"Leave now," Chris ordered the doctor forcefully.

"I'm the physcian on duty," the doctor responded arrogantly now that the human seemed to be under control.

"You are not touching my Sentinel, get out."

"You can't order me out of my own sickbay."

"It's your funeral," Chris stated coldly.

The doctor gobbled ineffectually and turned to O'Neal.

"Oh! For crying out loud. Get out of here. They're obviously refusing your services." Daniel O'Neal ordered.

"Is there a pediatrician on duty?" Chris demanded once the routed doctor slipped out of the room through another door.

"Pediatrician? And you had the nerve to call me a pup," O'Neal snorted looking at Tanner.

"Chris?" Nathan asked worriedly indicating the faintly growling Tanner.

Larabee's tight grip eased and he began to gently rub the sentinel's tense shoulder. "Relax, he's gone. Settle down."

Vin visibly shivered "Let's go back." Tanner turned and started out the door.

"Whoa! Stop right there," Larabee ordered firmly. "You need those hands looked at."

"Nate'll fix 'em later."

"Oh no I won't! You're going to let a doctor treat them," Nathan snapped. This is all I need.

"Talk to me Tanner," Chris asked.

"Aw Hell! Don' like . . . " Vin indicated the infirmary. "Then havin' that idjit in here."

"Those hands need taken care of and I'll get a decent doctor if I have to hunt through the passenger lists," Nathan promised.

"Cain't ya work that machine yer own self?"

"No, I'm not certified on it," Nathan answered firmly.


O'Neal and his team silently watched the human pace the infirmary while they waited for a doctor.

Vin stopped his pacing, paled and looked toward the door. "Aww Shit." Quickly he scrambled onto an examination table.

"Hattie found out did she?" Chris chortled. Thought she might have alerts sent to her on us.

"You two ain't in the clear. She's gonna be takin' strips outta all of our hides." Vin warned.

"I didn't do anything," Nathan protested.

"Exactly," Hattie snapped as she made her entrance obviously in a high temper. "You should have kept a better eye on him."

Nathan hunched his shoulders and made certain to stay out of reach. Wouldn't put it past her to box my ears.

"He slipped by me," Chris muttered in self defense as Hattie's gimlet gaze came to rest on him. Hattie raised an eyebrow. "It was late and I . . . and he . . . he purred and it put me to sleep," Larabee confessed.

"What's your excuse?" Hattie planted her feet and glared at the sentinel. Calm, calm, the child's upset enough without a foolish old woman stirring him up. I will find out who cut the orders to send him to stowage for medical care.

"Was outta sorts, didn't seem right ta keep Chris up cause I'se restless." Vin ducked his head trying to look suitably chastened.

"You didn't consider it might have been a . . . symptom of a bigger problem?" Hattie's anger was immediately pushed to the side as she dealt with the young sentinel's issues.

Tanner shook his head silently.

"We will talk young man," Hattie warned.

"I brought Leonard to take a look at you," Hattie turned and gestured for a snowy haired stooped old man to approach.

"Hattie, I told you I'm semi-retired," Leonard protested.

"I told you I needed you."

"I thought you were my patient."

Chris scowled at the perceived prejudice toward his Sentinel.

"Leonard once and for all, I am not going to play doctor with you," Hattie laughed.

"A man can dream. I'm just an old country doctor. What would I know about treating a human," Leonard protested once more.

"At least you'll listen, unlike these youngsters nowadays," Hattie retorted.

"Why do I bother? You're going to get your way regardless, you old witch," the doctor complained affectionately.

"Of course I will," Hattie agreed smugly. "Leonard, your patient Gavin Vinya ap Wervyn Tanner. Gavin this is a very old and dear friend of mine, Leonard Kirk. Both of you play nice."

"Yes Ma'am."

"I could have done without that 'old' part," Leonard grumbled.

"She's mean that way," Vin said sympathetically.

"Are you two ganging up on me?" Hattie scowled.

Vin and Leonard exchanged looks.

"Of course not. I hate being out numbered," Leonard snapped.

"Rekin we'd still be out gunned even wit' tha rest of the pack throwed in," Tanner agreed seriously.

"You can pick another doctor if you'd like, no matter what Hattie wants," Leonard offered.

"Yer here and Grandmother trusts yah."

"Lieutenant close the door. I'm examining my patient." Leonard Kirk ordered.

The door slid closed.

"That means you should be on the other side of that door, Lieutenant."

"I have orders . . . ,"

"Yes, I gave them to you, now out."

"But . . ."

"He's not going anywhere, out."

O'Neal shifted anxiously.

"When was the last time you had your prostrate checked, young man?" Kirk smirked. "I can have orders for you to spend the next two weeks getting every medical test known to man."

"Ahh, I'll be waiting in the hall if that's alright, Dr. Kirk."

"That'll be fine."

"Anyone else you want me to throw out?" Leonard smirked as he addressed Tanner.


"So, what's the damage?" Leonard ran thoughtful eyes over the youngster.

Vin wordlessly held out his hands.

"Did you run them through the disposal unit?" Leonard demanded furiously glaring at the damage.

"Senses got away from me," Tanner all but whispered.

Leonard's craggy features softened remarkably. "Hattie, you didn't tell me the boy was a Hunter." So this wasn't a stupid game or deliberate, must have zoned. Looks like for once the scuttlebutt is close to the truth, there really are Human Hunters.

"He's a Sentinel. There are considerable differences but he'll have a lot of the same issues," Hattie corrected.

Leonard frowned thoughtfully for a long moment. "I guess I'll examine you like I would a Hunter. Now if I do something that bothers you, I expect you to speak up. If I don't do something that needs to be done, you speak up."

Vin nodded in response.

"Alright, now let me have a better look at those hands," Leonard Kirk ordered.

Vin presented his hands cautiously for the examination.

"May I touch them?"

Tanner nodded faintly and obviously braced himself.

"Hmmm, better than I thought . . . any trouble making a fist?"

"Crampin' a might, and there's some swellin' is all," Vin answered softly.

"Crampin' a might? I've been a doctor over 80 years, son. I'd say those hands are past cramping and into intense spasms wouldn't you?"

"Don't want to be no bother," Tanner pulled away.

"Don't you move your behind off that table." Leonard scowled. "You need to let me do my job. If you aren't honest with me about your symptoms I can't make a proper diagnosis and repair the damage. That means I won't dazzle Hattie with my abilities and she won't have me up for a late supper followed by an early breakfast. So do an old man a favor here and cooperate, dammit.

Vin's eyes widened and he darted a shocked look at Hattie before staring openly at Leonard Kirk. "Grandmother, don' hold wit cussin'." Tanner warned.

Leonard nodded seriously. "Stop cursing, got it."

"Reckin, I want another doctor."

"Why?" Chris asked calmly.

"This'ns crazy. You heard him, want'n ta play blanket games wit' Grandmother."

"I'm old, not dead and neither is Hattie. Kids . . . ," Dr. Kirk snorted while carefully examining Vin's fingertips.

"Shit, that hurts," Vin hissed.

"Hattie'll swat you for cursing. Of course they hurt, you've torn them up rather spectularly. I don't think they'll be any nerve damage," Leonard responded calmly.

"Figure yer never to old fer he'in' and she'in'. It's yer interest in Grandmother that's a might unbalanced." Tanner gasped as Kirk straightened the fingers to examine the rest of the fingers.

"Hattie might be offended by that remark."

"She spider bites the head offen the he spider during sex," Tanner warned.

Hattie laughed out loud completely charmed by her newest acquisition.

Leonard looked over at Hattie and back at Tanner. "You think she'd kill me?"

"She's feisty, iffen yer heart don' give out . . . she'll have yah fer breakfast alright . . . plated up right next to tha eggs," Tanner warned.

Nathan relaxed as he watched the crusty old man interact with Vin. Hattie sure knew what she was doing getting Kirk down here. By this time I was expecting to be peeling Vin off the ceiling. Chris has even stopped hovering for the moment.

"No wound seal?" Leonard noted.

"Nate said you'd only have ta scrub it off 'fore yah fix 'em." Tanner tilted his head indicating Nathan Jackson.

"Field Medic?" Leonard guessed.

"Yes, Sir, Sergeant Nathan Jackson," Nathan answered.

"At ease son, you boys do excellent work. Wish the hospital staffs I deal with knew their jobs half as well. Green doctors thinking they know everything. Not enough sense in the lot of them to change a glow bulb." Leonard grumbled.

"Vin's good at hiding how much pain he's in. I used a topical anesthesia on him . . . worked for about 15 minutes," Nathan warned.

"Let's take care of these hands . . . then we're going to figure out what else is wrong. You ever operate one of those things, Nathan?" Leonard nodded to the regenerator.

"Once . . . in class," Nathan admitted.

"Medical . . . they're all idiots. Any decent operator can use one, freeing up a doctor during emergencies. Let's get you trained on this thing." Leonard continued grumbling.


"STOP!" Larabee barked after two minutes.

Nathan immediately turned off the regenerator. "Chris?"

Vin darted to the sink and proceeded to empty his stomach.

"You said the regenerator didn't bother him," Nathan growled.

"It didn't."

"Senses is all over tha place right now," Vin made his way back over and sat down on the examination table.

"We really need to get more taken care of," Kirk scowled down at the damaged fingers.

"Be fer tha best, it takes hands a long time ta heal on their own," Tanner responded.

"How bad are you hurting?" Leonard asked seriously.

"I've hurt worse."

"Give us an idea of what's worse," Chris suggested.

"Was drug by a horse once."

"What's not so worse?"

"Broke a leg in 3 places," Tanner answered thoughtfully.

Leonard shook his head at the byplay between the pair. Just how bad does being drug by a horse hurt?

/Your hands hurt worse then a broken leg?/ Chris grimaced.

/Lots of nerves in fingertips./ Vin reminded.

"What can we do for pain?" Chris asked.

"You already tried a topical?" Leonard looked over at Nate.

"Lasted about 15 minutes." Nathan reminded.

"It'll last about half that now that I've adjusted to it," Tanner added.

"We can put him under," Leonard suggested unhappily.

"Only as a last resort," Chris snapped. That could be a real nightmare.

"Can you turn the dials down like when Ezra cut the glass out of your foot?" Larabee asked gently.

"Senses is all over the place fer some reason," Vin reminded.

"Let's figure out what's got your senses acting up so you can control it yourself," Chris sat down on the examination table beside his sentinel.

Tanner leaned against Larabee and snuffled a bit.

"Did you try and balance your senses?" Hattie sat down on Tanner's other side.

"Twice." Vin sighed when Chris wrapped his arm around the slender human and tucked him closer.

"Did you sleep well?" Grandmother smiled as Vin buried his face against Larabee's chest.

"Couldn't sleep."

"Did that guitar give you bad dreams?" Chris asked thoughtfully.

"Maybe . . . most likely. Stirred up . . . things best fergot."

Hattie and Chris exchanged a troubled look over Tanner's head.

"Let's try it again." Vin straightened up after a few minutes.

"Is that a good idea?" Chris demanded.

"You got a better one? Just have ta stop when it gets too much ta handle. Get tha hands fixed and that's one less thing messin' wit' mah balance." Vin reminded.

"No more than two minute sessions and we'll go ahead and use a topical. It'll help for a little while anyway," Leonard ordered Nathan as they moved the regenerator into position.

Three more regeneration sessions, each ending with Tanner emptying his stomach's contents, were necessary before Vin's hands were safely healed.

"Just remember, the skin is going to be very tender. You'll have to be careful until you've built back the calluses," Leonard warned.

"Thank you." Tanner studied his hands in bemusement.

"What's wrong?" Chris asked.

"Coupla scars is gone."

"Well you can do with a few less scars." Nathan considered his patient thoughtfully. Wonder how I can find out what the Human's use on their Hunters for pain relief. I'll ask Ezra.

"You gonna feed me anytime soon? Belly's rubbin' a blister on mah backbone," Vin asked hopefully.

"Any reason he can't eat?" Larabee asked.

"None at all. I'd suggest taking him back to quarters and letting him get some sleep after he eats." Leonard shook his head in amusement. That's one hell of a constitution. If he's hungry already.


"Long walk. Yah'd think they'd have a sickbay closer ta all them fancy folks wouldn't yah," Vin muttered.

Chris' eyes narrowed as Tanner's comment registered. O'Neal began to fidget under the furious glares leveled in his direction by Nathan and Chris.

"I had my orders, Colonel," O'Neal answered in a distinctly disgusted tone.

"Who gave you those orders Lieutenant?" Hattie snapped dangerously. Now I'll find out whose lives to make miserable.

"The Officer of the Day," O'Neal responded immediately.

"Quit yer glarin', ain't the kid's fault," Vin sighed. "Reckin they didn't have a Vet ter nar . . . a critter doctor ta send me too."

Who do I beat senseless? Nathan's jaw flexed.

A loud thump was followed up by a hissed "Oww!" Leonard Kirk stood nursing his hand.

Nathan hurried over and carefully evaluated the damage. "Congratulations, you damn fool you broke at least two bones. Even Larabee's got more sense than hitting solid walls," Jackson growled as he worked.

"Not another word do you understand me," the old doctor ordered sheepishly.

"Please continue Nathan, I'm enjoying hearing Leonard on the receiving end of a lecture for a change," Hattie laughed.

"Lieutenant O'Neal, see that Dr. Kirk is taken to the closest medical facility that has a regenerator," Chris ordered.

"I . . . Tanner needs to go back to quarters first," O'Neal looked like the world had just fallen on him.

"Nathan, hand me your note pad will you?" Taking the pad Chris pulled out a stylis and began writing.

"Here," Chris ripped off the sheet of plasticel. "Written orders . . . anyone and I mean anyone that gives you crap over this send them to me."

"Yes SIR!" O'Neal grinned widely tucking the order into a breast pocket. "Right this way, Colonel."