Disclaimer:  All things Voyager belong to Paramount.  I intend no infringement on their rights and I certainly make no money from this.

Note: This story is set just at the end of Parallax, written with the belief that an entire journey is guided by its first steps.  What if in those first days, the Captain had stepped just a little to her left?

First Steps 

Rated NC17

The Captain keyed in her entry code and stepped into her darkened quarters, was it only this morning she was last here?  Exhausted from the day’s activities, Kathryn headed straight for her favorite spot, her bathtub.  A nice relaxing bubble bath, a little quiet time to herself and she would be ready to take on whatever the Delta Quadrant had in store for her tomorrow.  She ran the water into her extra large tub, pushing aside the twinge of guilt that came with using so much energy on herself.  Scented bubbles, soft candlelight and a replicated glass of wine. This was Kathryn’s time and both she and the captain would be better for it.  Slipping into the steaming, jasmine scented water, she settled back, took a sip of wine and tried to put the day’s events in perspective.

It had been an eventful week, one in which she had questioned her own decision to attempt the blending of these two, diametrically opposed, crews more than once.  Aside from the constant grumblings of one faction or another, the ‘incident’ in engineering, as it was now being called, had nearly brought the opposing sides to blows. Well, it had involved one blow and, she was told, an offer of mutiny, but all was quiet now.  As the week progressed, it turned out they had much bigger problems.  Her new first officer overstepped his bounds and all but openly opposed her on the bridge and if the tensions weren’t running high enough, they discovered the ship trapped in the event horizon of a quantum singularity was Voyager.  In the end they had pulled together and over come most, if not all, of these problems and today had been quite a day.  As if finally breaking free of the event horizon wasn’t traumatic enough, taking on the Starfleet crew by naming B’Elanna Torres as Chief Engineer, should have filled the gap, but the day got even better.  Ummm she wondered, was getting propositioned by your first officer, your strikingly handsome, barely ex-Maquis, first officer, better or worse. Damn! She shouldn’t be thinking like this.  She never had this problem with Cavit, but then Cavit was never the man Chakotay was.  Hell, she wasn’t sure Cavit was a man at all or just a uniform that said ‘Yes Ma’am’ to her every whim.  She had always hated his pathetic, patronizing manner.

Chakotay, well he was a horse of a different color, as her mother always used to say.  He looked good in that uniform, but she found herself regretting she couldn’t allow him to wear his Maquis leather.  She slipped deeper into the water, letting its warmth caress her stresses away.  Where Cavit had been, well not exactly incompetent, more like undercapable—was that even a word?  Ahh hell, the man was spineless and weak, a complete doormat, who in his wildest dreams would not have challenged her and certainly never in front of the crew.  She had already seen that Chakotay had no such reservations.  Yes, this horse was gonna be a wild ride.  She closed her eyes and allowed herself to fantasize about just what it might be like to serve under him.

Kathryn let her hands slip across her breast, stroke slowly down the slight round of her stomach toward the rapidly building ache between her legs.  She imagined his rough hands on her tender skin, the soft moisture of those luscious lips against her flesh.  She was lost in the vision of his taut golden body pressed between her thighs.  Spreading her legs, Kathryn gasped as her fingers pressed into a rich moisture that had nothing to do with the water surrounding her.  The sound of her own coursing blood pounded in her ears, driving her almost as fast as the rapidly moving fingers pressed against her most sensitive nerves.  In her mind, he was here.  It was his dark fingers that manipulated the tightly knotted nipple, that peeks above the bubbles, his lips the caressed her, his tongue that lapped her juices and his mouth that closed around her hardened nub, sending her soaring beyond the stars crying his name.  “Cha ko tay.” A hoarse cry ripped from deep in her throat as her body convulsed sending ripples of water spilling onto the floor.

She lay back, allowing the warmth of the water to gently lull her back to reality.  Her reaction to this man was so powerful as to be dangerous; thrilling and dangerous.  She would need to find a way to keep the upper hand, or at least to keep him from knowing when she didn’t.  The thought made her laugh.  For some reason he seemed to have no trouble reading her, a problem she would have to correct.

The water was cooling off and Kathryn had to force herself to leave the comfort of her bath.  Toweling off, she wrapped herself in deep blue silk bathrobe; another of her few indulgences, here on board Voyager.  She removed the pins confining her hair and shook it free around her shoulders; she always felt like a real woman when she did that, maybe that’s why she kept it so long.  She certainly paid a price in maintaining it, but the flowing auburn locks served to bind Kathryn and the Captain and established a balance between woman and officer that was well worth any price.  Retrieving her brush from the bedroom, Kathryn was just beginning her nightly ritual of brushing out her hair when the chime sounded.  She wondered only for a moment, realizing quickly that only one person on this ship would be this bold.

“Come.”  She called out from the bedroom.  Steeling herself with a deep cleansing breath before walking into the other room to greet her first officer.  “Commander, what brings you here at this hour?”

“Sorry to disturb you, but I think we had a pretty successful day and I believe we need to talk about it.”  Quickly reigning in his shock at her appearance, he moved himself over to her sitting area. “I was hoping you felt the same way.”

“That today was successful?”  She watched in amazement as he made himself comfortable on her couch. *Well, he isn’t shy.*  “or that we should talk?”

“Both.”  He smiled up at her as she made her way toward him.  She had a certain glow tonight, one he had never seen before and with her hair flowing down her back, she was truly beautiful.  “Don’t you think we should discuss our successes as well as our failures, Kathryn?”

“I think, Commander.”  Caught by the dimples, she almost lost her train of thought.  “that..”  *Damn* “that is probably a sound idea. However…”  She attempted to place her hands on her hips and give him her captain’s glare, failing miserably when the feel of satin suddenly reminded her of her attire.  “I don’t think this is the proper ..” She couldn’t help but blush under his stare, her mind racing back to her bath. “time or place for it.”

“Oh, I disagree, Kathryn.”  He worked to keep the chuckle out of his voice.  “Now, when the ship is quiet is the perfect time. I see nothing wrong with two commanding officers discussing a little business after hours, but if you would be more comfortable we could move to my quarters.”

“I am quite comfortable the way I am.”

“Yes, it appears so, but perhaps..”  He smiled when she tugged her belt tighter. “you would be even more comfortable, if you sat down.”

“I’m having coffee, Commander.”  She turned toward the replicator. *When had she lost control—hell when had she had control.* “Can I get you some?”

“Tea, please.”  He watched her hair shift across her back with each sensuous swing of her hips.  *Damn, this was gonna be an interesting 70 years.*  He suddenly realized she had spoken.  “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

“I said, like Captain Picard..”  She smiled at the confusion in his eyes.  *Ahhh, advantage-- captain.* “The tea, Captain Picard, prefers tea.” She handed him his cup, settling herself in the chair across from him.  “Do you know him?”

“Picard? No, only by reputation.  You?”  He sipped his tea, admiring her very uncaptainlike pose as she tucked her feet under her.

“I’ve met him, an associate of my father.”

“A real Starfleet brat, Huh?”

“Yeah, I suppose.  You?”

“No, Starfleet was my dream, alone.”

She sensed there was a very interesting story behind those words, only part of which could be found in his files. but one that caused a great deal of pain to shine through those deep brown eyes.  One day when they were friends, and she was sure they would be, she would question him on it, not tonight.

“So, you wanted to talk about our successes?” She tossed her hair back over her shoulder and sipped her coffee.

“Yes.”  He smiled, the dimples forcing her to hold back a sigh.  “I think we make one hell of a team.”

“Agreed, both the Starfleet and the Maquis crews have started to blend well and I think, for the most part, both sides see the wisdom in naming Lieutenant Torres Chief Engineer.”  She knew that wasn’t the ‘we’ he had been referring to.

“Yes, they work well together, too.”  Under the guise of setting down his cup, he leaned across the table toward her, holding her eyes. “They will follow our lead.”

“Then we will have to be careful where we lead them.”  She cocked her head slightly, raising one eyebrow challenging him to answer.

“Or make sure we aren’t always followed.”  He moved back on the couch without breaking their gaze.  “So, Kathryn, will you answer me now or will you still hide behind the privileges of your rank?”

“On whether or not I would serve on a Maquis ship?”  She tried to sound nonchalant, but he knew she was baiting him.

“On whether or not you would serve under me…”  He chuckled and rested one arm on the back of the couch.  “given the proper circumstances that is.”

“Circumstances being such that I had no choice?”   * Now, there was an intriguing thought.*

“If you prefer.”  He hadn’t missed the way her cheeks glowed as she spoke.

“More tea, Chakotay?”  She needed to stop this now, break this mood before it got out of hand.  She unconsciously checked the closure on her robe as she stood and he smiled, his eyes following the movement of her hands.

“No, I’m good.”  The burning in his eyes left no doubts of that in her mind and his smiled widened at her deepening blush.

“Yes, well, I don’t doubt that…”  She couldn’t hold back the laugh, as she turned toward the replicator. “I need a cup of coffee.”

“Here, recycle this.”  She jumped at the sound of his voice and the force of his breath across her cheek.  “Sorry, didn’t mean to frighten you.”  He passed her his teacup.

“You just startled me.. I didn’t expect..” He was very close, too close and in truth his very presence scared the hell out of her. Then he touched her hair and she stepped back.  “Excuse Me?!”

“Sorry.”  His turn to blush, but he quickly composed himself.  “You have lovely hair, Kathryn.”  He walked back and made himself comfortable on the couch. “You should wear it down more often.”

“Thank you.”  Her voice was quiet and composed again and she was feeling a little guilty for her sharp reaction.  “It’s not very practical or professional to have all this hair flying all around while I’m trying to work.”

“I suppose not. Then I guess I will have to spend more off duty time here, if I want to see it.”  She didn’t voice an objection, just smiled; he decided not to press further at the moment.  “You and B’Elanna seem to work well together.”

“Interesting woman, and one hell of an engineer.  Thank you for making me see that.”

“You can count on me to broaden your horizons whenever necessary.”

“ ‘Broaden my horizons’?”  She laughed.  “Is that a polite way of saying, badgering me until I see things your way?”

“That’s one way of putting it—as a very wise woman once said ‘sometimes you have to punch your way through.’  So I guess you can expect me to badger you until you at least listen to my point of view.”

“Fair enough.  You are, after all, my first officer, if we are to be successful, open communication will be essential.  I can’t promise you that I will always yield to you.”

“That would take all the fun out it, now wouldn’t it?”  He smiled at her amused expression.  His captain enjoyed this game; he was convinced he would enjoy this captain.  “I wasn’t looking for total submission, Kathryn, just opportunities.”

“I don’t foresee any shortage of those.  However, I would appreciate if you keep your challenges between us.”

“And I don’t foresee any shortage of things between us; professionally, I will do my best not to challenge you in front of the crew.”

“I guess I can’t expect more than that, but be assured I will expect your best.”

“Then my best you shall have.”  He stood.  “I believe it’s time to call it a night, however, I found this time very enlightening; I think we should hold these private strategy sessions regularly.”

“That’s a sound idea, I’ll take it under advisement.”  She walked him to the door.  “I’ll see you on the bridge, Commander.”

“Yes, Captain, good night.”  He stepped into the hallway turning back with a wide dimpled grin. “Dinner, tomorrow, my quarters?”

“1800 hours, I’ll bring the wine. Good night, Chakotay.”  She stepped back and let the door slide between them. Kathryn was sure there were going to be some hot clashes in their future and she was just as sure they wouldn’t all be disagreements.

The End

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