Diversions & Digressions | fanfiction by mara



by Mara

Summary: Hoshi has lost her memories of an away mission, and nobody’s talking. What’s up?

NOTES/DEDICATION: This is for the folks at the Linguistics Database Forum
::grin:: Thanks to Josephine, who assures me this is laid-back funny.


* * * * *

The evenly bright lights were the first things she noticed. Even through her
eyelids, they stabbed into her brain and stoked the painful headache that had
awakened her. She thought about trying to bring a hand up to cover her eyes, but
that seemed to require too much effort, so she relaxed onto the firm surface
beneath her and waited for things to make sense.

Eventually, she realized there were voices as well as lights. Once she started
paying attention to them, they seemed to become louder and clearer, as if she
were adjusting her comm equipment to hear them.

“When’s she gonna wake up, Doc?” Trip asked.

“I told you, Commander, she will awaken when her body deems it time. If you do
not stop asking me, I will have you and Lieutenant Reed removed from Sickbay.”

//Wow, I’ve never heard Dr. Phlox sound so irritated. They must really be
driving him up the wall,// she thought.

“I’m sure there won’t be any need for that,” said the Captain’s voice, warning
clear. “Right, Trip? In fact, perhaps both of you should go to your quarters and
get some rest. Come back later. I’ll contact the two of you when Hoshi wakes

“Yes, sir,” Malcolm said.

“Yes, Cap’n.” Trip’s voice was resigned.

The voices stopped, and in the silence, Hoshi pondered the new developments.
//Okay, I’m in Sickbay. And they sound worried about me.//

Footsteps approached, and she thought about opening her eyes. It took some time
to recall exactly how to turn thought into action, but finally she found herself
squinting up at a blurry face.

“Hoshi?” the face said with the Captain’s voice.

She blinked a few times to clear the blurriness, and proved to her own
satisfaction that Jon’s voice had, in fact, emanated from Jon’s face.

“Hoshi? Are you okay?” he asked.

“I’m not quite sure,” she croaked. “What happened?”

Jon looked at her for a long moment in apparent surprise, then turned away and
called, “Doctor, she’s awake.”

Phlox pushed aside the curtain and bustled over to see her. He began to examine
her, and she ran a quick internal check.

“How do you feel, Ensign?” Phlox asked.

“Other than a blinding headache, not too bad, I guess,” she said. “But why am I

Phlox frowned and began scanning her head, as he asked. “What is the last thing
you remember?”

//Good question.// She closed her eyes and cast back in her mind, remembering
going on duty, working on a new language…

“Hoshi?” Jon asked.

“I’m thinking,” she said with some irritation, then her eyes flew open. “Sorry,

Suppressed amusement and worry fought for first place on his face. “That’s

Phlox put a hypospray to her neck. “This should ease your headache,” he said,
and went back to scanning.

“I remember reaching Li Sha,” she said, sighing as the pounding in her head went
from an entire drum set to a small didgeridoo.

“Yes,” Jon said. “What else?”

She looked up at him. “That’s it. I remember reaching the planet and hailing
them. Were we attacked and that’s why I’m here?”

Jon and the doctor exchanged looks of concern, and Hoshi’s headache tried to
make a comeback.

“No, we weren’t attacked,” Jon said.

“Well, then *what*? Sir.” Hoshi just wanted to go back to sleep and these men
were being evasive. A wave of fear swept over her, leaving behind a sheen of
sweat. “Is everyone okay? Did somebody die? Is that what you’re not telling me?”

“No, no, nothing like that,” Phlox said. “We are merely concerned because we
reached the planet yesterday.”

“We were invited to join their New Year’s festival,” Jon said. “Does that sound
familiar? We met their leader and he took quite a shine to you. Then, we went to
see a parade.”

She concentrated, but his words didn’t bring up any associated sounds, sights,
or emotions. “No, I just remember hailing them. How did I end up in Sickbay? Was
anyone else hurt?”

“Everyone else is fine,” Phlox said. “And I believe you are suffering from a
case of traumatic or retrograde amnesia, likely due to the injury to your medial
temporal lobe.”

“And how did I happen to injure my medial temporal lobe?” Hoshi asked, her
patience wearing thin.

“Well, you were accidentally hit by a float in the parade,” Jon said, shuffling
his feet.

“Oh, good grief,” Hoshi said with a wince. “How embarrassing. Does anyone know?”

Jon nodded. “A few people.”

“How did it happen?”

A long pause. “It was complicated. Maybe Trip could explain.”

Hoshi closed her eyes and sighed. Before she could ask any further questions,
the Captain said, “Well, I should let you rest up and go let everyone know
you’re okay. They were very worried.” And he left the room at a rather
undignified pace, leaving behind a confused ensign.

Phlox patted her shoulder and said, “Sleep and I’m sure everything will be
better in the morning. Your memory should return with time.” And he was gone
before she could gather her scattered wits.

She lay on the biobed, listening to the muted pounding of her head, the creaks
of the walls, and the thrumming of the warp engines. Hard as she tried, her
memory stopped at hailing the planet.

The familiar sounds lulled her and gradually the lights of Sickbay dimmed and
she slid into sleep.

* * * * *

Hoshi blinked in confusion as the bright lights blinded her. “Do you ever get a
feeling of déjà vu?” she muttered, moving restlessly on the hard biobed.

“What’s that?” Trip’s voice reached her from somewhere off to her left.

She rubbed her eyes, the sparks on the back of her eyelids forming and
reforming. “Nothing.”

“How do you feel? Should I get the Doc?” Trip was hovering like her mother, and
Hoshi couldn’t decide if it was endearing or annoying. But she was grateful as
he helped her sit up.

“I’m fine, just a little groggy.” She swallowed experimentally. “And thirsty.”

“Here, let me get some water for ya,” Trip said.

She was pleased to note as she waited for the water that everything seemed to be
in order and her headache was almost gone. The water tasted like ambrosia, which
let her know just how thirsty she was.

When she was done, Trip took the glass and resumed hovering, his blue eyes
filled with concern.

//If he’s going to stay, he might as well be useful,// she thought. “So, do you
know when the Doctor will let me out?”

A trace of Trip’s usual grin appeared. “Well, as it happens, he said you could
leave as soon as the question occurred to you. I’ll go get him.”

Within moments, the smiling Phlox was doing a last scan of her. “With a little
more rest, I believe you will be fine, Ensign.”

“What about my memory? Will it come back?” she asked. Out of the corner of her
eye, she saw Trip get a strange expression on his face, rather as if he’d just
swallowed a live frog. But by the time she’d turned her head, he looked his
normal genial self. //Am I imagining things? Maybe being knocked on the head has
made me paranoid.//

Phlox said, “I’m sure your memory will return in its own time. It’s quite common
for head trauma to cause loss of memory just before and after the injury.”

Trip made an abortive movement and Hoshi narrowed her eyes as she looked at the
two of them. “After? Am I forgetting something that happened after I was hit on
the head? I thought I was knocked unconscious.”

Phlox said quickly, “Oh yes, the injury caused you to lose consciousness.”

//Okay,// she thought. //If that’s the way he wants to play it. I don’t have the
energy to argue about the semantics of what he just said.// “Can I go now?”

“Absolutely. You should take it easy for the next week, half-shifts only, and no
work at all until tomorrow. I’m sure Commander Tucker would be happy to take you
to your quarters, or the messhall if you’re hungry.”

Trip helped her off the biobed and waited while she ducked into the bathroom for
a quick shower and changed into fresher clothing.

As they set off for the messhall, she considered her next move. She was unable
to ask Trip anything as they walked through the halls, as he was busy greeting
people they passed, many of whom politely asked after her well-being.

The messhall was almost empty, and she sat down at the nearest table, while Trip
got her something to eat.

“Here ya go, good for whatever ails ya,” he said with a grin as he put a bowl of
chicken soup and some bread in front of her.

He got a cup of coffee for himself and she waited until he had just taken a sip
before she asked, “So, how did I get hit by a float?”

The response was everything she could have asked for as Trip spit half his
mouthful back into the cup and choked on the rest. She calmly ate her soup as he
coughed and wiped up spilt coffee.

“Damn, woman, you’re good,” he said with admiration when he’d recovered.

“I know,” she said with no modesty. “So, what’s the answer? I know there’s
something nobody is telling me, and I want to know what it is.”

“Maybe you should ask the Captain.”

She poked the spoon at his chest for emphasis. “*He* told me to ask *you*.”

“Oh.” Trip looked into his coffee, apparently hoping the answer would float out
of it. “Well, it was complicated. Maybe Malcolm could explain it better.”

“Malcolm was involved?” she asked, wrinkling her nose at his obfuscation.

“Well, he was there.” Trip was looking anywhere but at her. “But I’m sure you’ll
remember what happened soon enough and that might be easier than trying to
explain things and *look* there’s Ensign Cutler and I’m sure she’ll make sure
you get back to your quarters, I’d better get back to engineering.” With that
astonishing speech, he leapt out of his seat and took off out the door like a
bat out of hell.

Hoshi’s jaw dropped as she stared at his retreating back, and she barely managed
to close it in time to greet Liz Cutler.

“Good to see you up and about, Hoshi,” Liz said. “I’d be happy to see you back
to your quarters, but what was that all about?”

“I have no idea,” Hoshi said slowly, “unless you can tell me the circumstances
of my accident.”

“Oh, that’s right, I heard you had a bit of amnesia. No, sorry, I wasn’t there,
and all I heard was that you hit your head.”

* * * * *

When she reached her quarters, she found she wasn’t tired. After pacing
restlessly for a few minutes, she decided to do a little research into what had

She started with her personal log. //Naturally, it won’t include what happened,
but maybe it will jog my memory.//

But she was disappointed when she found only a few details after her shift on
the bridge.

“They’re having some sort of festival and we’re invited,” her image said to her.
“The Captain says we should go and Malcolm isn’t thrilled, but he’s agreed. When
I left, they were still arguing about how many security people would join us and
how heavily they would be armed.

“I’d love to wear something dressy, but it looks like it’s uniforms all the way
today. Oops, time to go!”

Hoshi tapped her fingers on her desk. //That was useless. Let’s see what the
Captain’s log has to say.//

She skipped past several reports on the planet, finally finding his notes upon
returning to the ship.

“There was a minor diplomatic incident while we were guests of Xin, the
Emperor,” Archer said. Hoshi leaned forward, holding her breath. “One member of
the crew, Ensign Sato, was injured while we were viewing the parade. However,
once the confusion was sorted out, we were able to smooth things over and Doctor
Phlox assures me Ensign Sato will make a full recovery.”

Gritting her teeth in annoyance, she skimmed the rest of the log to make sure
there weren’t any other clues, but it was entirely routine matters.

* * * * *

Hoshi cornered Malcolm in the armory, the only place she knew he’d always

“I’m glad you’re recovered,” Malcolm said, concentrating carefully on the phase
pistol in his hand. “Please let me know when you’d like to resume your lessons.”

“That’s not why I’m here,” she said.

“Oh?” he asked, much too casually.

Hoshi leaned against a wall, carefully avoiding the weaponry and considered the
armory officer. //Unfortunately, he’s even harder to get a straight answer out
of than Jon or Trip.//

“I’m here,” she said, “to get some details on what happened while we were on Li

Malcolm continued to stare at the phase pistol in his hand, although he’d
stopped making adjustments. “Perhaps you should ask Commander Tucker about the
exact circumstance, because it was-”

“If you say it was complicated,” Hoshi said, stepping forward, “I swear I will

Startled by her tone, Malcolm looked up and found himself practically nose to
nose with an angry comm officer. She continued to glare at him and he seemed to
be considering his options. //Fortunately, I’m between him and the door because
he looks like he wants to run away.//

“It really is difficult to explain,” he said, his tone placating.

“I’m not interested in the level of difficulty,” she said. “I’m interested in
getting a straight answer about what the three of you are hiding from me. It
can’t possibly be worse than what I’ve been imagining.”

“Don’t bet on it,” he said under his breath, looking down again.

She groaned. “That’s it!” And she marched over to the nearest comm panel.

“Sato to Tucker.”

“Go ahead.”

“I need to speak to you immediately in the armory,” she said.

“Ensign,” Malcolm began. She glared at him and he stopped.

“Malcolm? Is that you?” Trip asked.

“Trip, meet us in the armory,” Hoshi said.

“I’d recommend you do as she asks,” Malcolm said dryly, “she’s quite annoyed.”

“On my way.”

“Sato to Archer.”

“Go ahead.”

* * * * *

It was a truly amazing sight: a petite ensign staring down a lieutenant, a
commander, and a captain. Yet somehow when faced with her standing over a table
of weaponry, none of the three quite remembered that she couldn’t order them
around. //Guilt, I assume,// she thought.

“Now talk,” she said, crossing her arms and eyeing them like particularly
unsavory specimens.

The Captain tried to look in command of the situation, Malcolm looked like he
was about to be court-martialed, and Trip looked exactly like a boy caught with
his hand in the cookie jar.

The uncomfortable silence dragged on as the three men avoided her eyes, gazing
with apparent interest at their feet, the floor, the bulkheads and the weapons.

Finally, the Captain sighed. “It all started when we were watching the parade.
T’Pol went off with the first minister, which left the four of us in the
Emperor’s viewing stand, with him and his bodyguards.” He paused, his expression
pained. “The Emperor was paying quite a bit of attention to you and you were
looking uncomfortable. When he practically dragged you onto his lap, I thought
it was time to intervene. So, to get his attention, I pointed to one of the
passing floats.”

He braced himself and she stared at him. “Do you mean after the *three*
briefings T’Pol and I provided before we reached the planet you *forgot* that
pointing at things is absolutely forbidden to anyone not part of the royal

“Well, yes.” He shuffled his feet and continued. “Then, you tried to cover it up
and explain my mistake to the Emperor.”

“But he wasn’t havin’ any of that,” Trip said. “And he started yellin’ and
sayin’ stuff.”

“And Mr. Tucker got rather hot under the collar,” Malcolm continued.

The Captain looked at him. “That’s putting it mildly.”

“Well, he was up in your face, so I got up in his face,” Trip said.

“And the Captain was trying to calm everyone down, but the bodyguards became
rather nervous.”

“They pulled out their weapons, so Malcolm pulled out his.”

Hoshi’s eyes were practically popping out. “You brandished a weapon in the
Emperor’s presence?”

“That’s when things got a mite hectic,” Trip said quickly.

“There was a great deal of pushing and shoving and shouting,” Malcolm said.

“Somewhere in that mess, you were knocked off the viewing platform and hit your
head on a float,” the Captain said.

“And then all three of us were yelling at the Emperor,” Trip said, “But he got
real apologetic.”

Malcolm frowned. “He sent his personal physician to look at you and said it
balanced the scales.”

“We apologized and he apologized and we got you the hell off that planet and
into sickbay,” Trip said.

Hoshi’s face was a bit pale as she peered at the three of them. “I can’t believe
it,” she choked out. “I can’t believe three highly trained and intelligent
officers could make that many mistakes in such a short period of time.”

They stared at their feet in such identical expressions of schoolboy shame that
she felt a grin twitch on her lips. But she stifled that quickly. “Is there
anything else I should know, while we’re at it?”

“Nothing much,” Trip said, still not quite able to look her in the eye.

She sighed. “‘Nothing much’ as in, you accidentally killed the Emperor on the
way out, or ‘nothing much’ you’re going to make *me* write the final report to

Malcolm took a deep breath. “The Commander is referring to the Emperor’s parting

“Yes?” Hoshi leaned on the table in front of her.

“As we were loading you into the shuttle,” the Captain said, the words drawn out
of him reluctantly, “the Emperor said to congratulate you on acquiring three
such attentive husbands.”

All the breath whooshed out of her and she groped for the nearest chair.
“Husbands?” she managed, looking up at the three men.

“He apologized again,” Malcolm said, his face slowly turning red, “and said he
wouldn’t have paid such close attention to you before the incident had he
realized our relationship.”

“But he agreed our rude behavior was perfectly understandable,” Trip said,
resigned now, “if we considered our wife to be threatened.”

Hoshi opened and closed her mouth a few times. “You, you didn’t correct him,
right? Please tell me you didn’t try to explain anything.”

The Captain’s face could have been made out of stone as he said, “We apologized
for the misunderstanding and thanked him for his good wishes for our marriage.”

Malcolm’s face approached beet-red, Trip was probably trying to avoid some
terribly inappropriate joke, and the Captain really looked like he hoped someone
would shoot him.

Hoshi stared at them a few moments longer. “I was unconscious at this point,
right? There’s no reason I should remember this, is there?”

Dead silence met her and her jaw dropped. “Oh my god. I was awake? What did I
do?” She clutched the edge of the table.

“You,” Trip paused and looked at the other two for support. They steadfastly
refused to look at him. “You laughed and said you’d marry us again in a

Malcolm’s voice was tight as he continued. “I believe there was also something
about our sexual prowess. The Emperor was very amused. And impressed.”

Hoshi put her head down on the table and started to laugh.

* * * * *

Additional Author’s Note: LD Forum habitues might have recognized that this was
*entirely* caused by re-reading the “Everybody Loves Hoshi” roundrobin (or
“Three Guys and a Girl”, as it was re-titled.)

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