It was an odd situation. Chakotay didn’t really understand why the Captain had decided that she must be part of the away team or why she insisted that he accompany her, B’Elanna and Harry to the surface. Tuvok had objected strongly to both senior officers leaving the ship; it wasn’t necessary. B’Elanna was quite capable of taking charge of the away team and with Harry and possibly two others, they would be able to bring back the dilithium in a matter of hours. But once it became clear to Chakotay that Kathryn felt strongly about this, he had no choice but to back her. It was illogical to continue to fight a losing battle, so Tuvok settled for taking extra security precautions and burdening the away team with a mountain of emergency supplies.
“Are we being a bit over protective here, Mr. Tuvok?” The Captain’s sarcasm appeared wasted on the Vulcan as she eyed the packs piled in the transporter room. “We are only plan to stay on the surface for a few hours.”
“Sensors indicate the upper atmosphere is volatile and subject to change without warning. In the event one of those changes occurs while the away team is on the surface, Voyager may have to leave orbit without them.”
“And were you planning on returning for us?” Kathryn faced her friend with hands on her hips and eyebrows arched.
“It had not occurred to me not to.” Tuvok turned to leave. “Until now.”
The Captain laughed out loud as she and the other members of the away team mounted the transporter padd. With everyone in place she nodded and they shimmered away.
Several hours later they had mined what little usable dilithium the planet had to offer. It wasn’t much but it would keep them going. The warm sunshine felt good as they emerged from the dampness of the caves to the clearing, where they had left most of the supplies Tuvok insisted they take.
“Looks like Tuvok provided well.” The Captain rummaged through the bags pulling out a large thermos of coffee. “Shall we have something to eat before returning?”
“Sounds good to me!” Harry looked over the offerings.
“Just let me scrape off some of this dust and I’ll start a fire.” Chakotay headed for the small stream not far from their position.
“Sounds good. I feel like a targ that rolled in the mud.” B’Elanna followed him discarding her jacket and turtleneck on the way.
“Shall we, Captain?” Harry pointed toward the others.
“Right behind you, Ensign.” Kathryn shrugged out of her own jacket and shirt, toed off her boots and rolled up her pants.
The fire wasn’t strictly necessary since all the food had been precooked and packed in warming containers, but it was a nice touch.
“Captain, are you planning on joining us?” Chakotay called as the three of them waited for Kathryn to return from the stream before eating.
“You go ahead; I’ll be right there.”
Kathryn sat dangling her feet in the water of a small warm side pool, enjoying the spray of warm sunshine on her face. How she would dearly love to strip off her dirty uniform and slip into the water, but that wouldn’t be very captain like, so she tore herself away and joined the others.
“Smells good.” Kathryn sat on the blanket next to Chakotay.
“I though we were going to have to pull you out to that water.” Chakotay smiled and handed her a cup of coffee.
“A bath would have been nice.” She rolled her eyes and accepted the coffee.
“I know what you mean.” B’Elanna joined in. “Is it just me or is the dirt here – dirtier or something.”
“It feels that way.”
“Voyager to the away team.” Tuvok’s voice interrupted them causing the Captain to let a groan slip.
“Janeway here, Tuvok.”
“Captain, we are detecting changes in the upper atmosphere. It will be necessary to return to the ship, now.”
“Understood, Tuvok. Lock on to the dilithium first while we clean up, we'll be ready in ten minutes.”
“Well, so much for the sunshine.” Kathryn sighed.
They quickly packed up the food and retrieved the various parts of their uniforms. Chakotay was about to douse the fire when Tuvok called again.
“Voy—ger sudden….. leaving orbit… contact…” The static filled transmission startled them all.
“Janeway to Voyager.” The Captain got no response. “Janeway to Voyager.” She received only static.
Kathryn looked at the surprised faces around her. Harry looked almost scared; B’Elanna, half into her jacket, looked disgusted and Chakotay stood smiling with his bucket poised above the fire.
“Well, I guess we get to stay a little longer.” Kathryn dropped the blanket and dug out the coffee again. “What conditions can we expect if we are forced to spend the night?”
“It should be clear and chilly, if the disturbance Tuvok ran into doesn’t interfere.” Harry reported.
“It’s too high to effect our weather, if it forced Voyager out of orbit.” The Captain looked around them. “This looks like as good a place to camp as any.”
“We should gather some more firewood.” Chakotay put down the bucket thankful he hadn’t already dumped the water on the fire.
“We’ll get some.” B’Elanna offered, patting Harry on the back. “Let’s go, Starfleet.”
“We’ll set up camp—again.” Kathryn laughed.
“Or I could do that and you could grab that bath you want so badly.” Chakotay smiled at the look she gave him.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“Afraid Tuvok will suddenly come back and beam you up naked?”
“Now that would be interesting!” She laughed as she arranged the blankets around the fire.
“It’s best if we sleep in pairs.” Chakotay chuckled when she hmmphed at his comment.
“I’ve had survival training, too.”
“Harry is not my first choice and B’Ella will be OK either way, so would you be more comfortable sleeping with Harry or me?”
“If it comes to that.” She raised an eyebrow and studied his smirking face. “I would prefer to be with you.”
Chakotay woke disorientated. It was dark; the air he drew in with each breath was raw, but still he was warm. As his mind slowly cleared, he realized the source of that warmth was also the cause of his waking. The small warm body curled next to him rocked gently; her one leg was thrown across him, her hot breath warmed his chest with each light kiss she placed there. The touch of her fingers as they crept beneath his shirt sent chills down his spine. Then it came to him. The mission, the ion storm that had cause the ship to leave orbit without them and the warm body was….Chakotay opened his eyes…. his captain! This couldn’t be happening, but it was. God knows every day of the last ten months he had spent under her command he had dreamed of this, but this wasn’t right.
From that first day that he set foot on her bridge they had each demonstrated a mutual respect for the other’s position and over time that had expanded to respect for the person as well. As the months passed, mutual trust increased and slowly they had become friends. Chakotay had been surprised at first at how sympathetic this seemingly staunch Starfleet captain has been to the Maquis cause. A lot about this woman surprised him, but nothing quite as much as this.
“Kathryn?” He had to stop this; she couldn’t mean this. She mumbled incoherently. Oh, god, she was sleeping. “Kathryn.” He shook her gently.
Kathryn’s eyes opened, she took the first few seconds to gather her wits, then stared at him in wide-eyed shock.
“I’m sorry.” She mumbled, quickly withdrawing her hand and rolling away from him to face the other direction.
“It’s OK, Kathryn.” Chakotay moved closer putting his arm around her stiffened body. “Must have been a nice dream.” She grunted and tried to move away again, but he held fast and pulled her closer. “You’ll freeze over there and so will I.”
“I’m sorry.” Kathryn relaxed slightly allowing Chakotay to pull her back against his chest, trying not to notice as his semi hard penis pressed against her bottom.
“Kathryn, stop. It’s nothing to worry about.” He chuckled and his warm breath against her ear made her shiver. “I’m just sorry I had to wake you and mess up your dream.” Chakotay wondered who the lucky soul was that she had been dreaming about; probably Mark.
Kathryn tried to go back to sleep. Chakotay’s even breathing told her he had, but her mind was racing in circles. She had been dreaming, a very nice dream at that. What disturbed her was not so much that Chakotay had witnessed this, but rather that she woke to find the object of her dream staring at her. Oh, spirits, she was engaged to another man; Chakotay was her first officer, seventy years was a very long time, she felt soooo good in his arms; protocol; Starfleet; god, even dusty and sweaty he smelled good. Kathryn couldn’t stay still any longer.
“Hey, where you going?” His voice was groggy as he reached out for her.
“Gotta go.” She tucked the blanket around him. “Be right back.”
“OK.” He was almost asleep again.
Kathryn walked past Harry and B’Elanna sleeping soundly. Why was she the only one with a problem here? The simple answer was; she was the captain and all the problems belonged to her. While that was true, the harder truth was lying behind her, wrapped in a blanket waiting for her to keep him warm. The cold night air kept her from being a liar; she wandered farther away from the camp to relieve herself.
The night was cold but not unbearably so. It was very clear and the stars danced above her in a fascinating pattern. Kathryn sat on a rock at the edge of camp and studied the twinkling lights. What was she going to do? What kind of woman falls in love with the criminal she was sent out to capture? Mark, what about Mark? Starfleet? Protocols? It all started tumbling around in her head again.
“OK, start again, one thing at a time.” Kathryn admonished herself out loud to help clear her mind.
Mark. That should be the hardest but somehow it wasn’t. She loved him; she missed him; she would probably never see him again and she knew she wouldn’t die of it. He probably thought she was dead and by now had moved on with his life and that didn’t bother her one bit. It was the right thing for him to do and she needed to move on as well. As clearly as she loved him, she knew she had not been in love with him for a long time. Goodbye Mark, have a good life.
Protocol, Starfleet. Well, she was too far away for them to do anything, but it made a good safety net if she needed it. Kathryn didn’t really think even the stuffiest of the Admiralty would expect her to follow protocols designed for an entirely different life.
Chakotay. He was a good man, surprisingly kind and gentle for an “outlaw”, an efficient and effective first officer and a wonderful friend. How could she ask him for more? And what if he didn’t want more? He was a good friend but he had never given her any indication of having any deeper feelings for her. And what if he did, and they tried and failed? How would they work together for the next seventy years? She didn’t know the answers and never would if she didn’t ask him, but she wasn’t sure she should.
She wasn’t sure. Kathryn wondered what that meant. What exactly did she feel for this man? He calmed her, completed her, made her crazy and infuriated her and she never wanted to live a day without him at her side.
Chakotay looked around; Kathryn had been gone too long. He climbed out of the blankets to look for her. It didn’t take long to find her. Kathryn sat on the edge of the camp on a rock, her knees drawn up to her chest as she studied the stars. He thought briefly of leaving her alone, but decided against it. Chakotay grabbed a blanket and joined her.
The feel of the blanket going around her shoulders startled her; Kathryn looked up to see Chakotay’s concerned look.
“I was getting worried.”
“Join me?” She held out the blanket.
“If you wouldn’t rather be alone.”
“I told you earlier, I’d rather be with you.” Chakotay sat beside her and she pulled the blanket closed around them. “Didn’t you believe me?”
“Sure. I just took it to mean you would be more comfortable sleeping with me than Harry.”
“I am.” She slid her hand around his waist and rested her head on his shoulder. “The stars are beautiful, aren’t they?”
“I feel kind of strange about that dream.”
“Don’t. It didn’t bother me; in fact I rather liked it.” When she didn’t respond he continued. “It’s a lonely place, the Delta Quadrant. If you can’t be with him at least you should be entitled to dream about him.”
“Well, that’s the strange part. I can.”
“No. I mean I can be with him. I’m not sure he wants to be with me.”
“The man in your dreams is in the Delta Quadrant?”
“Yes.” Kathryn lifted her head and looked at him. “I’m afraid that if I tell him and he doesn’t feel the same or if it doesn’t work out--- well, then I will lose my best friend or worse.”
“I never pictured you a coward.”
“Well, relationships are not my strong suit. I think that played a big part in my life with Mark, he was safe and comfortable.”
“And your dream man, he’s not safe?”
“No. He is anything but safe, although he will always keep me that way. He makes me angry, drives me crazy, infuriates me and makes me whole. It’s dangerous and crazy cause I could easily lose myself in him but I can’t even imagine myself living a single day without him.”
“Are you going to tell him?”
“I just did.”
They both fell silent; Kathryn rested her head on his shoulder and for long minutes, she counted his heartbeats under her hand.
When they finally spoke, they both chose the same moment and both stopped waiting for the other to continue.
“It’s OK, Chakotay.” Kathryn finally continued. “I didn’t really expect you to feel the same way.”
“Kathryn, you just caught me off guard. Before this moment, I never dared to let myself believe you could ever feel anything more for me than friendship.”
“It’s all right. We don’t get to choose how we feel about others.”
“You’re right. I had no choice the day I stepped on your bridge and realized I wanted you, or when we began to develop a friendship and I realized I needed you.” He lifted her head off his shoulder and turned to face her. “I was completely shocked the day I discovered that I love you. And now..” He brushed a soft kiss across her lips. “now I am totally amazed to think that you feel this, too.”
“I love you, Chakotay.”
Kathryn cupped his face between delicate hands drawing his mouth slowly to hers. Her eyes closed as their breath mingled and her tongue slipped out to gently trace his lips. Chakotay pulled her to him sucking her tongue into his mouth as it teased his lips. What started out gentle and loving grew intense and hard. Hands roamed, tongues dueled as the kiss escalated hot and wet, until Chakotay forced them apart.
“We need to slow this down.” Chakotay rested his forehead on hers.
“I know, but I don’t want to.” Her fingers traced the muscles in his chest through his shirt.
“I don’t want you hot and fast on a deserted planet…” He chuckled as his fingers idly traced the side of her breast. “Correction. Yes I do, but I want so much more than that.”
“Me, too.” She raised his chin and kissed him softly. “We can do this, cant we? Be lovers without endangering our crew?”
“Yes..” He spread moist kissed across her face. “We will make it work.”
“It won’t be easy.” She dropped her head back with a sigh as his lips moved to her neck.
“Nothing worth having ever is.” His hands moved under her shirt cupping her breast teasing the nipples through the soft satin of her bra. “Not Starfleet issue.”
“Then I guess I better take it off.” She sat up and pulled the shirt off, unclasped the bra and tossed it aside, even before her words registered. “Better?”
“God.” Her white skin almost glowed in the starlight, her nipples dark and tight in the cold night air jutted toward him. He dropped he head taking one between his lips, teasing the other with his fingers. “So beautiful he mumbled against her breast.”
Kathryn urged him to stand, so that they could move off the rock to the softer more stable ground behind it. Her fingers worked the fasteners on his pants, sliding pants and boxes over his hips as she knelt on the softer ground. It was Kathryn’s turn to be impressed. He was beautiful, his erection, long and thick. She ran her fingers along his shaft, smooth soft skin over rigid titanium. He let her lick the tiny drops of moisture, allowed her tongue to play along his length, but when she closed her lips around him he gently moved her away, and eased her to the ground.
Chakotay moved beside her, kissing her, his tongue sliding into her mouth his hands stroking down her body until his fingers slipped beneath her waistband. Her hands left his body long enough to open her own trousers, lifting her hips to assist him in removing them. She fingers returned to play along his rigid length, one thumb spreading moisture around the sensitive head forcing a groan.
“Ohh..” Kathryn gasped as his fingers tangled in her coarse hairs, easily working through slick folds to slide inside her. Chakotay’s finders were sliding in and out, his thumb stimulating her sensitive nerves. Her breath was coming in short pants, her legs spread wider as the tight coil of excitement build. "Please..." her voice was husky and urgent. "Chakotay, please, now. I need you inside me."
He moved over her, pausing before cautiously pushing into her. Slowly, he slid deeply inside her, silky wet heat closing tightly around him. He stilled in an effort to hold himself back but she clutched his buttocks, trying to draw him even deeper, urging him on.
“Harder .. oh, god, please..” She bucked up against him, her nails digging into his back.
Chakotay tried to maintain a steady rhythm, but the pressure was building out of control. Kathryn writhed beneath him panting, groaning his name, begging for completion, driving him higher. She felt him swell as his controlled thrusting disintegrated. When she cried out his name, her inner muscles clenched around him, her nails raking his back; his battle was lost. Chakotay’s hips jerked, he pulsed and throbbed as in short spurts he emptied himself deep within her. Chakotay collapsed slick and sweaty, panting against her neck as he tried to recover.
“I love you.” She whispered, stroking her fingers along the deep gouges in his back, kissing his neck. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t worry.” He chuckled as he rolled to his side. “I’ll think of something to tell the doctor.”
“Ohmygod!” She laughed with him. “I never considered he would need to examine us after being stranded down here. “What will you tell him?”
“I’ll tell him my captain is wild and wanton woman who just can’t seem to keep her hands—or in this case her nails, off me.”
“Yea, that would be good.” She shivered. “I’m
going to slip into the warm water and clean up before we freeze out here.”
The slipped in and out of the water, quickly drying off with the blanket and donning their dirty uniforms before sneaking, not so quietly, back to the campsite.
“Be useful and throw another log on the damn fire, as
long as you're up.” B’Elanna
grumbled causing them to laugh harder. “Kahless!”
Chakotay stoked the fire; Kathryn heated up the coffee and they wrapped themselves in their remaining dry blanket. B’Elanna fought her way out of the blanket and stumbled to her feet.
“Sleep was nice while it lasted.”
“Hey, Maquis, where you going, I’m cold.” Harry whined.
“Kahless! I gotta pee.” She kicked him gently and stomped off leaving her commanding officers giggling behind her.
“What’s with her?” Harry sat up confused.
“Don’t know. Did you do something?” Chakotay asked as Kathryn stifled another giggle.
“If I did, I was asleep at the time.” Harry shook his head.
B’Elanna returned and crawled under the blankets pushing Harry back down to the ground.
“Sleep, Starfleet. Ignore them.”
Harry looked up to see his captain kissing her first officer.
He shook his head; he must be dreaming. Harry closed his eyes and
went back to sleep.
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