Kathryn walked out of the bathroom of her ready room after carefully examining herself and proceeded to her desk, cup of coffee in hand. Her mood was getting increasingly worse and she wasn't sure coffee would help this time. It was never like Chakotay to be so rude, yet his behavior today was bordering on it. And if it continued she would likely deck him one.
She had run into Chakotay three times already; once in the hall, leaving her quarters, once in the mess hall for breakfast, and now on the bridge. Each time he burst out in hysterical laughter. She had decided to hide out in her ready room to avoid him until lunch, only four hours to go, it would be a long day today.
Lunchtime came and Kathryn decided it was now or never. She made her way to the bridge and was relieved to see he wasn't there, She handed the bridge over to Tuvok, and headed to the turbo lift, all the while hoping Chakotay wasn't in the mess hall either.
She was out of luck, he was over in the corner, talking to a small group. She decided she would grab something to eat quickly and eat it in her ready room. So far, so good, he hadn't seen her, she got her plate, grabbed something to drink and headed for the door, she looked up to avoid running into some one, and found it was him.
“Captain, hi…,” he couldn't finish his sentence; once again he began laughing, nearly to tears this time.
She stomped out before he could even try to say anything else.
Chakotay felt bad, he didn't know what was with himself today; he couldn't stop himself, and he had absolutely no explanation about what made him laugh every time he saw the Captain. He desperately wanted to apologize, but he couldn't seem to face her so he decided the Comm system was going to be the best way to do it.
“Chakotay to Janeway.” He called.
There was a pause, then, “Janeway here.” She sounded pissed.
He tried speaking, but once again, only laughter came out. He heard her cut the channel; man, he was in deep.
Kathryn stayed in the ready room until long after her shift was over; she couldn't face anyone and didn't want to. She felt like she was the butt of some very cruel joke. If it had been anyone but Chakotay, she might have been able to take it, but this was beginning to hurt. How could he do this to her all day?
She knew she was hungry, but wanted to be sure that the dinner crowd was long gone; once that was assured, she headed out.
She had planned it perfectly: Tom and B'Elanna were at a table eating, Harry was sitting with them, a couple ensigns were in the corner and Neelix was in the kitchen, but that was it.
“Captain, I was wondering when you were going to show up? Glad you made it, I saved you some soup. Would you like some?” Neelix said delightedly.
“That would be great, Neelix, thank you,” she answered wearily.
“Having a hard day, Captain?”
“Yes, Neelix, I just want it over with.” She commented grabbing the bowl. She spun around, only to find herself face to face with Chakotay, who, once again, burst into hysterical laughter. Kathryn couldn't help it, the bowl fell to the floor, and the tears began to flow. She never cried in front of anyone and not over something like this, but it had all been too much.
"What is wrong with you?” she said between sobs. “Is this how you treat someone you care about, someone you supposedly love?” Oh, god, she hadn't meant to say that, it had just came out. The laughing stopped, and Chakotay just stood there motionless. Neelix was about to approach, and try to intervene, when Q appeared. “Ah Kathy, you found the key, I wondered if you would be able to.”
“Q, what the hell are you doing here.” She asked her tears turning into anger.
“Well I wanted to play, I was getting bored, so I inflicted poor Chuckles here with a laughing disease as I call it. You were the trigger, and you were also the only person who could cure it. All you had to do was say the right word to get him to stop. And you did, congratulations.”
“Q, you did that? I thought I was losing my mind,” said a baffled Chakotay.
“It was funny, wasn't it?” laughed Q.
“What was the key word?” asked Chakotay, a little curious.
“Love. Something that I never thought I would hear Kathy say, and it had to be directed at you; she couldn't just say it.”
“I don't find it funny, Q, get off my ship.” Kathryn was now pissed beyond reason.
“Kathy, I was just having fun.”
“I don't care; it wasn't fun so go away.”
Q pouted, but knew she was not someone to get this angry; he should leave while he still had a chance, he was gone with a snap of his fingers.
Chakotay turned to Kathryn, “Captain, I'm sorry, please forgive me.” He pleaded.
“It wasn't your fault Chakotay, I'm fine now, I think I just want to go back to my quarters and take a hot bath.” She looked down at her uniform, now covered in soup.
“I just feel so bad. How can I make it up to you?”
“You can come with me and help me wash all this off. I'm a mess.”
“I can… I…,” Chakotay just stood there practically speechless.
Kathryn couldn't help it; she laughed hard. “I'll see you later Chakotay.”
Neelix just shrugged; he didn't think he would
ever understand those two so he just went back to the kitchen to finish