Disclaimer: All things Voyager belong to Paramount. This story is mine.
Chakotay paced the relative safety of the cave. They had been separated for over four hours; he had no way of knowing if Kathryn and her team would reach this sanctuary. How had this happened? A simple little mission to a peaceful planet and … what the hell had happened? Civil war? And alien attack? He wasn’t even sure but he was sure they had had to fight their way out of the city and he was sure this was were they were to rendezvous. What he wasn’t sure of was what was taking the other team so long.
“Chak, it won’t help.” B’Elanna called from her place on the ground. “Come over here and keep me warm before I freeze.”
“Heat the rocks again.” Chakotay just paced to the front of the cave and peered into the dreary darkness of the pelting rainstorm.
“Chak, she’ll make it.” B’Elanna joined him.
“It’s taking too long.”
“It took us hours to get here, too.”
“We’ve been here for over an hour.” He walked to the back of the cave and shot his phaser at the pile of rocks. “There it should warm up back here in a few minutes.” Chakotay looked at his shivering friend and sat down putting his back against the wall. “Come here.”
Chakotay held up his arms to B’Elanna and tried to smile. It had gotten much colder since the sun went down, the dampness was beginning to seep into his bones and Chakotay knew B’Elanna didn’t have near his tolerance for cold. Jenkins and Miller had long ago put aside their differences and slept huddled together, on the far wall beside a pile of glowing rocks.
“Try to sleep, B’Ella. I’ll keep watch.” Chakotay drew her closer trying to rub some heat into her back.
“Chak, she’s got Mike and Harry with her- they’ll make it.”
“Yeah, I know.” He knew he didn’t sound convincing
Chakotay knew she was right. Kathryn was a trained Starfleet officer she could take care of herself. Hell, she could take care of them all and she had many times. Still he couldn’t help but worry.
B’Elanna snuggled closer and Chakotay rested his head on the wall behind him. It wasn’t supposed to be like this, especially not tonight. Tonight, Chakotay had planned on holding Kathryn while she slept. He loved B’Elanna but it wasn’t quite the same. This mission was simple, a little food gathering, some trading for supplies, light diplomacy and few hours in the sunshine. The few hours of relaxing fresh air and the distance from the ship held promise; an interesting prelude to the quiet dinner he had planned for this evening. He closed his eyes and stroked B’Elanna’s wet hair, brushing it away from her face; she was sleeping.
It was a month ago today that he and Kathryn had their first official ‘date’ and since that time they had almost no privacy. After this mission they were both off duty for thirty-six hours and he planned an anniversary celebration. Kathryn had protested that one month of dating was hardly a monumental accomplishment, but Chakotay insisted. He knew she would never admit it but secretly she enjoyed the idea. He had planned a quiet evening in his quarters. A little dinner some dancing and no interruptions, he had taken pains to make sure –no interruptions.
The food had been prepared, the wine selected, he had even taken the time to carefully preprogram the music selection. Neelix had been recruited be sure the peace roses were freshly cut and properly placed; eleven at Kathryn’s place at the table and one on the pillow on the right side of his bed. Chakotay laughed to himself as he remember Neelix’s wide eyed silent nod when he received those particular instruction.
“What’s so funny?” B’Elanna slid her icy hands under his jacket.
“Spirits, B’E!” Chakotay yelped. “You’re freezing.”
“I know that. What the hell is so funny?”
“Nothing.” Chakotay gave the rocks another blast with his phase and settled back quickly. “I was just thinking.”
“This just wasn’t how I planned to spend tonight.”
“Me either.” B’Elanna raised her head and made a face. “Oh, big date tonight, I forgot.”
“You forgot? How did you even know?”
“How do you think I know?” She settled her head against his chest. “She told me.”
“Kathryn told you?”
“Yeah, well that is who you had a big date with isn’t it?”
“Of course it is. I just didn’t know she talked about it.”
“The woman has to have someone to talk when you are being a big, dumb, hard ass.”
“When have I ever…”
“Oh, please, let’s not even get into that!”
“OK, so what did she tell you about tonight?”
“None of your business.”
“B’E.” Chakotay grabbed her wrists and slid her hands out from under his jacket.
“Chak, you would let me freeze would you?” B’Elanna teased.
“B’Elanna, tell me what she said.”
“I’m not telling you.” B’Elanna laughed. “God, when did you get so insecure?”
“I’m not. Kathryn is my best friend. Why would I be insecure? I…” He looked down to find B’Elanna grinning. “You aren’t buying a word of this are you?”
“Nope.” She laughed and shook her head. “But if its helps, she was nervous too.”
“Yes, but its OK. You two made some big change in the last month.” She raised an eyebrow. “Can I get warm now?”
“Sure.” Chakotay pulled her closer. “I wish I knew where she was.”
“She’ll be here.”
“I know.” Chakotay sighed. “This just isn’t what I had planned.”
“What did you have planned?” B’Elanna snickered.
“Well, I sure wasn’t planning on holding you tonight.”
The noise that caught Chakotay’s attention was a scraping sound, he gently moved B’Elanna placing one hand on her mouth to signal her to remain quiet. The noise grew louder. Chakotay slowly stood and move toward the entrance of the cave. B’Elanna woke the others then followed, positioning herself on the opposite side of the cave entrance.
A dark figure stumbled through the entrance and dropped on the floor.
“Harry!” B’Elanna bent down to him. “Are you OK?”
“Where’s the Captain?”
“I’m right here.”
Chakotay spun around to find his soggy Captain standing in the entrance; Mike stood right behind her.
“Kathryn?” Chakotay gripped her shoulders examining her quickly; Kathryn stepped forward and rested her forehead briefly on his chest. “OK?”
“Fine.” She lifted her head and smile. “Cold, wet and tired but otherwise fine.”
B’Elanna quickly ushered Harry and Mike over to the side of the cave where Jenkins and Miller were still huddled together.
“Come and keep me warm.” She pushed Harry in front of her. “Mike, give those rocks a shot and get over here.”
Chakotay led Kathryn to the spot he and B’Elanna had occupied earlier. He heated the rocks and sat down next to her. Kathryn removed her wet jacket and snuggled close to his side.
“This isn’t the way I pictured it.”
“No, it isn’t exactly what I had in mind either.” Kathryn smiled. “I’m sure we will be back on Voyager tomorrow and it will be fine.”
Chakotay removed his jacket, draping it around her as she moved in and rested her head on his chest.
“Tell me what you had planned.”
“Right now we would be in my quarters. I would be seeing you in the soft glow of scented candles. We would share a quiet dinner and a bottle of wine. There were roses and soft music to dance to.”
“It sounds wonderful, Chakotay.” She lifted her head so that she could see him.
“It would have been—should have been a special night.”
“It would have been wonderful, Chakotay just the way you planned it and I’m sure when we get back it will be.”
“But it won’t be tonight. I know you think its silly but tonight was special.”
“No. We’re here, we’re safe and we’re together—tonight is special.” Kathryn kissed him softly. “Happy anniversary Chakotay.”
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