For the first time since she was injured, Kacey woke up without a head ache. Her shoulder still hurt, but it was a pain she could live with, if she did not try to move her shoulder too much. She hated the way the medication made her feel. She would rather be clear headed than in the fog the pills put her into.

This morning, Kacey felt restless. First she spent four days in sick bay, then another three days confined to her quarters, which to her was a modified sort of house arrest. She still got tired quickly. Several times she fell asleep mid sentence.

After spending time arguing with the Doctor when he came to check her progress, he grudgingly gave permission for her to leave her quarters. With the stipulation that she use the hover chair and was not walking around the ship. The large brace was gone. In its place was a smaller brace which kept her shoulder semi-immobile but allowed her to use her lower arm and hand.

With Natalia pushing the chair, they wandered the ship. Kacey enjoyed spending time with Natalia. She found the younger woman easy to talk to. They spent time talking, laughing, even listening to music. Sometimes they held hands while they talked. Kacey even let Natalia hear a recording of her playing. She longed to kiss Natalia, but held back. They told each other their life stories. The only topic they did not discuss was what Natalia would do when the rescue ships arrived. Kacey did not want to influence Natalia's decision in any way.
Natalia was in a quandary. Should she stay with her people and return to Earth? Should she stay on Andromeda in case something more than friendship were to develop between herself and Kacey? Maybe she would talk to Kacey about it when they returned to their quarters. Natalia needed to get permission to stay aboard first.

They spent some time in the Hanger with the Marines after they had breakfast in the Mess Hall. Kacey showed Natalia as much of the ship as she could in one outing. They ended their day out on the Bridge. The Bridge was more relaxed than that first day when every one was afraid to even talk about anything not ship related.

Kacey was surprised when the entire bridge came to attention when Commander Torino said, "Colonel on the Bridge."

"At ease ladies and gentlemen." Kacey stated.

"Nice of you to visit. We have some news on the rescue ships, Natalia. They will be here in about three days." Kate stated.

"Three days." Kacey repeated her voice flat. Kate looked puzzled.

Natalia sighed. It was like this every time the rescue ships were mentioned. Kacey seemed to withdraw inward. "Captain would it possible to talk to you privately?"

"Of course. Come into the Ready Room."

"I will keep dad company." Kacey said.

"Aye will be my pleasure lassie." Liam leaned over and whispered to Kacey. "Something on your mind?"

" yes... dad, what if she wants to leave with the survivors? When the rescue ships arrive, what if she decides to leave?""

"Sounds to me that you have taken a liking to Natalia."

"I have dad. but I don't know if she feels the same way and I do not want to pressure her in any way or influence her decision. If I ask her to stay and she does, then finds it is not what she really wants she would blame me. That would lead to losing what we have now which is friendship, dad. Just friendship."

"You keep telling yourself that lassie."

"Any way I do not want to lose her friendship."

"But could you live with the knowledge that she wanted to stay, wanted you to ask her. She could even be waiting for you to ask."

"It is all so confusing dad."

"Aye it is. But the end result will be worth all the confusion now. Talk to her."

"How long do you think it will take for all the survivors to be transferred to the other ships?"

"A day or two. That does not give you a lot of time to talk to her. Find the time."

"I will try dad."

"See that you do." He said. "Your mother has been wanting another family dinner. Do ye feel up to it?"

"Sure why not. I am free anytime at least until the Doc lets me go back on duty."

"Ye should not be rushing things Kacey. It takes time for injuries like yours to heal."

"I just feel so helpless dad. I can not even take a walk but have to use this stupid hover chair."

"Time lassie it takes time." Liam stated.

The Ready Room door opened. Natalia and Kate walked out. "Captain thank you for everything"

"You are welcome Natalia. Now I think it is time to get my little sister back to her quarters."

"Younger, Kate, younger." Kacey responded

"You look tired. Ready to go back?" Natalia asked.

"Yes, I am feeling a bit tired.

They left the Bridge and headed back to Kacey's quarters. Once there Natalia helped Kacey change into her sleep clothes. Natalia was amazed each time she saw the tanned skin usually hidden beneath clothes. Her throat went dry as she glimpsed the soft swell of Kacey's breast when she turned around. "Would you like something to drink?" Natalia ask. Needing a cold drink herself.

"Some ice water please?"

"You lay down and I will get it for you."

Kacey took that time to calm her wildly beating heart. Then a thought came to her. When Natalia came through the door Kacey held up her good hand and said, "stop."

Natalia confused by Kacey's actions, stopped.

"You are beautiful." Kacey said.


"You wanted me to tell me that you were beautiful when I was not under the influence of pain medication or out of my head in pain. You are very beautiful Natalia."

"Well the same can be said for you, as well as strong and noble."

"Sit with me for awhile?" Kacey asked and shifted over to give her room to sit. "What would you say if I told you I really want to kiss you?"

"I would say, I would like that very much." Natalia leaned down and touched her lips to Kacey's, They broke apart they said together, "that was nice"

Natalia stated, "I would really like to do that again." Without invitation she leaned down for another kiss.

"Would you lay with me? I want to hold you in my arms, I mean arm. I will not do anything more than hold you."

"Sure for a little while." Natalia moved to the opposite side of the bed and lay down next to Kacey. They lay side by side. Kacey put her good arm around Natalia's shoulders. They both drifted off.

To be continued...

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