PADD for six hours so she could change his bandage.

Malcolm smiled, "I'm not going to argue with him." He carefully moved over so she could lay down on his right side. He'd managed to take his pants and shirt off a few minutes ago.

She took off her shoes, then slipped her dress off and got under the covers. She laid her head down on his shoulder as he wrapped his arm around her.

Kaitlyn placed her hand a few inches above his bandage and closed her eyes tightly. She'd come too close to losing him today. She should have been with him, they shouldn't have split up. She couldn't even manage to protect him - how was she supposed to protect Tolian and Guinan too?

Malcolm frowned as he heard her thoughts. He kissed the top of her head, "We'll talk about it in the morning." he promised.

"Okay." she nodded and tried to fall asleep.

XXXXX

Mardock Tal paced in his luxurious Stateroom and frowned at the man before him. "I gave you a simple task - one which you could have hired local thugs to do. But, instead you try to do it yourself - by yourself. What were you thinking?" he demanded an answer.

Rex Osbourne shook his head, "I thought I'd have the drop on him. I didn't expect him to manage to shoot me."

Mardock narrowed his eyes, "His job is trafficking weapons and training security and you didn't think he'd fight back?" He shook his head as he continued to pace. "We'll have to wait until we get to Ceti Alpha. Next time, hire people that will actually get the job done. Now link me to the security feeds of the ship so that I can keep an eye on what's happening." he directed.

Rex Osbourne nodded and quickly left.

Mardock sat down on the couch with his PADD and started to go over the passenger list to make sure he was familiar with everyone on board before he went to dinner tonight.

XXXXX

TBC.

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