Disclaimer: While the attempt has been made to be medically accurate, some artistic license has been taken, and statements made by Dr Bashir are not to be regarded as authoritative. Recognizable characters and plotlines are the property of Paramount and Viacom; all original characters and story © 2020 FemaleChauvinist.

Do not post without permission. Do not copy/print without including the above disclaimer in its entirety.

A/N: "Season" given for timing reference only; see my profile for the alternate history used in this story. Barbie

Chapter One: Sleepyhead

First Season

The smell of fresh waffles filled the small kitchen of the Siskos' living quarters. Commander Sisko kept glancing toward the door, expecting any moment to see Jake drawn by the warm aroma and hungry for his breakfast. There was a crispness to real, cooked waffles to which replicated ones simply couldn't compare.

But when the last one lay hot and tempting on the platter Jake still hadn't made his appearance, and Sisko frowned and put a cover over them before going to see what was keeping his son.

"Jake?" He knocked on the door to Jake's room, then pressed the latch pad to open it. "Rise and shine; I made waffles, and they're getting cold."

No response came from the mound in the bed, and Sisko took a step forward, a faint twinge of worry niggling at his mind. "Jake?" He reached out to shake his shoulder. "Jake, time to get up."

Again there was no response, and Sisko briefly touched his son's cheek, relieved to find it warm, to feel faint breath on his fingers. "Computer, lights up," he ordered.

Even the full daylight intensity didn't waken Jake, who lay looking younger than his fourteen years as he slept.

"Jake?" he tried one final time, then tapped his combadge. "Sisko to Dr Bashir."

"Bashir here," the reply came instantly. "What's wrong, Commander?"

"It's Jake; I was letting him sleep in while I made breakfast, but now I can't wake him."

"Does his breathing seem normal?"

"Yes, but something's not right…"

"All right, I'm on my way. Bashir out."

Sisko found himself pacing the small room as he waited for the doctor to get there, his eyes never leaving his son's still face. After an interminably long five minutes the door chime sounded; Sisko's tone bordered on curtness as he called for Bashir to enter.

"Good morning, Commander," he said with the cheerfulness Sisko found even more annoying than usual now.

He merely nodded in response, and Bashir moved toward the bed, swinging his medkit off his shoulder to set on the floor and pulling out his tricorder. "Hey, Jake," he greeted the sleeping boy, sitting on the edge of the bed. The tricorder beeped faintly several times he passed it over Jake's head, then pulled back the covers to check his heart rate. He raised one eyebrow as he studied the readings, but made no comment, merely pushing back each eyelid in turn to shine the light from the tricorder and check the pupils' response.

"Is he normally a heavy sleeper?" he questioned, looking up at Sisko.

"I suppose so, yes — but not this hard to waken; not even in the middle of the night, and it's a far cry from that now."

Dr Bashir grinned. "Sure he and Nog didn't sneak out after you were in bed last night? That would explain extra tiredness…"

"You surely can't be suggesting that this is normal sleepiness," Sisko said incredulously.

Bashir sighed, turning serious. "I can't find any sign that it isn't," he said frankly. "His heart rate and respiration are both normal, and his brain wave function is that of a normal sleep, not a coma or even unconsciousness."

"So you're saying nothing's wrong, we should just wait until he wakes up," Sisko said flatly.

"For now, yes; if he doesn't wake up in a few hours, I'd want to start running some more in depth tests."

"And in the meantime, what? I have an important meeting in an hour; I can't miss it if he's not seriously ill, but I'm not comfortable leaving him alone here."

"I agree, he shouldn't be alone," Bashir responded quickly. "Tell you what. He doesn't need medical monitoring, but I'll take him down to the infirmary anyway, and my staff and I can keep an eye on him."

Sisko nodded, his face showing his relief. "That sounds better; thank you."

"No problem." He tapped his combadge. "Bashir to infirmary."

"Come in, Dr Bashir."

"I need a tech with a grav stretcher at Commander Siskos' quarters; non-emergency status."

"Right away, sir."

"Thank you. Bashir out."

oOo

"I thought you said he didn't need monitoring," Sisko protested as Bashir activated the biobed to which they had just transferred Jake.

The doctor shrugged. "Starfleet policy; if there's a patient in the bed, basic monitoring has to be active."

"Ah, of course." He hesitated, still unwilling to leave his son, and Bashir quirked an eyebrow at him. "Shouldn't you be going, sir, if you don't want to be late?"

"Yes…you will watch him for any signs he's in trouble?"

"Of course. You can trust me with him, sir, I promise. Want me to call you when he wakes up?"

Sisko shook his head regretfully. "Better not unless something's wrong; the meeting really shouldn't be interrupted."

"You can call me for an update when it's over, then — or anytime if you find you have a break."

"Right." He paused to brush a hand once more over his son's face. "I'll be back as soon as I can, Jake." Then he forced himself to turn and leave the room, still uncomfortable that Dr Bashir didn't seem to be taking this more seriously. But while the doctor might be young and relatively inexperienced, Sisko had seen over the past months that he was a competent physician, and he had no reason other than a father's worry not to trust him now.

Next chapter coming next week!

I proofread all my stories at least once before posting, but if you see any mistakes I might have missed, please let me know!

Please note that I have only minimal internet access, and may not have time to respond to all reviews/messages. (But they are much appreciated, even if you're reading this story long after I originally post it!) If you have questions regarding my Deep Space Nine alternate history, check my profile first to see if they're answered there. Thanks for your understanding! Barbie