isclaimer:  I am old and penniless and I wouldn’t dare to challenge Paramount (who btw owns all these characters)

RÉVEILLE

Second place in le coeur do Lion

Rated NC 17
 

Miller needed to keep moving; he was sure they were still looking for him.  His shoulder hurt but not so badly as earlier; so he didn’t think the wound was severe.  He had certainly been luckier than Muldoon, may he rest in peace.  Trudging on in the darkness, Miller made his way along the unfamiliar road, careful to keep close to the tree line.  He hadn’t seen anyone for hours, now.  Suddenly, his attention was drawn to a sound off in the distance.  Making his way quickly into the woods Miller searched for a place to hide.  He could hear the crunching of the underbrush as the footsteps behind drew closer to him; knowing his own steps would soon give away his position, he threw himself down concealing himself behind some fallen tree trunks.
 

Katrine had made this trip a hundred times before.  There was always danger, but nothing had ever gone wrong-- until tonight.  It was quiet sector and Katrine knew the area well. They had carefully timed the patrols.  It should have been an easy exchange, but something else was going on.  The soldiers had been looking for something when they stumbled across Pierre.  He no longer had any contraband on him, but he was out after curfew and that was enough to cause trouble.  Two of the soldiers had taken Pierre away and even though they hadn’t actually seen anyone else, the others were looking for her.  Katrine had to find a place to lay low; she needed to stop so they couldn’t pick up the sound of her running.   She looked back but could see nothing through the trees.  Suddenly, her foot struck something in the darkness and she pitched forward onto the ground with a thud.

Miller listened as the footsteps crashed closer, holding his breath as they reached the fallen trees.  The sound of a body hitting the ground and a tightly controlled gasp caused him to turn his head in that direction.  A dark head was lying close to his, slowly it rose and their eyes met.

Katrine remained motionless for a minute just listening for the soldiers.  Hearing nothing she slowly raised her head; her eyes locked with the ebony ones only inches from her face.  They both froze.  Even in the darkness, Katrine recognized the uniform - American.  Neither had time for any other reaction before the voices drew their attention. The soldiers searched around the edge of the woods poking here and there then moved back up the road to join their patrol.  As the voices faded she sat up slowly, putting a finger to her lips to keep him silent and motioned him to follow.

Miller had no idea who this small woman was, but the Germans were chasing her too and that was introduction enough for now; he followed her.  She obviously knew her way around as she led him on a crooked path down a steep ravine and into a small stream.

“Hunde.” She whispered when he hesitated.  “Sorry, dogs, they went for the dogs.”  Katrine eased into the waist high water holding her package high above her head and Miller followed.

Silently they made their way down stream, the cold water numbing them as they went.  Several times the water threatened to become too deep for her to walk in but she never lost her footing.  Finally she tossed her package to the shore and climbed the bank to dry land.  Only resting a moment, she was on her feet and leading him through a thick stand of trees.  Once they reached the other side she knelt beside a thicket.  Taking a small key from around her neck she reached into the bushes and tapped out some kind of code, then she sat back and waited.  After several minutes, a tiny light appeared in the distance.  Signaling him to follow, Katrine closely followed the shadow of the tree line toward the light.

As they drew closer, Miller could see the farmhouse with a single small candle in the upstairs window.  The back door was dark but open and he followed the woman inside.  She led him down a hall and into a large room.  A man stepped forward, kissed the woman on both cheeks and handed her a lit candle.  He eyed Miller and gave the woman a curious look, when she nodded, he stepped back and they moved across the room to an open hatch in the floor.

Once then descended the stairway the man closed the hatch and moved what sounded like a heavy piece of furniture over it.  Miller followed the woman down a narrow passage to a small room, where she placed the candle on a table and finally spoke to him.

“Marcel, will bring food soon.”  She sat in a shaky chair and pulled off her wet boots. Standing, she slowly peeled her wet trousers from her legs. “You better get out of those wet clothes.”

Miller didn’t answer, just toed off his boots as he watched her pull her shirt over her head and hung her wet clothes on a line by the far wall.

“No time to be shy, captain.”  She laughed as she grabbed two towels and moved back toward him.  “It won’t get any warmer in here, you need to get out of those wet things.”

She handed him a towel and dropped hers on the chair as she turned her back and unclasped the black lace bra.  Katrine wrapped the towel around herself and slipped her panties off, hanging them both next to her clothes.  She busied herself on the other side of the room, standing their boots up to dry, hanging his uniform up next to her clothes, until he too was naked except for the towel around his waist.

“I’m Katrine.”  She extended her hand to him.

“Samuel John Miller, but my friends call me Jack.”  He took the offered hand.  “Nice to meet you, Mademoiselle.

“You, too.”  She handed him a blanket.  “You’ll need this, Captain.”

“Jack, please.  I think anyone who saves my life should be considered a friend.”  She smiled at him and he thought she might have been wrong about the blanket; it was warmer in there already.

The sound of approaching footsteps broke his trance.  Miller whirled around to see Marcel enter with their food.  Placing the tray on the table he pulled a bottle of wine from under his arm and produced two glasses from his pockets.

“Thank you, Marcel.”  Katrine touched his arm. Marcel nodded and left as silently as he came.

“Talkative.”  Jack watched the Frenchman disappear down the dark corridor.

“Marcel isn’t a conversationalist but he will take care of us until it's safe to leave.”  Tucking the blanket around her, she poured the wine and tore off a hunk of the bread.  “Sit, cap—Jack, eat it while it's warm.”

“So, can I ask what you were doing out there tonight?”  Miller dropped his blanket across his lap and tasted his soup.

“Same as you.”  She laughed, raising her wineglass to him.  “Running for my life.”

“Fair enough, but I’m in the army it’s my job to fight the Germans.”

“I’m French, it’s my destiny.”  She held his eyes for a long moment, then tilted her head and smiled the same small crooked smile that had melted his heart earlier.  “When we finish eating, I’ll have a look at that shoulder.”

“It’s all right.”

“I’ll have a look, just the same.”  She tried to concentrate on her meal but she knew he was watching, probably trying to figure her out, maybe comparing her to the women back home. She almost laughed at that thought.

Katrine finished her soup and poured another wine, before retrieving the medical kit from a shelf across the room.

"We are far from well stocked, but fortunately this is just a minor flesh wound." She smiled at how closely he watched her every movement as she cleaned the wound.  "I'm not going to do anything to harm you."

"Didn't think you would."  He hissed through clenched teeth as she probed the area for metal fragments.  "If you wanted me dead you would have left me to the Krauts."  He began to relax again as she applied the dressing.  Just looks like you've done this before."

"A time or two."  She finished and poured them each more wine.  "Drink this.  I find it works better than the powders."

"French pain killer?"

"Wine has many uses; it is the life blood of France." He was captivated by the sudden passion that flared in her eyes.  "France is down, Captain Miller, but don't count us out.  She has been overpowered but she is not defeated.."  Katrine stopped; the color rising in her cheeks evident even in the dimly lit room.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you."

"No, I should apologize.  You were only teasing; but it’s been a stressful four years.  I get easily carried away."

"Don't apologize.  You have reason to be proud of the work you are doing.  We Americans fancy ourselves riding in on our white horses and saving the day.  In truth we couldn’t make it ashore with out the information you provide.”

“Well, I’m glad to be of assistance.”  He was looking at her with that same bewildered expression; it made her slightly uncomfortable. “We should get some sleep.”  She nodded toward the back of the room.  “There is a bed over there, not fancy but comfortable and big enough.”  She picked up the candle and started toward the back of the room.  “Are you coming?”

“With you?”  He confusion turned to shock.

“Well, I don’t see anyone else.”  She laughed.  “Look I think we have already established that I won’t hurt you.  It’s safe to sleep next to me, besides it's warmer that way.”

“I’ll bet.”  He mumbled as he followed her to the dark corner.

Katrine removed her blanket and spread it across the bed, then reached for his.  Jack handed it to her without comment and she laid it over top of the other one.  Pulling back the sheet, Katrine slipped beneath the covers still wearing her towel. Jack climbed in behind her settling rather stiffly on his back.  Katrine shifted position several times then finally turned to face him.

“This would work better if you relaxed.”  She moved closer to his side.  “If we share body heat we will stay warmer.”  She placed one hand on his chest and snuggled down under the covers, only to feel him stiffen more.  “Jack, I won’t bit you.”  Her chuckle blew warm air against his skin.  “Unless of course you would like me to bit you.”  She laughed and he pulled back from her.  “I’m sorry.  It’s only a joke.  Just try to relax and we can get some sleep.”

“I’m sorry, but I think I’d better sleep somewhere else.”  He tried to sit up but she stopped him.

“Jack, there is only one bed and no need to be sorry.  After facing your own mortality, it is only natural to want to reaffirm life.”

“Look, Katrine, you don’t understand…”

“I’m quite certain I do.  I was out there too, frightened for my life and now I am here sharing the relative safety of this room, this bed and a strong warm body next to mine.”  She raised up on one elbow, not minding that her towel had fallen loose.  “You have been trying to figure me out, to categorize me with some of the women you know back home.  But I’m not any of them.  I am a woman who lives in an occupied country, part of a suppressed people. I serve wine for a living to friend and foe alike.  In my off hours I smuggle information and munitions and I have killed to protect both.  I’m a woman who lives every day like it was her last, because it could be.  I have learned to take my pleasure and my comfort where I find it.  You won’t ever take me home to momma, but we may not live long enough for that to matter.”

“You’re something else.”  Jack laughed to break the mounting tension.  “It’s like trying to put that square peg in a round hole, just won’t work.  You’re not like anyone I’ve ever met, man or woman.”

“I am not the girl next door but I’m not Mata Hari either.” She smiled to soften the harshness of her words.  “I’m sorry.  I’ve made you even more uncomfortable.  I’m tired and I’m cold and still a bit shaky from our earlier encounter.  If I promise to behave, would you just hold me while we sleep?”

Suddenly, she looked small and vulnerable.  No longer the brave, confident Maquis that had led him to safety.  She bore no resemblance to the flippant woman who, so brazenly, stripped off her wet clothes.  He reached out drawing her closer; she snuggled against him, both of them drawing warmth and comfort from the other's presence.

At first it was a gentle rocking motion, he was barely aware of it until the soft moans penetrated his sleep.  Jack opened his eyes to the nearly absolute blackness of the room, his mind struggling slowly to awareness.  The warm body beside him moaned, the gentle rocking increased in intensity; his own body stirred in response.  The husky voice mumbled words he couldn't comprehend; her warm breath on his skin sent shivers down his spine.

Only semiconscious, Katrine snaked a hand between them seeking to squelch the growing ache between her legs.  Jack's eyes focused in the darkness, watching as she rolled back from him, raising one knee and spreading herself wide.  Her pale skin seemed to glow in the darkness, creamy white inner thighs, so smooth, so inviting; he had to force himself not to touch them.  One small hand roughly caressed her breast while the other gently stroked the silken surface of her thigh, before caressing the tight dark curls. Jack could barely imagine that women did this, certainly not the women he knew.  He wasn’t sure if this was right, but watching her was making him horny as hell.  Jack found himself fascinated by her actions as he watched Katrine’s slim fingers part her moist lips.  He could smell her arousal as she slowly spread the wet heat along tender flesh; his own need was growing rapidly.  She was mumbling indistinguishably in French, her chest rising and falling with short panting breaths as she squirmed beneath the ministrations of her fingers.  Watching her writhe in self induced pleasure had produced a throbbing erection and he was unable to resist touching her any longer.  Gently, Jack drew her hand away, causing a frustrated groan until he replaced it with his own.

Katrine gasped, her eyes flew open and locked with the molten dark eyes above her.  They both stilled. Slowly, without taking her eyes from his, she raised her hips up to press herself against his hand.  Katrine ran her hands down his chest, sliding across the ripple of his stomach to wrap strong fingers around his throbbing manhood.  Jack needed no further encouragement.  He lowered his lips to her breast sucking the tight knot of her nipple, his hand reaching between open thighs to delicately explore her rich moisture.  Katrine moaned as she arched her body to meet him, her responsiveness encouraging him.  Her hands stroked every part of him, her thumb spread the escaping droplets of moisture, the intensity growing with her own need; the unaccustomed aggression tested his control.

Jack’ s mouth trailed moist open kisses across the ivory mound, gently licking the valley between her breasts, nipping and sucking the soft flesh; he ached to taste all of her.
Unsure of her response to such a thing, he tested her, his tongue drawing teasingly slow circles across her skin as he slowly worked his way lower.  Katrine moaned digging her fingers into his shoulders, then entwining them in his hair as he kissed and caressed his way down her body.  He positioned himself between her thighs, spreading her with his fingers before bending to taste her salty nectar.  His efforts were rewarded by deep moans as Katrine strained to increase their contact.

“Lèche-moi le clito.”  Katrine moaned, raising her hips and spreading her thighs wider.

Jack had no idea what she had said but he knew she hadn’t objected and the soft sound of her husky voice spurned him on.  He kissed her lips as he would her mouth, softly at first then growing with intensity as his tongue explored her depths.  Licking, tasting, slowly devouring, drinking in the sweet salty taste of her, his probing tongue circling, seeking out her swollen hardness.

“Ahh, mondieu..”  Katrine arched toward him moaning, thrusting her hips, gasping, clasping her legs around him to draw him into her. “Ohhh, oui.”

His tempo increased, stroking, sucking, and circling faster and faster as Katrine thrashed beneath him, her clutching fingers tearing at his hair.  She was breathless, begging in gasping words he didn’t understand.

“M'a baisée” Katrine moaned as she bucked her hips grinding herself against his mouth. “Mondieu  Ahhh.”

His tongue continued its ministrations while he entered her first with one finger than with two.  Katrine lifted her hips, groaning as she thrust against him.  When his mouth closed around the swollen bundle of nerves, she threw back her head, lifting him as she arched up off the bed, emitting a deep throaty sob.  His mouth could feel the pulsating throb as she clenched around his fingers and her body erupted in climax.

As he moved to cover her quivering body, she caught him off guard and with a surprising show of strength, she rolled him on his back, straddling him.  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.  She guided his one hand between them to manipulate her swollen bundle of nerves.  It didn’t take long before she arched, throwing her head back, crying out as her body stiffened then spasmed with new release.  Jack grabbed her hips to steady her.  Giving several short thrusts as her muscles tightened around him, 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.

Slowly, Katrine raised up watching his face for the disapproval she knew she would find there.  His eyes were closed sparing her the scorn.  She moved off him putting as much distance between them as the small bed would allow.  Katrine had no idea why what this stranger thought of her suddenly mattered, but for some reason it did.

“Hey.”  He rolled over and pulled her closer to him.  “You’ll get cold over there.”  She didn’t try to move away but she didn’t answer him either.  “Look, Katrine.  I’m sorry. Please look at me.”

Katrine rolled over to face him.  Had he apologized? She was confused.  He had already made it clear she wasn’t anything like the nice women he knew back home and then she did this.

“You OK?”  He looked so worried she had to smile.

“I’m fine.”  She sighed, he was so confusing and she really didn’t know why she even cared.  “There is no need for you to apologize, I didn’t do anything I didn’t want to do.  If anything, I suppose I should apologize for breaking my promise.”

Jack just looked at her; he wasn’t sure what to make of her.  She was tough, smart and capable or she never would have survived four years in the resistance.  She had already displayed more courage than most men he knew and she certainly wasn’t shy about her body or her needs.  She wasn’t like any woman he ever knew and for some reason she seemed to think that was bad.  Looking at her watching him, she seemed tiny and vulnerable.  Jack just wanted to cradle her and protect her, but he didn’t understand why.

“Katrine, please don’t turn away.” She stopped struggling and stared at him.  “Let me hold you.”  Katrine moved closer and he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her tightly against his body. “I don’t care what you say, I think my mother would like you.  She’s a pretty tough lady herself.  Oh, she never had to face the things you do, but she did raise four boys all by herself.”

“Un dieu m'aident.”  Katrine rolled her eyes.  “I’d rather face the Germans.”  She snuggled closer and in the pretense of security, they drifted off to sleep.

It was only a few hours later when Katrine woke to a gentle tugging on her arm.  Holding perfectly still she tried to regain her bearings.  As the sleep cleared from her mind she remembered the American who’s naked body was still supporting hers as they lay tangled together in the blankets.  She was in the safe house.  Slowly she opened her eyes, to find Marcel bending over her.

“Marcel.”  She whispered in surprise; he only nodded and crossed to the other side of the room.

Unable to locate her towel, Katrine grabbed one of the blankets, wrapped herself in it and joined Marcel.  They talked in hushed whispers and then he relit her candle and left them alone again.

“Jack.”  Katrine sat on the side of the bed.  “Jack, wake up.”

“I’m awake.  What’s wrong?” He stretched as he sat up beside her.

“We have to get going.”  She brought him his still damp and very cold uniform.  “Marcel will bring coffee in a minute, but there is no time for more.”

“Where are we going?”

“Sainte Claire.”  She gasped as she pulled on her cold clothes.  “The resistance is holding off the Germans; the Americans are on their way.”

“That’s where my platoon was headed.”  He pulled on his boots.

“It is my home and my base.”  She took two mugs of coffee from Marcel, handing Jack one and gulping down the other.  Marcel vanished again.  “I must get back there.”

“Let’s go.”

Again she led him down the dark corridor and up the stairs.  Marcel waited just inside the back door, he signaled it was clear and they left him behind without a backward glance.  It was a long quiet walk and must have taken an hour or more, but then they heard the gunfire and saw the flashes and smoke in the distance. When they reached Sainte Claire the town was under siege.  The resistance was holded up in Le Coeur de Lion.  The Germans were fighting on two sides as the American forces fought their way into the town from the north.  Katrine led the way through back alleys and darkened passageways to the side door, where a coded knock gained them entrance

“Welcome back.”  A short dark pregnant woman greeted Katrine and eyed him carefully.  “Brought your own American?”  She smirked at Katrine but left without an answer.

“The explosives?”  A tall attractive blonde stood holding out her hand, her expression one of disgust as she stared down at Katrine.

“Mais naturellement.” Katrine held tightly to the package, offering it but not releasing it.  “Don’t deviate from the plan without my approval.”  She held the package until the other woman nodded her acceptance.

Miller watched the small woman work her way around the room.  Each person updated her on some aspect of the assault and he began to understand.  Katrine was not just part of the resistance in Sainte Claire; she was its leader.  He wondered why she had gone for the munitions herself, but then he had gone out there too.  Miller moved closer to where she was going over a local map.  The front door flew open and all eyes and weapons instantly pointed in that direction.

“Tuvok.”  Katrine addressed the tall back man.

“Katrine."  He nodded and crossed over to them. "The Americans will use le Lion as a command post."  As he spoke several men in American uniforms burst through the door.

"We'll take it from here, my friend."  The young lieutenant clapped Tuvok on the back.

"This is my city, Lieutenant and I have no intention of sitting back now."  Katrine quickly injected.

"Ma'am, I appreciate your help but we can handle it."

"Davis."  Captain Miller stepped forward.  "The Lady has been running this operation for four years, without her help we wouldn't even be here.  Anything she can offer will be invaluable."

"Captain!"  Davis spun around obviously surprised to see his captain.  “We thought you—well Muldoon…”

“Yes, I know, Davis.  But thanks to Katrine, I'm still around.”  He smiled at Katrine.  “Now, let’s…”  He stopped when Katrine gasped and grabbed the side of her neck.  “What is it?” Then he felt it too, a sharp pain in his neck that radiated into his head and then was gone.

For a long minute they stood eyes locked together by sudden insight.  Davis felt it, then Tuvok, as one by one the crew of Voyager regained their identities.

“Chakotay..”  She whispered as the joy and horror of the truth settled on her and in that split second she knew her life had forever changed.

“Kathryn..”  The sound of gunfire permeated the room forcing him to regain some of his composure.  “We still have a war to fight.”

Kathryn nodded and searched the faces around her for recognition.  Everyone seemed, once again, to be cognizant of their real identities.  One look back at Chakotay and they went their separate ways, evaluating their position and preparing a counter attack.  Priority one was to take their ship back.

After three-days and completely blowing out the main hologrid, they finally drove the Hirogen off Voyager and limped away to make repairs.  It took over two weeks of round the clock shifts to get Voyager in even passable shape and another two before the Captain allowed herself a break from long hours of endless repairs.  Chakotay and Tuvok had taken 12-hour bridge shifts and the Captain spent almost every waking hour repairing some system or another.  In all that time, Chakotay had seen Kathryn exactly twice and both were at senior staff briefings.  They had talked, about the ship, often by comm link but had had no time to discuss their personal situation.

Chakotay had come off another 12-hour shift, grabbed a quick shower and spent four or five hours trying to catch up on the many stacks of padd piling up and demanding attention.  If he didn't get this done, at least some of it, Kathryn would have to and spirits knew she had enough to keep her busy already.  As it was they had no time for themselves and not being with her he hadn't been able to get any indication of what she was thinking. He knew she remembered what had happened, everyone on the ship did, but she hadn't given him the slightest hint as to how she felt about it.  He remembered as Miller, he had been confused by the strength of his attraction to Katrine and his strong need to protect a woman who obviously didn't need his protection.  It was all very clear to him now, because there was no doubt or confusion about his feeling for Kathryn, at least not on his part.   That probably wasn't fair.  He didn't doubt that Kathryn loved him, his only question was whether or not she would ever allow her self to admit that and act on it.  His eyes were very heavy as he chuckled his way through an engineering report in which B'Elanna was updating the Captain on the latest repairs completed at least in part by Kathryn.
 

When the chime went unanswered for the third time and the computer confirmed his whereabouts, Kathryn entered her override and slipped into the darkened quarters.  Chakotay was sleeping; more like passed out she thought with a smile.  He was dressed only in a pair of loose sweat pants, his legs stretched across the couch, his neck twisted so that his head rested on the back of the couch.  There were padds scattered all over the surrounding area.  He had obviously been trying to handle as much as possible to ease her workload a bit.  No matter how she longed to talk with him, she didn't have the heart to wake him.

Kathryn brought out a pillow and blanket from his bedroom.  She quietly cleared the padds from the couch, placed the pillow at the end and carefully eased him down from his twisted position.  Chakotay mumbled sleepily, but didn't wake, settling down quickly as she tucked the blanket around him. Kathryn sat on the floor, called for the computer to turn off the lights and watched him sleep.  He probably thought she had been avoiding him and at first that had definitely been part of it.  In the beginning the repairs had been complicated, all consuming and a completely welcome excuse not to see him or even to think about the ramifications of what they had done. But after a time the work came down to routine, almost mindless tasks that still required all available hands but didn't necessarily engage her mind. Kathryn had time to think.

The immediate answer was to dismiss the entire incident. After all, their minds had been under the control of the Hirogen which meant it would be easy to blame the outside influence. After a while, she had to admit to herself that the neural interfacers had altered her reality without interfering with her capabilities or her emotions.  Everything Katrine did, everything she felt came from inside Kathryn.  She began to understand that the only real difference between Katrine and herself was than Katrine didn't hide behind her responsibilities.  She watched him sleep for a while then rested her head against him and drifted off to sleep.

Chakotay slowly slipped into consciousness.  It was dark in his quarters, but he didn't remember turning off the lights. He was still on the couch but now he had a pillow and a blanket.  He soon realized this turn of events was directly related to the head resting gently against his side.  Chakotay eased himself onto his side trying unsuccessfully not to wake her in the process.

"Hi."  Kathryn raised her head gazing at him through sleepy eyes.

"Hi, been here long?"

"Don't know.  I wanted to talk to you, but I guess I fell asleep."

"You work too hard."

"You too."  She motioned toward the padds scattered across the table.

"Just trying to help."

"Trying to take care of me, again?"

"There are worse things to be guilty of."  She nodded and smiled at him and he was flooded with the memories of another man.  "So, what was on your mind?"

"You."  She climbed up on the couch beside him. "I missed you."  Kathryn snuggled close to him, almost having to lie on top of him to fit on the small couch.

"I missed you too, but.."

"I know.  We have a lot to discuss, too much for the middle of the night.  But I've had plenty of time to think and I learned a lot from Katrine."  She stretched up pressing a gentle kiss on his lips. “I’m tired and I’m cold and still a bit shaky from our earlier encounter.  If I promise to behave, would you just hold me while we sleep?”

He reached out drawing her closer; she snuggled against him, both of them drawing warmth and comfort from the others presence.   They drifted back to sleep both knowing that this time the security was real.

The End

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