Disclaimer:  You know the drill.  Paramount owns them I’m just giving them a break.

Second place in Shattered Night interrupted contest
 

Rated PG
 

The Captain and the Commander were once again the last of Alpha Shift to leave the bridge.  They talked quietly as they crossed from the readyroom and subtle laughter could be heard as the doors of the lift closed behind them.

“Deck three.” The Captain called out then turned to see where Chakotay was headed.

“Deck two, messhall.”

The Captain nodded but her next comment was lost when the lift suddenly thudded to a halt.

“Another stalled lift?!”  Kathryn turned to face her First Officer.

“We must have the most defective lift system in the universe.”  Chakotay laughed. “Or the most determined crew.”

“You don’t suppose after all this time they are still trying to force us together?” The Captain rolled her eyes

“Of course they are!  The crew has never given up hope.”    Chakotay laughed. “They think we would be perfect together- personally as well as professionally."

“I see.”  Kathryn looked off toward the corner of the lift shifting uncomfortably.

“It’s all right, Kathryn.”  He turned her chin so he could see eyes and admire the faint blush she always got at times like these.  “They don’t mean any harm.  Besides, we are perfect together.”

Kathryn looked up and saw a glimmer of the old longing in his eyes.  Seven long years, countless transient partners and now–if rumor served-he was dating Seven; it must be her imagination.

“Kathryn?”  He touched her face, a look of concern on his face.  “You still with me?”

“Yes, I was just..”  Suddenly, all she could concentrate on was his warm fingers resting her cheek.

Their eyes locked together as his other hand came up to cup her face.  Kathryn’s breath quickened, her tongue slipping out to moisten her suddenly dry lips.  With a movement almost too small to detect Chakotay’s mouth slowly descended toward hers. Her breath caught.

“Torres to Janeway.”

“Janeway here.”  The Captain took a step backwards, diverting her gaze toward the closed door.

“Sorry, Captain.  We blew a relay. It’s going to take a while to get to it, but I can beam you out now.”

“Very good, Lieutenant.  I was on my way to my quarters and I believe the Commander has a date in the mess hall.”

“Aye, Captain.”

Kathryn shimmered away leaving Chakotay alone in the lift for several seconds before he found himself transported to just outside the mess hall. Chakotay wondered about what had just happened, or almost happened.  It hadn’t been the only ‘close call’ in the last few months. Chakotay was sure he hadn’t imagined it.  He found himself also curious about her use of the word ‘date’.  Did she know he had been seeing, Seven?   He wasn’t sure himself, whether he would call it dating, but he was certain Seven would.

~~~^^^~~~

“I would like to finish these up tonight.”  The Captain and Commander joined the stragglers of Alpha Shift as they left the bridge.  “It would be nice to wake up and not be behind in my work load for a change.”  The Captain laughed.

“I could help you.  That way you will be sure to be finished.”  Chakotay offered.

“That would be great.  Join me for dinner and we’ll get these out of the way fast.”  The Captain raised her stack of padds, looking up to catch a bit of uncertainty on Chakotay’s face.  “Unless you already have dinner plans.”

“No, no- dinner would be good.”  He smiled.  “I’ll do the dinner, you do the wine.”  He laughed at the snickers around them.

“Very funny.  No wine until you finish these reports, Mister.”  Kathryn tapped his chest with a padd as she exited the lift.

“I’ll change and be right back.”  Chakotay slipped past the Captain’s door and keyed in his own code.  Once inside he hailed Seven and canceled their dinner plans.  He quickly changed and joined Kathryn.

Together Chakotay and Kathryn finished most of the reports and half the wine before dinner. It had been weeks since they had enjoyed some quiet time like this. Working, talking, just catching up on ship's gossip.  It was always more fun together and they both had missed it.  After dinner, they carried their coffee to the couch and finished off the final padds.

“Done!” Kathryn tossed the last padd on the table with a smile.

“I think that deserves a toast.”  Chakotay retrieved the bottle from across the room and poured them each another glass of wine.

“I think you’re right.”  Kathryn clinked her glass to his and settled back on the couch. “This feels good.”

“Not having to face those reports in the morning?”  He laughed and rested his head on the back of the couch next to hers.

“That too.”  Kathryn turned her head so that they faced one another. She reached one finger out to trace his tattoo.

Kathryn leaned closer; he could feel her warm breath on his face as she inched toward him.  His lips barely touched hers; she sighed.

“Seven of Nine to Commander Chakotay.”

They snapped apart.  Sitting up, Kathryn turned her back to him.

“Yes, Seven.”

“I was wondering if you would be able to keep our meeting this evening or will you be working all evening?”

“I’ll contact you when I’m free.”

“Thank you, Commander. I will be expecting your call.  Seven out.”

“I’m sorry.”  Kathryn turned back to face him.  “Why didn’t you tell me you had plans?”

“We didn’t really.”

“Seven seems to think you did.”

“We were going to meet for dinner, but ..”

“But I asked you to work?  Is that what you told her?”

“I guess I did.”  He sat up and ran his hand through his hair.  “I didn’t intend to mislead her.  I suppose from her point of view…”

“You broke a date to work late and now..”  Kathryn moved to the other end of the couch.  “Look maybe it's none of my business, but- well you broke a date with Seven to work late and now you’re here with me..” She shook her head.  “OK, so now I’m feeling a bit foolish.  Just what are we doing here?”

“I guess I have to ask you that question.”

“Fair enough.  I know I’ve pushed you away for years.  So, you want to know why now?  Guess that’s fair. I’m tired.”  Kathryn watched her hands wring together then looked up.  “I’m tired of being alone, I’m tired of denying what I feel for you and I guess the time we have spent apart these past few weeks has really made it all clear to me.”  She breathed deeply   “Maybe, I’m just jealous of Seven.”

“I’ve spent some time with Seven, had a couple of dinners.  Sure you could call them dates.  I‘ve spent time with other women on the ship over the years too.  I guess the difference is that they all knew where my heart belonged. Maybe Seven isn’t clear on that.”

“Maybe I’m not either.”

“I’ll make it clear to you, Kathryn, if you want me to.”  Chakotay moved closer. “You never wanted to know before but if you’re ready to know now..”

“I love you, Chakotay.”  Kathryn cut off his words with hers.  Leaning forward, she pressed her lips to his cutting off her own words.

Soft moist lips covered his, working over them slowly, easing his mouth open enough for her tongue to slip through.  Chakotay gently drew her closer, careful not to break the spell, but close enough to feel the warmth of her next to him.  A soft moan escaped as Kathryn forced herself to back out of the kiss.

“I think you need to go see Seven.”  Kathryn rested her forehead against his, heart pounding as she tried to catch her breath.

“I want to stay here.”

“Nope.”  Kathryn pulled back taking his face in her hands and splashing his cheeks with gentle kisses.  “You need to speak to Seven.”

“OK.”  He got up off the couch.  “But I’m coming back.”

“No.” Kathryn stood up with him.  “Don’t rush this.  She needs to understand – but gently.”

“You’re right.”  He took a deep breath.  “I’ll see you for breakfast?”

“Yes.”  She followed him to the door stopping him just before it opened.  “First- tell me.”

Chakotay stepped closer drawing her into his arms, smiling at her upturned hopeful expression.

“I love you, Kathryn.”

His mouth covered hers, their tongues danced until her knees grew weak and her heart pounded.  When he pulled back, she clung to him for support, resting her head on his chest. Chakotay kissed the top of her head, gently stood her on her own feet and reluctantly left.

~~~^^^~~~

In all the seven years they had spent in the Delta Quadrant, they had never before found getting time alone this difficult. Every dinner was interrupted by some ship emergency.  Every time Chakotay even got close enough to touch her, her comm. badge went off.  The ship was harassed by roving aliens.  It suddenly seem that the only things that worked properly all of time were the lifts!  The entire senior staff spent weeks on double shifts, patching, repairing until Voyager was once again deemed space worthy. Then the paper work started and the command team spent all of their time buried in padds.

“Come.”  The Captain automatically answered the chime in her readyroom.

“Captain.” Chakotay stood in front of her desk grinning

“Commander.”  Kathryn came around the desk to stand close to him.  “Something I can do for you?”

“Oh, don’t go there, Kathryn.”  Chakotay groaned.

“OK, bad choice of words.  Is there something…er  what do you need?..Damn!”  Kathryn laughed.  “Just spit out why you’re here.”

“Seven has located an uninhabited M Class and I thought we might take the time for some shore leave.”

“We?” Kathryn raised an eyebrow.

“Well, Captain, I know the routine.  Crew –including Tuvok first.  Then yes I was hoping we might have a bit of time to ourselves.”

“Work out the duty roster and leave rotations and get back to me.”

“Aye, Captain.”  He stood watching her.

“Is there something else, Commander?”  Her smile as she slid one hand around his neck spoke volumes.

“Permission to kiss the Captain?”

“Permission granted.”  Kathryn stood on her toes and pressed her lips to his.

“Tuvok to Janeway.”

“Janeway here.”  Kathryn stepped back and rolled her eyes.

“We are prepared to make the course change Commander Chakotay requested.”

“Proceed, Commander.  Janeway out.”  Kathryn laughed and shook her head.  “Was that the correct answer?”

“If you want that shore leave.”

“I’m counting on it.”

~~~^^^~~~

It was the end of their second week in orbit before the Captain was able to get away.  They were scheduled to break orbit tomorrow so she was taking the evening to spend on the planet.  Chakotay said he has been guided to the perfect spot for a dinner picnic and had gone ahead to prepare, leaving Kathryn with the coordinates.

Dressed casually for the warm evening air in a sleeveless sundress and sandals the Captain handed the coordinates to the lieutenant on duty in Transporter Room One.  Kathryn smiled as she nodded at Benson to initiate her transport. He looked a little puzzled, but Kathryn assumed it was because she had given him the same coordinates that Chakotay must have used earlier.

The breeze blew warm off the ocean as, Kathryn slipped off her sandals and made her way through the sand toward the trees that sheltered the point.  Chakotay had been right the orange glow of the moon across the water was breathtaking. Coming through the trees she saw them standing together.

“Oh! Excuse me.”  Kathryn stepped back, never taking her eyes off the couple in front of her.  “I didn’t realize you were down here.”

“I was just leaving, Captain.” Seven straightened and nodded in each of their directions. “Good night.”

“Good night.” Kathryn watched Seven walk away.  Chakotay watched Kathryn. “I didn’t expect to see her here.”

“She wasn’t supposed to be here.  She got my location from the transporter room. Benson didn’t know it was a secret.”  Chakotay turned Kathryn to face him.  “I’m sorry.”

“Me, too.  Is she still upset?”

“Not much, more curious.”  Chakotay put his arm around Kathryn’s shoulders and walked to the blanket he had spread by the fire.  “Even Seven knows this is right.”  He brushed a light kiss across her lips as he eased them down to the blanket.

“It’s beautiful here.”  Kathryn leaned against Chakotay digging her toes in the sand as they watched the starlight dance across the waves.  “How did you know it was here?”

“Mike told me.  Seems he and Jenny went for a late night swim and stumbled across this spot.”

“Do I want to know who he thought you might bring here?”

“Mike is the one person on the ship who just might know me as well as you.  He didn’t ask.”

“So I guess he wouldn’t be surprised if I thanked him.”

“Probably not.”  Chakotay tightened the arm around her shoulder. “Does it still worry you?  I mean their reactions?”

“Some.  Not Mike or really any of the crew that know us well, but yes, some of the others.”

They enjoyed a simple dinner in the warm night air, a quiet talk and a long stroll, hand in hand down the shoreline in the moonlight, before stretching out on the blanket.

It was a beautiful clear night,  the stars shining white blue against a navy sky and the whole area lighted by the soft glow of the full orange moon. Kathryn was lying on her back watching the stars.  Supporting himself on on one elbow Chakotay watched her.

“They’re so different from here.”  Kathryn smiled as she found his eyes.

“The stars?”  Chakotay preferred to watch their reflection in her eyes.

“Yes.” She laughed. “You’ll think I’m crazy, but up there, stars are like a road map, showing us the way, telling us where we have been.  Down here they're beautiful diamonds in the night sky, soft and quixotic.”

“So, my little scientist has a romantic side.” He tucked her hair behind her ear. “Either way they are always beautiful in your eyes.”

Chakotay watched the lights dance in her eyes as he trailed his fingers lightly along the slightly veed collar of her sundress. The bronze light enhanced the contrast in their skin tone making the journey of dark fingers over pale white skin intoxicating as his eyes followed it.

Kathryn studied his face, Chakotay was awed by the sight of his own fingers as they moved along the edge of her dress.  She tried to hold her breathing steady as the anticipation of his journey built. He was still watching as his fingers worked the first button; Kathryn’s chest rose and fell a little unsteadily.

Three buttons gave way easily and he slipped one dark hand beneath the edge of the dress surprised to find no further encumbrance.  Kathryn gasped, lightly arching her back as his fingers brushed across a tightening nipple. Chakotay peeled back the dress his eyes fascinated by the contrast of his rough dark hands as they covered the soft ivory mound of her breast. The barely audible moan and quickening breath accented by the inviting arch of her back had his heart thudding with her reaction to his simple touch.  Kathryn was infatuated by the look on his face as much as the sensation of his skin on hers as she reached out to touch him.

His eyes returned to hers and he slowly joined their mouths in soft moist kisses punctuated by muted words of love.  Kathryn nibbled his lips, one hand slipping beneath his shirt the other curling in his hair.  His mouth slipped from hers, slowly moving down her neck, his warm breath causing a shudder as her fingers guided him lower.  He gently sucked the pale skin of her breast his tongue seeking out the hardened nub as his fingers raised the hem of her skirt.  Kathryn raised one leg bending her knee and causing the skirt to fall open almost to her waist.  Chakotay suckled her breast as his fingers caressed the silky skin of her inner thigh.  Kathryn groaned with the twin sensations as he slipped his fingers beneath the damp satin material of her panties.

A loud cough followed by a giggle broke the mood.  Chakotay yanked her skirt down rising up quickly to find B’Elanna and Tom at the foot of the blanket.

“Well, this is a surprise.”  Tom grinned.

“It certainly is, Mr. Paris.”  Kathryn sat up fastening her dress as she did.  “I wasn’t aware you had leave this evening.”

“I’d say you weren’t aware of much – outside of him.”  Tom snickered and B’Elanna did her best not to laugh.

Chakotay watched Kathryn. This certainly wasn’t what he planned but her reaction now would be very telling of their future-if they had one anymore.

“Chakotay, is there any more wine?”  Kathryn smiled at him then turned more sober as she looked to the others.  “Are you going to join us or was breaking the mood enough entertainment for the evening?”

“Sorry, Captain.”  B’Elanna stammered out still trying to hold back her laughter.

“Funny you don’t sound very sorry.”  Kathryn accepted a glass from Chakotay and waved it at the other two.  “Sit. You will have to share the glass.  We weren’t expecting company.”

“If you’re sure we aren’t intruding?”  Tom said most insincerely as he sat in the sand and took the glass.

“Yes, well, you have already been quite successful at that,  so relax and enjoy the wine.”  Kathryn snuggled back against Chakotay and sipped his wine.

It quickly became clear that Kathryn, while a bit disappointed, wasn’t angry or even embarrassed by the appearance of the younger couple.  Everyone relaxed.

“Ya know, Captain..”

“I think, Tom, the situation calls for a little more informality.  Perhaps tonight you could try calling me Kathryn.”

“OK, Kathryn.”  Tom shrugged at B’Elanna.  “Anyway I never pictured you much as the tumble in the sand type, but hell I’ve been wrong before.”

“I recall a time or two.”  Kathryn took a long sip of the wine.  “Besides I imagine you have a much clearer picture now.”

Chakotay chuckled. She never ceased to surprise him. The only thing he could always be sure of was that life with Kathryn would never be dull.

The End.

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