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The incorrect spellings in this are INTENTIONAL.
Fred sighed inwardly.
He did everything inwardly when he was on duty, having to remain silent but seen. Always hovering in the background, seemingly relaxed, uninterested, when in fact all of his senses where focused on the people he was guarding.
And it had to be said that in all honesty, he had his senses focused on these particular people even more than usual. He doubted they even really noticed he was there; one of them was continually trying to get the other one's attention, while she was doing her best at ignoring his attempts.
The man spoke again.
Okay, so Fred obviously knew her name by now, but she had yet to say the man's. In fact, she'd yet to see anything at all.
The Commander had told Fred their names earlier but the man's had been difficult to remember. Chuck...Check...Chequers...sighing, inwardly again, Fred decided to call the man Charlie.
So, Charlie obviously knew this 'Catherine' quite well because they were on first-name terms. Or rather, he was. She was still on 'not-saying-anything' terms.
They were on opposite sides of room, trapped inside their own little detainment areas behind forcefields. Communication between these particular 'guests' was permitted so they could say whatever they liked to each other. Of course, Fred was anxious to know exactly what had happened. The Commander hadn't told him much, just that they'd been caught doing something they shouldn't have, and that Fred would have to keep an eye on them until he returned from 'assessing and finding a solution a situation that requires a great deal of attention'.
Whatever that meant.
Fred resisted the urge to scratch his butt.
Charlie said it again. "Catherine?"
She finally responded. Standing quickly from her bunk, she whirled towards the forcefield, anger, frustration and humiliation etched into every line on her face. "I told you I'm NOT TALKING TO YOU!!"
Surprised at the volatility of her wrath, Fred almost raised an eyebrow but remembered to maintain his composure.
Charlie didn't look the least bit surprised. He actually looked quite pleased that he'd at least received some kind of reaction from her. Smiling behind his own forcefield, he continued. "Yes you are. You're talking to me right now, aren't you?"
Catherine held up a finger instantly, eyes narrowing. "Don't...don't you dare keep using that calm tone of voice. You know it drives me crazy."
Charlie leered at her. "Well it certainly drove you crazy earlier."
"Oh God," She muttered, looking even more embarrassed before raising her hands to her face. "How can you be so calm?" She mumbled through her hands, creating small gaps between the fingers to peek out through. "We've been arrested for...for..." Catherine swallowed visibly. "It's your fault."
Nodding easily, he agreed. "Yes, but it's as much your fault as it is mine."
Her hands moved down from her face, her head raised instantly. "*My* fault? I wasn't the one who wanted to-"
Charlie cut her off, clearing his throat and looking in my direction. Fred kept his gaze on the oh-so-fascinating beige wall. Couldn't Starfleet come up with anything more interesting? Polka dots? Stripes?
Fred heard her tut. "Oh for heavens sake, Shackowetey. They're trained to be discreet. Just pretend he isn't there."
He had never been so grateful for being ignored.
The man - Shack-owe-tey? - didn't look particularly pleased with the idea, but said nothing else about it. Instead he continued their conversation, trying to defend himself. It was obvious to Fred, now, what had happened.
"I wasn't the only one who got carried away, Catherine," He reminded her in that gentle tone of voice that Fred now knew drove her mad. "I seem to remember you-"
"Don't," She interrupted, whispering, closing her eyes. "I remember everything. There's no need for you to go into detail." Opening her eyes, she smiled, resigned. "Typical of our luck though, isn't it? Let's face it, if we weren't going to be arrested we would have been interrupted by a Vulcan or a-"
"-very nice but ill-timed Ensign." Shackowetey finished, smiling softly.
Oh gawd. They were getting all mushy.
Catherine smiled back at him. It wasn't just a regular smile either. This thing seemed to creep up one side of her mouth, then the other, then she opened her mouth to display all of her teeth as the smile grew.
It was the cheesiest smile Fred had ever seen.
And now Shackowetey was wearing one just like it.
Something had to be done. He couldn't watch this for a moment longer. But he...couldn't just leave them alone, either. Some...thing...was driving him. Some kind of force.
Moving from his stance, he walked over to her forcefield, trying not to get caught in the direct line of sight of that grin. Once there, he keyed in the release code.
Her smile vanished, mouth hanging open in disbelief. "What are you doing?"
"Putting myself out of my own misery," He retorted, grabbing her arm and pulling her out of the detainment area.
Swearing at him, she tried to pull out of Fred's grasp as Shackowetey bellowed "What the hell are you doing?"
He seemed to calm when Fred stopped next to his forcefield. He seemed to realise what Fred was planning. He seemed to smile.
Keying in the code for Shackowetey's forcefield, Fred waited until it fzzted out of existence, shoved Catherine in with Shackowetey, and pressed a button so the forcefield fzzted back into life.
Saying nothing else, Fred turned and headed out of the room, barely catching the 'thanks' that was sent after him.
Fred stood impossibly straighter as he heard the Commander speak his name. "Yes sir?" He was standing outside the room Catherine and Shackowetey were 'detained' in.
Commander Jones stood in front of him. "The charges against the two we are currently holding have been dropped. They can be released."
Fred nodded. "Aye sir."
Jones began to move away, then moved back. "Lieutenant...why are you outside the room?"
Fred barked out his answer. "We are having a problem with the locking mechanism on the door, sir. I have reported the malfunction and an engineering team is on its way."
Accepting the answer, Jones nodded. "Very well. See that they are released as soon as possible." And he left.
"Aye sir," Fred mumbled, wondering why he had just lied to a superior officer, wondering why he was doing this for two strangers, knowing that he had probably just helped them risk getting caught of indecent exposure a second time.
Fred sighed inwardly.
e-mail // voyager fic