DISCLAIMER: All things Trek belong to Paramount, No infringement intended. the Characters all belong to Paramount, only the story is mine.
Fifth place in bath time contest
The lights were dimmed in sickbay, the doctor's program was shut down for the night; it was 0330. Kathryn Janeway, Captain of the Starship Voyager, sat in a chair next to the biobed that held her first officer, Commander Chakotay. It was the fifth night in a row she sat by his side, she really needed to rest, but couldn't bring herself to leave. She wasn't a religious woman, but now she prayed--she prayed to whatever--whomever -might be out there to hear her.
It had started two weeks ago when the Commander was returning from an away mission in the delta flyer. All had gone well and he was to dock in fifteen minutes; that was the last time she spoke to him. The flyer came home--the Commander did not. When the flyer passed Voyager and would not answer her hails, she had Tuvok tractor it into shuttle bay two; it was empty.
They scanned the area, sent search parties and contacted local authorities-to no avail--there was no sign of the Commander. There was no sign of a struggle-no foul play-no demands were made and investigations by her crew and the local patrols turned up nothing. Against the doctor's orders, she beamed to the surface to make a personal appeal to the government for help, information, anything that might help her find him.
"Captain Janeway, I am Vice President Sanely." He extended his hand to her. "I am sorry we didn't meet under better circumstances." He tried to conceal his surprise at her present condition.
"So am I, Mr. Vice President. " She took the hand he offered. "I hope you can be of some assistance."
"Captain, please come this way." He led her into his office. "Please have a seat. May I offer you something?"
"Nothing, thank you." She took a seat, welcoming a chance to get off her recently overburdened feet. "Have you any new information for me?"
"I am sorry, Captain--we have not been able to find any trace of the Commander." He looked at her and she saw him waver. "Captain, may I ask you something?"
"If it will help find Chakotay--anything."
"Forgive my forwardness, but your condition is obvious. Commander Chakotay--He is more than your first officer?" He seemed almost embarrassed and she wondered what this had to do with anything but she answered anyway.
"Yes, Mr. Vice President, he is." She shifted in her chair and looked directly into his eyes. "He is also the father of my child."
"I see." He considered this information--somehow this made a difference. "Officially, the government has exhausted all avenues in this matter--we have no more assistance to lend you." He got up and crossed over to her putting his hand on her arm. "Personally, I wish I could do more. Please let me escort you to the plaza, we can have lunch and perhaps---conversation." He smiled and nodded at her to accept.
"Yes, lunch would be welcome---if nothing else it will make the doctor happy."
"Let us go than." He took her arm, walking her out of the office and glancing at the assistant in the outer office as they passed, he let it be known he would be leaving for the day. "It is only a short walk, will you be alright?"
"Yes, I'm fine." She had to laugh at the look of concern on his face. "I'm sorry to laugh but, you worry almost as much as Chakotay."
"He must be a good man, your Chakotay." He guided her across a busy intersection.
"Yes, he is." She swallowed hard to keep the tears back.
They walked the final blocks in silence. He guided her into a small cafe and they were seated immediately as was due his status, but not without a few curious looks. He ordered them drinks and proceeded to explain the menu to her, in the end he chose a meal for her.
"Captain, I really am sorry." He smiled a sad smile. "Maybe I can help--unofficially."
"I will take any help I can get." She sipped the juice he ordered her. "I am curious though--why, if your government can't help--how/why would you?"
"A fair question." He took a deep breath and waited for the server to leave. "I know of a possibility---which my government can't officially reveal---and I want to help."
"You didn't offer before and now you don't know me any better---why?"
"Until I saw you, I could maintain the official position of my government--but now--in your condition--well, let me explain. My wife, Tesh and I had an experience with this group several years ago. We too were expecting a child, when she disappeared, we were able to recover her---the child was lost to us. The Tesh I recovered, however is not the same. Much of her memory is lost. She does not remember me as her husband, although she accepts me as such. She has no knowledge of the child at all and I have never told her--no need to cause her more suffering. So you see, I have been in your position. I want to help you.
"I'm sorry." She covered his hand with hers. "Have you any other children?"
"We are again expecting a child, Tesh believes it to be out first --we are happy--although our lives are not the same." He wanted to make her understand but not frighten her. "These people probe the mind--in the name of science--in doing so they often damage memories and possibly other areas of the brain. Tesh, lost memory, the only physical result we found was the loss of the child---I still love her very much---but she lost that --- she accepts our life and has grown in her affection for me. It is not the same and I must accept that."
"I understand." She took a deep breath. "You are trying to warn me that he may be different. Understand me -- however he is, I want him back. Even if he doesn't remember me." She looked deep into his eyes and saw the pain of his loss, but also the hope of their future. "Please help me."
"Yes---it could be dangerous --- but I will do all I can." He smiled at her now. "You should meet Tesh---I think you would like each other."
"I would like that, perhaps you could bring her to Voyager? We could officially have dinner to thank you for your assistance and unofficially you could meet with my chief of security and we could formulate a rescue plan."
"That would be wonderful. Please issue a formal invitation through my office--it will be less suspect. Can we meet tonight?"
"If that is satisfactory with you--for me the sooner the better." She hit her comm. badge. "Janeway to Voyager."
"Tuvok here, Captain."
"Mr. Tuvok, issue a formal invitation to the office of the Vice President for he and his wife to join us this evening, so that we may express our gratitude for his help."
"Right away, Captain."
"And inform Mr. Neelix --I will be back to discuss it with him shortly. Janeway out." She smiled "Now I should be going. I look forward to seeing you and Tesh this evening."
"I'll bring you to your shuttle." He rose to escort her out.
"If we can go to a less active place---I have an unusual mode of transportation to show you." She took his arm smiling at the alarm on his face. "It is better we keep it confidential."
"Certainly." He wasn't sure what she referred to, but he walked her down an empty street.
"I will transport back to my ship--don't be alarmed it is quite safe, I will see you later.” She stepped back from him And hit her comm. badge. "Janeway to Voyager ---one to beam up." She smiled again at his expression as she shimmered in the glow of the transporter and was gone.
That evening's dinner was a success--in all areas. Tesh was a warm and intelligent woman who Kathryn enjoyed immensely. Tuvok and Vice President Sanely had a very long discussion, resulting in an effective rescue plan, which was greatly enhanced by the use of transportors. When the plan was finalized, the Vice president and his wife left Voyager and wished them well on their journey home. He could not be part of the rescue and would be forced to deny any knowledge of it if anything went wrong. The Captain understood, wished him and Tesh well, sending them
on their way.
Tuvok along with one other security officer and B'Elanna, who went at the Captain's request, because she herself couldn't be there, transported to the coordinates and with in the hour had returned with the Commander. They had completely surprised his captors, who were able to offer little resistance. Once the away team was safely back aboard Voyager the Captain contacted the Vice president once more. She officially thanked him for his government's assistance, complemented him on his wife and let him know of the success of the operation through her comments on the importance of each of their children having two loving parents. Through their smiles and nods they let each other know the messages were received and Voyager left orbit and headed once again for the alpha quadrant.
The Commander was beamed directly to sick bay, his physical injuries were minimal, but he had yet to regain consciousness, so any memory loss was still in question. So five long days later, the Captain sat in a chair next to his biobed. Concerned for her well being, as well as her child's, the doctor called on Tuvok to appeal to her to rest---all of his own efforts had failed.
"Captain." Tuvok spoke softly as he approached her.
"Tuvok? What are you doing here?" She looked up her eyes accentuated by dark circles.
"I could ask you the same. I came to take you back to your quarters--you need to rest." He offered her a hand, when she hesitated he took hers. "If he so much as moves you will be summoned."
"OK." She stood, bent and gave Chakotay a kiss on the head and let Tuvok lead her out.
It was another three days and very long nights before the call came to the bridge.
"Sickbay to Bridge."
"Go ahead doctor." As she answered the entire bridge crew fell silent.
"Captain, the Commander seems to be regaining consciousness. I believe you should be here."
"Thank you doctor--on my way.--Janeway out." For a moment she remained frozen in her chair, then she pushed herself to her feet. "Tuvok you have the bridge." And she was gone.
She stood next to the biobed watching his eyes flutter for what seemed and endless time. Finally they opened and she held her breath while he adjusted to the light and familiarized himself with his surroundings. He glanced around the room at the doctor and rested his eyes on her--he smiled and she returned it.
"Commander, how are you feeling?" She asked cautiously.
"Not sure---OK, I think." He looked toward the doctor. "How am I?" He smiled.
"You appear to be well. Do you remember anything?"
"No, what happened?"
"What do you remember?" The doctor wanted to be very careful.
"I was in the flyer ---coming back--everything went blank." He turned toward Kathryn. "Captain, did I crash another one?" He smiled showing her those dimples and she caught her breath.
"No, Chakotay you didn't. We got the flyer back in one piece, you were abducted." She reached her hand toward him; he looked uncomfortable and she withdrew it.
"I see no physical problems Commander, however I will be running a few more tests. There may be some memory problems---we are told this is a common side effect of the scientific mind probes your captors imposed on you."
"What kind of problems--are they permanent?"
"We don't know very much---you could lose recent memory or perhaps blocks of the past ---we just don't know.
"Well, I seem to know who I am and where I am--I know both of you..."
"A fine start Commander, just rest there while I prepare some tests." The doctor walked toward the office leaving them alone.
"Captain, sorry if I caused any problems." He smiled at her but something was missing.
"Don't worry about it Chakotay. I'm -I'm just glad to have you back.” She searched his face for any sign of deeper recognition, but found none. The doctor had discussed this with her; they had to let him remember as much as he could on his own--not rush him. She held the smile steady while she fought the impulse to take him in her arms.
"Captain, are you alright?" He watched the emotion cross her face--it confused him.
"I'm fine Chakotay." She continued to use his name--he continued to use her title---"I guess I'm a little tired..."
"I'm sorry to interrupt. I only have a minute, I just wanted to welcome you back." B'Elanna searched both faces and didn't like what she saw.
"B'Ella, great to see you." Chakotay reached up to embrace her.
"Great to see you too.." She hugged him, but looked at the Captain, the pain she saw there told her more than she wanted to know.
"Well, I better get back to the bridge." She patted his shoulder. "Good to have you back, Commander." She managed a smile as she left him with B'Elanna.
Inside the lift she braced herself against the wall. She thought she was prepared for this---she wasn't. She asked for the Bridge, but when she couldn't hold back her tears, she changed it to deck three and went instead to her quarters. She didn't turn on the lights, stumbling into her room she threw herself on the bed and cried until she ran out of tears. She got up then and splashed cold water on her face. At the sound of her door chime, she grabbed a towel and called to open the door.
"Captain?, Kathryn?" B'Elanna called into the darkness.
"Come in B'Elanna. I'm having coffee--can I get you something?" Kathryn spoke with her back toward B'Elanna.
"Sure--I'll have a cup." B'Elanna entered the darkened room and walked toward the couch. "How about a little light?"
"Sure, computer lights to 1/2" Kathryn set the coffee on the table and sat next to B'Elanna.
"Are you OK?" B'Elanna's heart broke at the sight of her friend's swollen eyes.
"Yes--well, no--but--yes, I will be." She laughed. "Nice decisive Captain -type answer."
"He'll remember---He knows something isn't right--with you, he's already worried." She rested her hand on Kathryn's arm. "Why don't you just tell him?"
"You know him 'Lanna--he's decent and responsible---remember how he put everything at risk for that child Seska said was his---never even considered that she would lie---just risked everything for what he thought was his child---I can't do that to him-- or me."
"This is different---this is his child--Kathryn, you can't keep it from him."
"No, I won't do that ---but not yet." She took a deep breath and a sip of coffee. "I have to see what he remembers- how ---I have to know how he feels--now." Tears threatened again.
"He loves you, Kathryn..."
"I don't know that---that part of him might --might be gone--forever. He may never feel the same again. I won't try to force him. I won't deny him his child, but I couldn't live with him---if he didn't love me."
"OK--your way--for now." She put her arm around her friend. "You'll see, in time it will be OK. I know him--no matter what they took from him--inside he loves you."
The following day, Chakotay was released from sickbay and allowed restricted duty until further evaluation could be made. He spent time in his quarters going over his logs and most mornings on the Bridge. Most of his memory, at least that which pertained to running the ship, seemed to be intact. There were some missing pieces of his past but not large ones and some of that was filled in by reading his personal logs. What remained aloof was his relationship witht the Captain --- Kathryn his logs sometimes called her--he was unsure of it. They seemed to be friends and he knew, from his logs, they often attended functions together, but there were missing pieces. He had no knowledge of a closer relationship with her or of her relationship with anyone else and yet she was obviously pregnant---definitely missing pieces. He decided to move slowly and see what happened.
Two weeks after his release, there was a social gathering in the mess hall and he asked her to attend with him. He told her he was still a little unsure of his place here and would appreciate her help---she agreed. They attended together and from the reaction of the crew, this was normal or at least OK. He enjoyed her company and was sorry to see the evening end as he walked her back to her quarters.
"I enjoyed myself tonight, it felt right to be there together." He hesitated. "I'm sorry, maybe I shouldn't have said that." He stopped looking at her reaction.
"I enjoyed it too--there is nothing wrong with that." She smiled at him and keyed in her code. "Would you like to come in ---have some tea?"
"Yes, I think I'd like that." He followed her inside. "Kathryn---we are friends--aren't we?"
"Of course we are." She fixed the tea and sat on the couch. "Come, sit down." She patted the seat next to her.
They talked about the evening, the ship and next weeks duty roster, then fell into a silence, which felt strangely comfortable.
"Kathryn?" He hesitated. "You never mention---the baby---is there a reason?" When she didn't answer he went on . "Maybe I shouldn't ask."
"It's OK." She placed her hand over his. "It's just that I can't say much about her father right now."
"Her?---the baby is a girl?" He didn't push her about the father---maybe it was safe to talk about just the baby.
"Yes, she's a girl--a very active girl.. Here..." She took his hand and place it on her stomach; he got kicked.
"Wow." He smiled at her. "Wow---that's something." He laughed "You probably think I'm a little crazy--but it's really amazing."
"Not at all; I think so too." She was laughing with him. "All my scientific training and --Oh, I can give you all the scientific and medical talk--but no amount of explanation can change it---it's just the most amazing thing I've ever done." Leaning back she released his hand, but said nothing when he didn't remove it.
"When are you due?" He left his hand in place, enjoying the soft kicks.
"Three more months---thirteen weeks actually." She closed her eyes, enjoying that she could share this with him.
"Does she have a name?"
"Not yet." She let out a groan and stamped her foot on the floor.
"What? What's wrong?" He sat straight up with such a frightful look on his face, she had to laugh.
"It's nothing-oww--just a cramp in my foot." She still laughed as she tried to push herself up off the couch.
"Here--sit back." He grabbed her foot and began to message the cramp away. "Let me help--how's that feel?"
"Much better---thanks." They smiled at each other, then she laughed again. "I'm sorry--but the look on your face..."
"Nice--I show some concern and you laugh at me---very nice."
"I'm sorry---but you looked like you saw a ghost."
"You frightened me---I'm new at this."
"Well you had almost six months to get use to it---as far as I know --it's all brand new." He kept massaging her feet. "Do you get these cramps often?"
"More so every day, but that really helps." She reached out to touch his arm. "Thank you."
"Any time --Kathryn--anything I can do to help."
"Be careful what you offer---I may just take you up on that." She stifled a yawn.
"Hey, you better get some sleep." He stood and offered her a hand up. "I don't want that EMH on my back 'cause you're over tired---or the bridge crew for that matter."
"OK---I guess I could use some sleep." She walked him to the door. "Good night, Chakotay." She touched his face. "Thank you."
"Anytime, good night." He stepped out and let the door come between them.
Over the next three weeks they spent more time together. They had working dinners, walks around the ship, an occasional night at Sandrine’s and a few quiet evenings in her quarters. Each day he seemed to take more interest in her and her baby--seemed that someone had to--she never mentioned the father and he never asked again. He didn't understand that, but he knew she needed to share this with someone and frankly, he wanted it to be him. This was all very comfortable and very right to him and he never wanted to see it end.
They often discussed the baby and made plans for her arrival. The bridge needed to be covered--a baby sitter or sitters would be needed--he even drew up plans for a crib, which he planned on making just as soon as they found M Class with the right wood. She had crocheted several blankets--when he couldn't imagine with her schedule. They were discussing the running of the ship, debating how long she would take off-which they both knew wouldn't be long enough, when another line was crossed.
"OK, so you're in sickbay and Tuvok is on the bridge, just what am I supposed to be doing?"
"You'll be busy in sickbay. You..." Suddenly, she stopped the color rising in her cheeks. "Oh--I.."
"You want me to be there?" When she looked away and didn't answer, he took her chin turning her to face him "Kathryn--do you want me there?"
"I'm sorry---I wasn't thinking---I just..."
"Kathryn, do you want me there?" He held her eyes.
"Yes." It was barely a whisper.
"OK, You and I are in sickbay---Tuvok has the bridge." He studied her face. "Are you sure?"
She nodded "Are you?"
"I said anything and I meant it---yes, I'm sure."
The following week they made a stop at an M class planet. Commander Chakotay did the bulk of the negotiation because the doctor advised the Captain not to use the transporters this late in her pregnancy---baring an emergency, of course. They were quite successful in obtaining food supplies and B'Elanna was pleased with the supplies he secured in her behalf. Chakotay managed to acquire the wood he needed for the baby's crib and most of the crew got a little leave time. A dinner was planned for their last night and a special request was issued for the Captain to attend.
Having been informed of the circumstances, the Governor arranged accommodations so that the Captain would not need to make two shuttle trips in one day and with a little persuasion the doctor had approved the trip.
The Captain and Commander planned on leaving Voyager in the morning, that way they would be able to have a short time planetside and still allow time for her to rest before the dinner. Kathryn loved her ship but being restricted to it for the past few months was taking a toll.--not that she minded staying on Voyager--just that she hated to be told she had too. She wanted only to take a walk and breath unrecycled air for a short time. As they lifted off from the shuttle bay, Chakotay sought to reassure himself that she understood the condition of this visit.
"Kathryn, you are sure you understand how the Governor perceives this---situation?"
"Chakotay, once again--I am only pregnant---it has not caused me to lose my hearing or any other senses. I know that the Governor thinks we are married---OK?" She rolled her eyes at him, but he still waited for an explosion.
"I didn't mean to insult you. I just didn't want you surprised---by our accommodations."
"I understand--since they think we are married, they will be expecting us to share a room. I get it."
"And this is OK with you?"
"I'm here aren't I? She shook her head. "I won't bite you---I promise."
"I wasn't worried." He snuck a glance at her---she was smiling.
"Chakotay, I'm seven and a half months pregnant---what harm can come from sharing a room with you? Do you think it may compromise my reputation?" She laughed. "Honestly, is it any different than all the time we spend together now?"
"It might be---alone - away from the crew and ship---on a strange planet---well --you can never tell how I might--react." He tried to give her an evil grin, the dimples got in his way.
"You're crazy." She gave him a playful push. "That's part of why I love you." She turned away suddenly realizing what she had said. "Anyway--maybe you don't know me as well as you think--what makes you think you're the only one who might 'react'?" She tried to continue the light mood.
"Well, anyway anything more than sleep could be quite difficult." He reached over and patted her belly. "Even that could be difficult."
"Difficult is not impossible." She answered quietly and slipped out of her seat and into the back of the shuttle, leaving him wondering---and smiling.
Upon landing they were officially greeted by high ranking members of the Governor's staff and shown to their accommodations. Their room was very large and included a private bath with the largest bathtub she had ever seen. There was a sitting area with soft chairs and low tables and a huge bed. They were instructed to ring if service of any kind was needed and left to their own devices until the dinner that evening.
"Well looks like sleep won't be a problem. We could get half the crew in that bed and never touch another soul. These people aren't that large---they must be very active sleepers." She stretched out across the bed but didn't reach side to side.
"Maybe they just got a good look at the size of ---us-- and figured we needed the room." He sat beside her.
"Good thing you said 'us'---I'm still the Captain---the brig is mighty empty these days." She tried to give him the death glare but it wasn't effective, lying in the middle of a huge soft bed looking like a puffed up little girl.
"I saw you eyeing that tub---want to use it now or take a walk first?"
"Let's go for a walk, maybe get some lunch. I'll take a bath before dinner." She held out her hands and he pulled her up to a sitting position. "Don't say it Mister!" They laughed as they prepared for their outing.
They spent time in an open air market, picked out several small outfits for the baby, purchased scented bubble bath and had lunch in a cafe. On their way back they walked through a park, stopping at a small lake to wade through the water and enjoy the sunshine. He cut short their stay in the park over riding her protests with the promise of a long bubble bath. They both knew she needed a rest before dinner and by the time they got back to the room, she couldn't even pretend she didn't.
"You get your things unpacked, I'll run your bath." He knew the bath would be as good as a nap for her---she loved baths.
"OK--But..." She made a face at the tub. "If I get in that---I'm not sure I can get back out."
"Maybe room service can send up a crane." He didn't move -just braced for the blow--it didn't come. He looked up. "What no protest?"
"I'm afraid it might take a crane, maybe I shouldn't." She looked beat, almost like she would cry.
"Come on." He stood up, put his arm around her. "Kathryn Janeway doesn't give up that easy--not on anything as important as a bubble bath. Get ready---we'll get you out." He turned her and walked her into the other room.
"OK---but remember it's your idea."
"I take all the blame---let's go."
She laid out her clothes for the night and changed into her bathrobe, pinning her hair on top of her head before returning to the bathroom. He was sitting on the floor just waiting for her.
"You OK getting in?" He was afraid to leave her alone to climb into the big tub.
"I'm fine." She sounded more like herself now. "I'll yell if I need you."
Reluctantly, he left her. He busied himself in the other room, but listened carefully to the sounds in the bathroom---just to be sure. He heard her move into the water and settle down, she splashed and hummed for a while and then it grew quiet. He waited--but -no sound--he quietly peeked in to see her eyes closed, head back--resting peacefully.
"Chakotay" She knew he was watching, even with her eyes closed. "Come in---I'm decent---as decent as one can be dressed in bubbles." She opened her eyes and smiled at him.
"Smells good." He came in and sat on the floor next to her.
"Feels even better. Thanks."
"I didn't do anything." He shrugged "Not yet anyway." She splashed him. "Hey, do that again and I'll drain away all your bubbles young lady!"
"That would NOT be a pretty sight!" She laughed and splashed him again.
"Depends on who you ask." He wiped the water form his face. "You know I should turn you over my knee and spank you---but you don't bend like that anymore." He covered himself with the towel as she splashed him again.
"Remind me---just why do I put up with you?" The death glare she gave him was even less effective with bubbles on the chin.
"You love me--remember?" He showed her those killer dimples. For a minute they just looked at each other.
"Yeah ----THAT- must be it!" She threw her hands in the air as she said it, showering both of them with bubbles.
"I warned you!" He reached in and pulled the plug, tossing her a towel and taking the plug with him as he exited the room. "Yell, if you need me."
She sat for a while in the draining tub, until it was to cold to stay. Carefully she climbed out, dried off and dresse in her bathrobe. She considered yelling--not that she needed help--just that she needed him--but thought better of it. She gathered her things and joined him in the other room.
"I see you managed." He gave her a smile over his shoulder as he collected his things and headed for the shower.
"I'm really not crippled." She made a face behind his back.
"I'll try to remember that." He turned when he reached the door. "I won't be long---get dressed, you've got maybe ten minutes."
He disappeared behind the door before she could answer. When he came back, he was dressed and so was she--of course that meant he was ready to go and she still had to do her hair and make-up and fuss a whole lot. As he waited, he wondered when she had become this way---was she always or was this somehow related to her pregnancy? He didn't remember, but maybe they had never gotten dressed together ---that seemed more like it. It was hard to reconcile the tough, decisive, Captain and the woman before him---maybe not--two very different sides to the same person. That was part of why he loved her.
At dinner the Governor made quite a fuss over the Captain. He too seemed to have a hard time reconciling the lady he dined with and the Captain he had dealt with in their long distance negotiations. He could not get enough of Kathryn and was even more intrigued with the Captain.---amazed she could be both and produce and heir, as he called it, all at the same time. A remarkable woman--he said it over and over--Chakotay didn't disagree. He monopolized most of her time all evening, talking, asking questions, dancing. Never ceasing to be amazed at her abilities, they discussed all matters scientific, command styles, the capabilities of her ship and he was duly impressed with her knowledge in all areas. He apologized profusely to Chakotay for taking all his wife's attention, so many times that the rest of the senior staff could no longer look in their direction. Finally, it was over and they said goodnight and returned to their room.
"Gods---am I wonderful!" Kathryn exclaimed and flopped on the bed laughing.
"Yes, what a fortunate man I am to have such a talented wife." He snickered sitting beside her. She made a face and rolled off the bed, stretching. "You OK?" A little more serious now.
"Yeah." She place her hands on her back and bent backwards---such as she could.
"Back ache?" He reached toward her. "Here let me---better yet. Go change and lay down--I'll give you a back rub.."
She just shook her head at him and did as he asked. He turned down the bed, she changed into her night gown and settled on the bed.
"Roll over." He climbed up behind her on the bed.
"This is as rolled as I go." She laughed. "Make the best of it."
She sighed as he began and he could feel her muscles relax within minutes. As he continued he could feel the tension leave her and her breathing become even and slow. It didn't take long before she was sound asleep and he brought the covers up over her and slid off the bed. He turned off the lights and debated sleeping on the couch. It was very small and since she hadn't complained so far and the bed was really big---he undressed and joined her,carefully remaining on his own side.
The starlight shown through the window, giving just enough light to the room. He woke up--tried to clear his head--figure out where he was. He remembered, but not quite like this. In her sleep, Kathryn had turned toward him. She slept now, on her side snuggled up to his chest, both hands flat against his chest, her nose buried deep between them, their legs tangled together. She was pressed so close that he realized what had woken him was the gentle nudging at his side, as the baby kicked. He stopped to enjoy the sensation-that she had grown so used to she slept through--to him it was new and exciting. He ran his hands down her back, bringing one to gently rest on her belly, he kissed the top of her head and tried to go back to sleep.
Sleep evaded him. He breathed in the soft scent of her hair and allowed his hands to ever so lightly caress her--careful not to wake her. As his hand ran down her back and over her hip, she snuggled up to him, pressing even closer than before. He should move away from her but, he didn't want to disturb her---hell he didn't want to move away; if she woke she would know. This was wrong---she was his friend--his Captain--she carried another man's child--yet he wanted her--he loved her. He tried to move away --just enough so that his straining erection wasn't
pressing against her; she wrapped a leg over him not letting him back away.
In her sleep she mumbled something--a name?--His name? Her hands ran up his chest, soft moist kisses spread across his chest, her hand brought his lips close to hers. Kathryn opened her eyes looking deep into his before she kissed him. Gently she brushed his lips, whispered his name and brought their lips together again--harder more demanding, her lips parting his, tongues searching, exploring. She was awake, she knew who she was kissing---she had made sure he knew that. Something was wrong--yet so very right. He pulled back from her.
"Kathryn?" He held her slightly away from him.
"Chakotay--I --we." She closed her eyes and took a breath "We need to talk. I need to ask you something---I need an honest answer." She opened her eyes, looking directly into his. "Please answer me as honestly as you can---I need to know--no matter what it is --I need the truth." She waited for an answer.
"What do you need to know?" He was frightened by the look on her face--he never remembered seeing her so vulnerable.
"Chakotay --do you---What do you feel for me? Not the Captain--me --Kathryn." She tried to keep the emotion from her face.
"Kathryn- I --I " His eyes held sadness, he tried to know what she wanted to hear---what he should say.
"Just whatever you feel --no pressures--no recrimination--don't be afraid to hurt me---I need to hear the truth." She spoke quietly hoping to reassure him.
"Kathryn---I wouldn't hurt you for anything." He smiled just a little . "I have no right-but ---Kathryn, I love you." He watched her as tears started to leak from her eyes and he felt his own well up.
"Oh Chakotay---I've missed you so." She brought his lips back to hers, kissing his lips, his face, his neck--snuggling to his chest. "I love you, Chakotay."
They stayed like that for a long time, she curled against his chest, he just holding her. He didn't understand and so he just held her and waited. Finally she pulled back and smiled up at him.
"Now-- I owe you the truth." She placed her head on the pillow so that their eyes were level. "I want to tell you about the baby's father."
"Kathryn, you don't owe me anything."
"Yes, I do." She placed both hands on his chest, watching them, as she absently caressed him. "He's a wonderful man--handsome and strong, he can be angry and fierce--yet gentle and loving, he's intelligent and loyal. He promised to stand beside me-no matter what---and he always has---when I'm right and especially when I'm wrong--when I'm strong enough to stand on my own and when I need some one to support me. He's my best friend, my lover, my soul---I trust him with my life and would gladly give up mine for him." She looked up at him now---he understood she
could see it in his eyes.
"Kathryn, why didn't you tell me?" He was hurt and maybe a little angry.
"I wanted to --the doctor said it was better if we let you remember what you could--on your own, and.." She took a breath, lowered her eyes and then raised them to look at him again. "I was scared. I was afraid you couldn't love me anymore."
"I didn't have to remember to know I love you."
"Vice President Santelli--he helped us locate you---He had experience with your captors. They took Tesh, his wife and when he got her back --she was different-she didn't remember being his wife--she didn't feel anything for him---she lost that along with her memory. She accepted him and they have made a life---but--it's not the same. He still loves her very much---but she doesn't --can't love him. I saw the pain in his eyes when he looked at her. I didn't want that for us."
"And the baby--what were..." It was almost an accusation.
"Oh Chakotay--I never would have denied you your child---or her you---I planned to tell you before she was born. I just---I needed to know how you felt first. I know how honorable you are---you would have stayed with me for her sake--it would have been wrong to trap you that way--and -I--couldn't stand knowing you stayed out of a sense of duty."
He pulled her close, holding her tight to his chest as he tried to sort through this new information. At first he was angry, confused about who and why, but angry none the less. As he held her, his anger subsided, she had done nothing but love him---he couldn't be angry at her. This was his life and he realized it was everything he wanted--it had been briefly interrupted, but he had it back. How lucky he really was---everything he wanted in life, he now held in his arms. He loosened his hold on her, tilting her chin so that he could look at her face. Her cheeks were wet with tears
and when she opened her eyes, his heart broke with the fear he saw there.
"Kathryn---don't cry." He whispered as he bent to kiss away the tears. "I love you, Kathryn---you and ---Katie are my life---can we call her Katie?" He smiled giving her full benefit of his dimples.
"We can call her anything you like---Katie is fine." Her smile was reflected in her eyes now. "How could I ever say no to those dimples?" She studied his face for a minute. His eyes told her of his love. "Chakotay, I missed you so---make love with me."
In answer, he brought her back to him, kissing her-allowing his hands to explore what he now knew should be familiar---yet was all brand new to him. The sensation was very strange--yet very exciting--to be learning someone who obviously knew him very well. He wanted to move slowly, take his time and learn-or relearn--what it was that most pleased her, but there was an urgency in her lovemaking. She would not be slowed---would not wait any longer--she would have him now and soon he no longer had the presents of mind to stop her.
She feverishly worked him, her hands--her lips-her tongue-her breath-were everywhere -- touching, caressing, licking, kissing, tasting driving away all rational thought. He gave in allowing the sensation to carry him forward, spurned on by low groans, gasps, moans---were they his--hers-he could no longer tell--no longer cared. When he thought he could stand no more, she pushed him onto his back, straddling his body she guided him toward her. Slowly she settled over him. taking him in one inch at a time, holding very still when she had totally encased him. She began to set a rhythm--gliding over him and he met her thrusts with his own reaching one hand between them to manipulate her swollen bundle of nerves. She arched her back, throwing her head back, crying out as her body stiffened then spasmed with her release. He grabbed her hips to steady her, giving several short thrusts, he let out a low growl from deep in his throat as he joined her. She collapsed over him, resting her forehead on his chest while she regained her breath. He rolled them on their sides holding her close, spreading kissed across her face.
"I told you it wasn't impossible." She whispered, causing him to break into uproarious laughter.
"And it wasn't even difficult---not for me anyway."
"Well worth the effort." She kissed him and snuggled up to his chest.
They slept then, not waking until the sun was high above them. She opened her eyes to find him watching her.
"Morning" She reached up to kiss him.
"More like afternoon---I think." He smiled running his hands lightly down her back, returning her kiss.
"That's what happens when you keep me up all night." Her hands on a mission of their own.
"Who kept who up?"
"I recall you being just as guilty as me." She gave him a wicked grin as her hand reached it's goal only to find him ready and willing. "MMM what have we here?"
"You're the scientist---but I believe it's my turn to do some research." He removed her hand and gently rolled her on her back.
"We are primarily explorers--but Commander, might this be a mutiny?"
"Just a small one, Captain. You are still in command---everywhere but here."
He bent brushing his lips across hers then tracing their outline with his tongue. She pulled him closer deepening the kiss as her fingers entangled in his hair. He worked his way across her jaw nibbling her neck and ear before his tongue found the sensitive spot just behind her ear, causing her to suck in her breath. His hands caressed her breasts, while he kissed and licked a path to her nipples. Her hands caressed him and soft moans escaped her as he took the dimpled
hardness into his eager mouth. His hands stroked her inner thighs, she arched her back and her breathing became ragged as he tongue and teeth hungrily devoured her breasts.
"Voyager to Janeway." The sound of Tuvok's vice echoed through the room. "Tuvok to Janeway."
The page repeated twice before it registered. Kathryn groaned as Chakotay jumped for her comm. badge. He smiled as he handed it to her and watched as she struggled for control.
"Janeway, here." Her voice was thick and husky.
"Captain..?" Tuvok questioned, but continued. "All away teams have returned to the ship. Only you and the Commander remain planetside. Awaiting your instructions."
"The Commander and I will be----a few hours yet." She smiled at Chakotay and took a deep breath. "Maintain orbit I will contact you when we are ready to return. Janeway out." She cut the comm. link before he could answer. She had answered as quickly and calmly as she could, but no doubt remained that the entire bridge crew heard her breathy reply.
Paris and Kim turned to look at Tuvok as the comm. link ended. Tuvok said nothing just raised his eyebrows in his usual Vulcan fashion. Paris and Kim eyed each other and both turned to smile at Torres at the engineering station. B'Elanna smiled and shrugged.
"Maintain standard orbit, Mr. Paris." Tuvok finally ordered.
"Aye Sir." Paris replied formally, but couldn't resist further comment. "Apparently---the Commander's memory is better than we thought."
"Indeed, Mr. Paris, it would seem so." The Vulcan sat straight in the command chair--He neither looked at any one or commented on the round of giggles and snickers that crossed the bridge.
The bridge crew for their part quieted quickly--later there would be much more speculation, for now it was business as usual. Every thing was normal and quiet dull for the next two hours while they patiently waited for the return of the command team.
"Delta flyer to Voyager."
"Voyager here, Captain."
"Mr. Tuvok, we will be docking in shuttle bay two---ETA twelve minutes."
"Aye, Captain--flyer cleared for docking."
"Acknowledged, Mr. Tuvok---Janeway out." She cut the link and turned to smile a Chakotay. "Doesn't sound too bad."
"Tuvok never does---wait till Paris is finished with us."
Chakotay flawlessly docked the flyer in shuttle bay two, quickly passed through the shut down sequence and pressurized the shuttle bay. He helped Kathryn down from the shuttle and winked at the young ensign that greeted them---who in turn blushed. For her part, Kathryn pretended not to notice and the command team departed for the bridge.
The turbolift opened to the bridge and the command team stepped off--smiling. They nodded their
acknowledgment to Tuvok and settled immediately in their respective command chairs.
"Take us out of orbit, Mr. Paris."
"Aye Captain." Tom busied himself for a few minutes setting a new course. "Captain, have a pleasant stay on the planet?"
"Yes, Mr. Paris--quite pleasant." She tried hard but couldn't keep her eyes from wandering to Chakotay.
"Hope it was restful--the doctor would not approve of strenuous exercise just now." He never turned around as her spoke.
"I appreciate your concern--MR PARIS- but I am still capable of taking care of myself."
"Certainly, Captain--it's just--well--earlier you sounded a little---out of breath--just making sure you're OK." They couldn't see his face but the tone of voice was enough and it produced barely controlled noises from the rest if the bridge.
"I assure you, Mr. Paris, my stay on the planet was quite ----relaxing." She smiled at Chakotay. If this was as bad as it got they would do just fine. "Mr. Paris----you do have a toothbrush --don't you?"
"Yes, Captain--I have a toothbrush." He didn't sound as cocky as before.
"Good.” She took a long pause turning to Chakotay. "Commander, as I recall the plasma manifold hasn't been cleaned in quite some time."
"That's correct Captain. Lieutenant Torres has a difficult time getting volunteers---shall I contact her and offer Mr. Paris' services?" As he said this the ship lunged starboard.
"Report." The Captain demanded gripping the arm of her chair.
"Sorry, Captain, just a rough spot, I guess--nothing on sensors." Paris reported.
"Confirmed Captain--nothing on sensors." Tuvok responded.
"I'll keep a close eye on it Captain--won't happen again. “ Paris said in way of apology.
"See that it doesn't Mr. Paris." She smiled. "Commander, may I see you in my ready room? Tuvok, you have the bridge." The Captain and Commander left the bridge smiling--no one but Tuvok could see their faces, he simply nodded his acknowledgment."
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