Disclaimer: I don't own anything but the OC. This story follows Dr. Oratt from "Stigma" (season 2), and is dedicated to Fameanon, because she asked for it. Also, this is Oratt's comeuppance for being a jerk.

For Fameanon

Oratt hurried along the busy street, silently cursing every human out this late at night. He knew from his xenobiology studies that humans required around eight hours of sleep, and yet here were at least a hundred out socializing when they should be home sleeping, as in out of his way. The fever had been growing all throughout the Inter-Species Medical Exchange Conference, and now it weighed down on his chest, like some ethereal presence sent to haunt him. The sentiment was highly illogical, and he banished it as soon as it surfaced. There were no such thing as ethereal ghosts such as the ones found in human folklore and legend, and he wasn't about to waste his time thinking of such things.

His expression was dour, but it kept the humans from looking at him for too long, and they avoided him as he passed them by. The sooner he was off this cold, watery planet and back in the deserts of his homeworld, the better. Chicago, or the Windy City as it was aptly nicknamed, was the most unpleasant place Oratt had ever visited in his memory. He would take a week in the Forge over another day in this cold and dreary settlement; luckily the Conference had ended today, and he would be leaving for Vulcan early in the morning on the first available transport.

He was so absorbed in his thoughts that he did not see the pedestrian waiting to cross the street until he ran into the person. He was abruptly jolted from his thoughts, and the human grabbed the street lamp to keep from falling over.

"Sorry, sir, didn't see you there," she said politely. He frowned at her curly caramel hair and her skimpy attire; she was wearing nothing more than a midnight blue sack cinched with a belt. Her hair was loose and free down her back (an entirely inappropriate style for females, in his opinion), and her outfit was completed by tall heels. He did not see how two tiny sticks could hold her weight, but she somehow had learned how to balance in those ridiculous shoes.

He scowled at her and did not dignify her apology with a reply. After all, she had been blatantly in his way and hadn't even bothered to move. Insufferable humans! What he wouldn't give to be on Vulcan now, away from this soggy metropolis!

"Yeah, just keep on walking, weirdo!" she called after him. "Don't apologize or anything!"

He turned and glared at her; the woman had the gall to speak to him! "Then I will not," he said firmly, turning and walking on to his hotel.

As he settled down for meditation that night, he found it even harder for his feverish mind to focus on his daily mantras. Before his mind's eye he saw the woman out on the street, her dark blue eyes bright with irritation, her caramel hair curling down her back, her dress barely reaching past her thick, luscious thighs...

He stopped his thoughts immediately and backtracked. Since when were human thighs thick and luscious? And why was he thinking of thighs in the first place, much less a human woman's?

He sighed and resumed his mantras, passing yet another sleepless night in meditation.

The dawn was cold and clear, and how the humans managed to survive, even thrive, in this miserable place was beyond him. Oratt was in a slightly better mood this morning, but he was still short with the other doctors and very eager to get off this planet. It was a seven-day journey to Vulcan...seven days of meditation and further misery. What he wouldn't give for the fever to be over, so he wouldn't have to worry for another seven years...

"Hey there, weirdo," a voice said beside him, and he twisted abruptly toward the voice. It was her...her hair was braided back away from her face this morning, which he considered an improvement in her propriety. She was dressed in rumbled civilian clothing, a simple black sweater and slacks, and reasonable shoes.

"Care to apologize for what you said to me last night?" she demanded, her blue eyes blazing with anger. He flared his nostrils and looked down at her with narrowed eyes.

"I owe you nothing," he said haughtily, then turned away from her. "What are you doing here?"

"What do you think I'm doing here? I'm going to Vulcan."

He twisted around to face her and narrowed his eyes again. "Inflict your presence on my world?" he hissed, and her expression turned to outrage. His nostrils flared out further; he couldn't help but notice that she looked rather agreeable when she was angry...

"Who the hell do you think you are?" she growled, stepping closer to him. "You know what? I'm going to take the high road on this one and assume you never learned proper manners. But the next time you talk to me like that, I'm probably going to slap you across the face. Got it?"

He glared at her. "Violence...yet another sign of your species' barbarism..." he muttered darkly.

She snorted. "Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning."

"I do not see how my personal habits are any of your concern," he shot back, his ire rising with each passing minute he spent talking to this female.

"Trust me, honey bun, I don't want to know anything about your personal habits."

He frowned in confusion. "I am not a pastry."

To his surprise, she burst into derisive laughter, and he stared at her, the beginnings of real anger stirring in his blood...

"You know, weirdo, you're kind of growing on me!"

"Would you cease calling me those ridiculous names?"

Her laughter descended into childish giggles, and she shook her head. "Well, what should I call you?"

He narrowed his eyes and sighed in exasperation. "I believe it would be unwise for you to address me at all. Stay out of my sight on this journey."

She pouted up at him. "Seriously, what is up with you? Having a bad day?"

"You are not helping matters," he ground out, clenching his teeth.

"Yeah, well, you're no ball of sunshine yourself," she spat. "Tell you what...let's end this here and now. Let's not talk to each other on this transport, and let's just stay out of each others way. Ok?"

"That would be acceptable," he said coldly, picking up his luggage as the shuttle descended in front of them. She picked up her bag, but waited until he was several paces in front of her before walking after him.

The sooner he was on Vulcan, the better.

There were several emotions coursing through her, but the most predominant feeling Desiree was experiencing was confusion. She hadn't been on this transport two days, but she could feel his eyes following her when they crossed paths, which was far too often for her tastes. Oratt, as he was called (she had asked another passenger his name; it was very fitting for him in her opinion), was hardly ever seen outside his quarters, and as luck would have it, they were assigned rooms across from each other. When she exited her room to go to the flight deck and read, he always seemed to be coming back from the mess hall with tea. His cold, mud-colored eyes would narrow and watch her disappear around the corner or into her room, and she found it disturbing. Hadn't they agreed to ignore each other? To stay out of each others way? And yet every time she left the room, he was there.

By the "afternoon" of the third day, irritation and suspicion had joined the confusion, and she was sorely tempted to stick her tongue out at the insufferable Vulcan when he looked at her. But instead, she offered him a few fake smiles, and, possibly out of ire, his nostrils would flare.

Late that "evening", she was singing softly to herself as she brushed her hair, and she heard the door chime. Putting down the hair brush, she crossed the small room and opened the door for her visitor. When she saw who it was, her face fell.

"I would appreciate it," Oratt growled, "if you would stop making such a racket in here. I am trying to meditate."

"What is your problem?!" she demanded, crossing her arms across her chest. "Since when is singing softly to oneself a racket?"

He narrowed his eyes at her, and she could tell she was getting under his skin. Perfect.

"I can hear you in my quarters. I am...asking," he said the word with effort, "that you carry on your activities with silence."

"None of my other neighbors are coming to my door at 2200 hours and complaining," she shot back. "That doctor down the hall, Strom...he's Vulcan, and I haven't heard a single complaint from him."

Oratt's eyes flashed dangerously, and her heartrate increased for a second. She realized belatedly that she might be playing with fire, that something might be wrong with Oratt, but still, she was perfectly within her rights to sing softly to herself in her room.

"I'm warning you, Desiree," he growled, and she frowned up at him. "Do not push me."

"I'm about to push you out of my room if you don't shut up and let me-"

The rest of her sentence was cut off when he grabbed her by the hair and pulled her to the wall near the door. He pinned her against it, pressing himself hard against her legs, and his fingers entwined themselves in her caramel locks. With a fistful of her hair in his hand, he tugged downward, and she gasped, her body flooding with fear.

"I said," he growled again. "Don't. Push. Me."

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Desiree breathed, struggling to break free of his relentless grip, to no avail. He smirked mirthlessly at her, and it was a frightening sight.

"Not even enough strength to fight me...you'd die by the night's end..."

"Die from what?" she squeaked, her bravado lost with her voice. Instead of respond, he buried his nose into her hair near her ear.

"You will do what I say, you insufferable human," he hissed, crushing her to the wall. She wondered wildly if he had gone crazy. "Do I make myself clear?"

"Very clear," she breathed. "Now get off me!"

He pulled away, and his eyes, which had been clouded and dark, suddenly cleared; he immediately released her.

Without so much as an apology or an explanation, he stormed out of her room.

A/N: Next chapter...definitely rated M, so fair warning, ok?