Forget the Reckless Things We've Done

Summary: Tumblr prompt: “We both got in separate bar fights downtown and now we’re waiting in the ER comparing stories.”

 

Characters: Chakotay, Janeway

Codes: Janeway/Chakotay

 

Disclaimer: Characters are Paramount’s. No infringement intended.

Rated K+

“So what’s your story?”

 

Chakotay squints his one functioning eye, trying to figure out where the speaker is sitting.

 

“Over here.”

 

She’s slumped on the floor opposite his chair with her back against the wall, knees up and arms crossed over them. He guesses she isn’t sitting on the floor by choice. It’s New Year’s Eve, after all, and the ER is full to the rafters.

 

Her hair is a mess, chestnut-red and tangled over a face smeared with blood and dirt. He can’t actually see what her face looks like, but he isn’t sure if that’s down to these obstructions or the fact that even his good eye seems to be rapidly swelling.

 

He does notice that the scrunched-up legs appear to be long and slender, and that the hands are elegant and fine-boned despite the cut and swollen knuckles.

 

And although her clothes aren’t exactly form-fitting – a loose shirt and jeans – he guesses that the figure they’re concealing would probably look pretty good in a bikini.

 

“Hello,” she drawls in a husky voice that, despite his current condition, piques his interest. “Are you conscious?”

 

Chakotay clears his throat. “That’s debatable.”

 

She laughs, and stretches out her legs, brushing a hank of hair out of her eyes. Grey-blue, he catalogues automatically. Pretty.

 

Not that this is anywhere close to the time to be thinking about such things.

 

After all, a pretty pair of eyes is what got him into this mess.

 

“I’m still waiting for details,” Pretty Eyes says in that husky voice. “Or is it too embarrassing to share?”

 

Chakotay rubs his bloodied knuckles and wipes the smears on his filthy T-shirt. “It is pretty embarrassing,” he admits.

 

“Let me guess. Boy hits on girl, girl turns out to have a boyfriend twice the size of boy?”

 

“That’s pretty close,” he admits, hoping she won’t ask for clarification.

 

“How close?”

 

Damn. “Uh, pretty much spot on. Except it wasn’t the boyfriend.”

 

“Oh?” She leans forward, interested.

 

“No.” He coughs, and mumbles, “It was her girlfriend.”

 

There’s a beat of silence, and then Pretty Eyes just howls. Puts her head on her knees and absolutely wrecks herself with laughter.

 

“I’m glad you find my misfortune so amusing,” Chakotay grumbles.

 

He can’t help smirking a bit, though. It is pretty funny.

 

When Pretty Eyes finally winds down and wipes the tears away, Chakotay asks, “So, not that any story can possibly top mine for the embarrassment factor, but how did a little slip of a thing like yourself end up in the ER looking like you’ve gone five rounds with Tyson?”

 

“Well, I suppose it’s only fair if I show you mine, since I did ask you to show me yours.” Pretty Eyes smirks. “It was all because of a game of pool.”

 

“This sounds interesting,” Chakotay rests his elbows on his knees, which unfortunately reminds him of his possibly-cracked ribs. He straightens up carefully, trying not to wince.

 

Pretty Eyes examines her ragged fingernails. “You see, there was this big moose of a man running the pool table, and he was getting more and more cocky with every game he won, and I just thought he needed taking down a peg or two. So I challenged him to a game.”

 

“And?” Chakotay prompts.

 

“And I whipped him, of course. He didn’t take it too well.”

 

“Why do I think there’s more to this story?”

 

Pretty Eyes shrugs, the corner of her mouth quirking up. “Can I help it if he didn’t respond well to losing with all his colours on the table? Table rules are, if that happens, you drop your pants and run around the bar.”

 

“And?”

 

“And he wasn’t going to do it, so I got up on the bar and started everyone in a chant.”

 

Chakotay starts to grin. “What chant?”

 

“Let’s see, I think it went something like this…” Pretty Eyes starts a slow clap with her hands above her head. “Drop your drawers, Betty, show us where you’re pretty…”

 

Chakotay bursts out laughing.

 

“So he either had to follow the rules, start a fight, or be laughed out of the bar.”

 

“Let me guess,” Chakotay says drily. “He chose the fight.”

 

She cocks her fingers at him like a gun. “I knew you weren’t just a pretty face.”

 

“You think I have a pretty face?” He grins at her, working the dimples.

 

She examines him closely. “Well, as far as I can tell under the bruises you got from being hit by a girl.”

 

“Ouch,” he snickers.

 

“Janeway,” calls a nurse holding a clipboard. “Kathryn Janeway.”

 

Pretty Eyes scrambles to her feet. “That’s me.” She holds out a hand for him to shake. “Nice talking to you, Mr Smooth. Hope you don’t need too many bandaids for your boo-boos.”

 

Chakotay takes her hand. “See you around, Shark. And behave yourself in pool halls.”

 

“Where’s the fun in that?” she winks at him over her shoulder as she follows the nurse along the hallway and out of his life.

 

Or so he thinks, until he’s released after being patched up and finds her lingering in the ER exit foyer.

 

“Fancy a game of pool?” Pretty Eyes asks as she links her arm through his, leading him into the parking lot.

 

Chakotay stops and looks down at her. “Doesn’t that fall into the category of asking for trouble?”

 

She stops him with a hand on his chest, quirking the corner of her mouth at him. He thinks her mouth is just as pretty as her eyes.

 

“Sounds like fun to me,” she says, invitation clear in her voice.

 

“Oh, I have absolutely no doubt that you are going to be serious trouble,” he murmurs as he backs her up against the wall and kisses her.

© 2021 by Mia Cooper