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Holding On

Damn it, damn it, damn it.  She was doing it again. He had found Kathryn sitting morosely on her couch looking at the passing stars through her view port, looking very withdrawn and sombre. He was dropping off the latest reports from engineering, and had intended to invite her to Sandrine’s for a game of pool and a drink with the senior staff after shift, but she was brusque and officious and there was no opportunity to ask her. She dismissed him without even looking at him.

 Here we go again, he thought, irked by her behaviour. He knew something was wrong.  She had been in her ready room for two days, probably even sleeping there if he knew her. He was trying to remember what had happened over the last couple of days that would affect her mood so drastically. There was the run in with yet another belligerent Delta quadrant race, but that was hardly out of the ordinary. Then he realised.  The letters from home. They had received another download from Pathfinder two days ago.  He wondered if it was news from home that had upset her so much.

Perhaps he should go and ask, but knowing Kathryn she would dismiss his concerns, tell him she was fine and stew on her own for a few days. If after that she felt the need, then she might tell him, but not before putting him and the crew through the ringer. Why couldn’t she just let him be there for her?  He was tired of the constant struggle of being her friend.  She was exhausting. He mentally shrugged and headed to the turbo lift, exasperated but worried for her all the same.

 As he wandered down the corridor he heard footsteps jogging up behind him.
“Wait up, Chakotay.” B’Elanna caught up with him in the corridor outside the mess hall.

“Hello, B’Elanna. How are things in engineering?” He was looking for something to say but was still preoccupied with his thoughts of Kathryn.

“They’re pretty good actually. The warp chamber overhaul is almost complete…” She continued chatting about the maintenance overhauls that were underway when she noticed he wasn’t really listening.  Feeling a little miffed at being ignored, she continued. “It would be finished a lot sooner if Vorik would stop swinging from the EPS conduits and Nicoletti quit sunbathing under the warp core, but we should be able to do warp eleven by tomorrow.”  She watched Chakotay out of the corner of her eye until she saw him do a double take and stop and stare at her.

“What did you just say?” He looked at her wide eyed, realising he’d been had.  He gave her an apologetic grin. “Sorry.”

She glared at him. “I should think so. Now that I have your attention, are you going to tell me what’s the matter or do I have to guess?” B’Elanna again watched him as he tried to decide whether or not to confide in her. She decided to try a different tack, fairly certain what or rather, who, was the problem.

“Is the Captain coming to Sandrine’s tonight? It would be great to see her relax for a change. She’s been a little elusive of late. Any idea what’s wrong with her?” B’Elanna hoped she hadn’t overstepped the mark with her question but she figured that the captain’s mood was invariably the reason for Chakotay being distracted.

He shrugged his shoulders. “To be honest I didn’t get a chance to ask her. She was very busy with those upgrades you sent her earlier. I got the feeling that she wasn’t keen on company.” Chakotay was trying to be diplomatic.

“So, she’s doing it again, is she? Here we go” snorted B’Elanna, not so diplomatically. She hated when the captain got into one of her moods. It set the tone for the whole ship and meant everybody was out of sorts until she came out of it. She felt sorry for her friend as he always seemed to bear the brunt of it. He cared so much about the captain and she seemed totally oblivious to his feelings. B’Elanna thought he should give it up and move on, but Tom was certain that the captain felt the same and just needed time to acknowledge her feelings. As far as B’Elanna was concerned, it had better happen soon.  Chakotay wasn’t getting any younger and neither was the captain, truth be told.

“Look, B’Elanna, this is not a conversation we should be having and certainly not here in the corridor.” She looked at him and raised her eyebrow.  He sighed. “How about I head back to the bridge and see how she feels about joining us. OK?”

“Good idea, Chakotay. Maybe she just needs to talk. You know how she keeps things to herself. Good luck. I’ll see you later”  B’Elanna headed off down the corridor towards the mess hall and Chakotay turned back towards the turbo lift and the unhappy woman upstairs.

Chakotay made his way across the bridge to the readyroom doors.  Looking at Tuvok he inclined his head towards the door in a silent question and Tuvok nodded back to affirm she was in there. Chakotay rang the chime before he had time to change his mind. He cared very deeply for Kathryn and hated seeing her so lonely and depressed, but these confrontations were difficult to say the least, and it was rare that he came away from them unscathed. If only he could convince her to see reason and relax those damn protocols. He wasn’t unaware of how difficult a relationship between the command team would be, but acknowledging their feelings couldn’t be any worse than the way things were at the moment. Even half a life had to be better than this limbo they lived in.

All this passed through his mind as he waited for her prompt to enter. Chakotay waited a moment and then rang the chime again, but there was still no response. Concerned, he tapped his comm badge. “Computer, locate Captain Janeway.”

“Captain Janeway is in the ready room.”
Chakotay looked at Tuvok. This was very unlike their captain. Tuvok overrode the lock from his tactical station and they both entered the room. Once in the dimly lit room, a quick look revealed an empty desk and chair, but on the upper level they could make out the slumped form of their Captain on the couch under the viewport. Chakotay bounded up the stairs and touched the side of her face.  It was warm.  He then gently squeezed her shoulder, leant close and quietly said  “Kathryn, are you alright?”

Her head jerked up and she stared at Chakotay and Tuvok.  Even in the low light her eyes looked haunted and drawn and Chakotay could swear he saw the remnants of tears. This wrenched at his heart.  In all the years they’d been in the Delta Quadrant, he had rarely seen her cry.  Tuvok watched as the captain’s eyes rested on the Commander. Satisfied that she was not in any danger or ill, he surmised his presence was better served elsewhere. “Captain, Commander, I shall return to the bridge.” Tuvok turned and left.

As the door hissed shut behind him, Chakotay looked at Kathryn. She still hadn’t said a word and was still staring at him with wide eyes. She suddenly turned away and Chakotay stood there not quite knowing what to do. He was torn between comforting her and risking rejection again, or just leaving and hoping she would work it out herself. He was about to turn away when he noticed her shoulders starting to shake, small shudders becoming more pronounced until wracking sobs were being wrenched from her tiny body. His heart ached to see her like this and all his anger dissolved in an instant. He did the only thing he could.  He knelt down and hugged her shuddering body close to his. He didn’t know anyone could cry so hard.

The sobs came from deep within her small frame. He gently stroked her head and back and murmured soothing words until the storm started to abate. Now came the difficult part of manoeuvring past her embarrassment to get to the problem. Finally after a few shaky breaths, Kathryn sat back slightly, but still stayed within his arms.  This gave Chakotay hope. He brushed her hair away from her damp cheeks. “What’s bothering you Kathryn? Please talk to me.  You can’t keep this to yourself. It’s destroying you.”

“I-I know, Chakotay, but it’s so hard.’ Her voice hitched as she spoke. “I never expected to be on duty for so many years without respite. It’s just so unrelenting and so lonely. I thought I was doing so well until a few days ago.  Funny how it just takes that one thing to tip the scale.” Kathryn turned her head towards the view port again.  Resting her head on his shoulder, she sighed.

Kathryn, you know you can tell me anything. What you say will never leave this room. Aside from everything else, I’m your friend and just at the moment I think you need one. Are your family Ok?” He tried to gauge her reaction but it wasn’t easy when he couldn’t see her eyes.

Reluctantly she lifted her head from his shoulder, turned back towards him and met his concerned gaze. As she watched him she thought the ‘everything else’ was a big part of the problem, but then again maybe it was the only answer.  Something had to change. She just didn’t have the stamina to fight the feelings anymore.  She sighed and wiped her eyes. He knew her too well. He had already figured that it was the letters from home that had caused her problem.

“My mother and sister are fine. My letter was from Mark.” She took a shuddering breath.  “He and his wife are expecting a baby.” Chakotay remained calm, trying to hold his mask in place, but seethed inwardly at the lack of empathy shown by her ex fiancé. She looked at his face and mistook his reaction. “Don’t get me wrong.  I’m very happy for them. It’s just that with the news, this cloud descended over me and I’ve been in a kind of fog ever since. After I read the letter, I went to the mess hall for breakfast. I sat at my usual seat, towards the back of the room, away from the crowd, and watched as many of the crew sat with their partners and friends. They laughed and joked, touched and smiled at one another and all of a sudden I felt so alone, almost as if I wasn’t really there. As much as I had isolated myself physically from the crew I realized that I had managed to isolate myself emotionally from them as well. It felt like the time the alien tried to take me into his matrix and I wandered the ship without being seen. I felt totally alone and aloof from everyone.” Kathryn took another deep breath and wiped at a stray tear. Chakotay took her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. She continued.

“I was suddenly overcome by this feeling of emptiness that was so deep I could barely breathe. I was acutely aware that I was sitting in the mess hall, but I couldn’t let the crew see me break down, and just when I started to gain control, Samantha and Naomi walked in. Naomi was chatting away to Samantha and there was such a connection between them.  She’s such a joy and I realized that motherhood was just another thing that I’d never experience.” Her voice started to waver. “We have all sacrificed so much, and I know it’s my fault we’re in this godforsaken quadrant, but the guilt and loneliness are killing me, literally I think. It was at that point I jumped out of my seat and ran all the way back to my readyroom. I’ve been sitting here ever since trying to get my thoughts in order.” She tried to smile. “It hasn’t worked, by the way. I’m still as confused as ever. I really don’t know what to do.” She didn’t want to cry again but the lump in her throat and the tightness in her chest were making it difficult to talk. Chakotay ran his fingers down her cheek, then got up and went to the replicator and got them both a cup of tea.

He sat back down beside her and handed her the drink. She took a sip and placed the mug on the table.

“Kathryn, I know you don’t want to hear this again, but you’re not alone. The crew love and respect you enormously. We have been here in the Delta Quadrant for 6 years now and I think the time has come for you to relax a little. Keeping command distance is an important part of captaining a vessel in the alpha quadrant, where transfers are frequent and autonomy is imperative, but here with our ‘Voyager family’, you have to allow yourself some down time.” He reached over and tilted her head up towards him and their eyes held each other. “You have to make time to laugh, play, be silly if you feel like it, run amok on the holodeck, have a food fight in the mess hall. God knows most of Neelix’s food could be classified as weaponry.”

Chakotay heard a small grunt of laughter from his companion. “The crew won’t think any less of you, and it’s not that they mean to ignore you.  It’s just that your standards are so high that they don’t want to disappoint you.” He clasped her hand and brought it to his chest. “Kathryn, you deserve a life just like every other crew member on board. We all care for one another and look after each other.” His kissed the back of her fingers and rested both their hands on his thigh. “Just last night I saw the Delaney twins with Mike Ayala in the mess hall.” Kathryn quirked an eyebrow at Chakotay.

“No, it’s not what you’re thinking.” He smiled. “Yesterday was one of Mike’s sons’ birthdays.” Kathryn groaned as a wave of guilt washed over her. He noticed. “Stop it, Kathryn. He’s ok.  The girls were just sitting with him offering support and friendship. Ashmore had split his comm. time with Mike so he could wish his son a happy birthday and Mike was regaling them with stories about them. These are good people, Kathryn.  Not one of them would think badly of you if you let yourself relax. God, they would welcome it. I so much want them to get to know the Kathryn I know and love.”
Kathryn gasped at Chakotay’s revelation. He had been so caught up in his lecture he hadn’t realised what he’d said. He slowly raised his eyes to her face and watched her, carefully trying to gauge her reaction. It was make or break time. Kathryn squeezed his hand and let out a long breath.

“I didn’t think you still felt that way about me. I didn’t think that you could after all the things I’ve put you through over the years. Sometimes I’ve wondered how you can bear to be near me after the way I’ve treated you. You have every right to despise me, you know.”  She looked down at the floor as tears gathered in her eyes.

“Kathryn, ours has not been an easy road, but I wouldn’t change a day of it. Being by your side these last 6 years has been a joy. I wouldn’t wish to trade it for anything. Your guilt is misplaced though.  You saw for yourself how happy the crew is. They have made a life here in the Delta Quadrant, a good life, and they know that one day they’ll get back to Earth. You promised them and their faith in you is boundless. You realise of course, that had we been in the Alpha Quadrant that many of us would most likely be dead. The Maquis would have been slaughtered and many of the Starfleet crew would have died in the Dominion war. We really should thank our lucky stars that we were flung here when we were and you’re not alone in you feelings of guilt. When I received word of the Maquis massacre on Tevlik, I felt I should have been there, but realized that all that would have achieved was my death.”  The very thought of that made Kathryn cringe and she grasped his hand tighter. He again stroked her cheek. “So Kathryn, your decision to save the Ocampa also saved all our lives. You couldn’t have made a better decision even if there were alternatives.”

Kathryn sat looking at this man with eyes full of wonder. How did he do this? Just when she thought there was no way out, he managed to turn the whole argument around and make everything alright. God, she loved this man. That thought made her sit up straight. That was it, wasn’t it?  She loved him. Had loved him for what seemed like forever.  It was a deep abiding love that moved her so intensely that it often made her heart ache with longing. She had to tell him. Make him understand that she couldn’t go on without him any longer. Her survival depended on it. It almost made her laugh out loud at the thought that she, Kathryn Janeway, needed this man so profoundly that to not have him by her side scared her to her very core. Therein lay her dilemma. What if something happened to him? Life in the Delta Quadrant was so unpredictable, but then life itself was unpredictable.  Their presence in the Delta Quadrant was evidence enough of that. The question she had to answer was, was she willing to continue along the path she had been travelling and slowly die from the inside out or was it time to let him into her life and enjoy whatever time they had.

How simple it seemed. Here he was easing her burdens as he had promised so long ago. He was always at her side.  For some reason protocol and regulations just didn’t seem all that important all of a sudden. She looked into Chakotay’s dark eyes with wonder. It was all still there, love, respect, adoration and beneath all of those things a glint of lust. Slowly Kathryn raised her hand and gently stroked his face and then her fingers traced his tattoo. His skin was warm and soft. She could feel the slight bristles of his shaven cheek. Her senses seemed to have been heightened. She moved her face closer to him and could detect his scent which was warm and smoky and reminded her of home. Chakotay sat quietly while Kathryn ran her fingers over his face and neck. She seemed so intent on her task that he didn’t want to disturb her by touching her. His fear that she would recoil from his touch and break this spell, made him sit quietly just watching her face. Her expression was one of wonder and amazement, as if seeing something extraordinary for the first time. She raised her eyes to his and spoke quietly, almost a whisper. “I love you, Chakotay.”

Chakotay closed his eyes slowly and a single tear travelled down his cheek. Kathryn leaned forward slowly and kissed the tear off his cheek then kissed his other cheek. She showered his face with light tender kisses, slowly making her way towards his lips, first kissing one corner of his mouth, then the other. As she worked her way along, nibbling his lips, she raised herself up and straddled his lap, allowing her easier access to his face and body. Chakotay sat and let her set the pace. Kathryn was kissing along his tattoo and as she sat back, she looked into his eyes. He was stunned.  She really did love him.  It was there plainly written all over her face. The open look of love was something he would remember forever. She was gently caressing his face as they slowly moved together and their lips met. The kiss was sweet and tender, but quickly deepened, and the first touch of her tongue on his sent a jolt through his body, straight to his groin. Kathryn became aware of his growing arousal and started rocking herself against him trying to ease the delicious ache between her legs. It had been so long. She was kissing him passionately, her heated body rubbing up against his. The situation was rapidly getting out of control. Kathryn’s emotional roller coaster ride was taking her way past any parameters she had in place. Not willing to risk her withdrawal later, Chakotay decided to take the higher ground and slowly eased back from her kisses and gently stroked her back in an attempt to sooth rather than excite.

“Kathryn, I love you too, but I think maybe we should take this slowly.” He leaned back and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. Kathryn closed her eyes at the gentle intimacy of the gesture. He was looking after her again, saving her from herself. Little did he realize she didn’t want to be saved? She slowly slid off his lap to sit close beside him on the couch, still touching. She took a few deep breaths to regain her equilibrium, then turned to see him smiling at her. As the flood of arousal began to ebb, she remembered they were in her ready room.

She touched his cheek again. “Let’s go to my quarters for dinner, my treat, and we can continue this ‘discussion’ after we’ve had some sustenance. I think we’re going to need it.” As she said this she quirked her crooked smile at him and raised an eyebrow. His heart was racing.  What a woman. She started to get up and held her hand out to pull him from the seat.

“That would be lovely” he said “but I might need a few minutes before I walk across the bridge.” He looked down at his lap. Kathryn followed his gaze, noting his erection.  She smiled and felt a warm hum of arousal run through her body. To give him time she went into the small bathroom, washed her face and tidied up. They then left the ready room arm in arm a few minutes later, walking across the bridge to the turbo lifts. Tuvok acknowledged their departure with a slight nod, inwardly sighing with relief that his commanding officers seemed to have overcome whatever problems they had been having. He had many times been tempted to speak to the captain about her isolation, planning to use logic to argue that it was not healthy for a human individual to remain so aloof from her people. It appeared however that the commander had things well in hand.  Satisfied, he turned back to his tactical station and continued his diagnostics.
The turbo lift ride took forever. They stood side by side with only the back of their hands touching. They maintained correct command distance as they made their way down the corridor to the captain’s quarters, the tension sizzling between them. Kathryn tapped in her code, the doors swished open and they stepped through. As soon as the doors closed, Kathryn turned and shoved Chakotay back against the bulkhead. She leapt at him, grabbing his head and hauling it down to her mouth for a soul shattering kiss. She couldn’t get enough of him. Her tongue plunged into his mouth and tangled with his, tasting one another, trying to get into each others skin. Chakotay shifted slightly and slid his thigh between her legs. She ground her aching centre against him. She was tearing at his uniform, trying to untuck his shirt, desperate to feel his skin. Both were breathing in gasps. Chakotay gripped her around the waist and shifted her away from him. She looked up at him with shocked, desire filled eyes.  Reaching down she cupped him through his trousers, feeling his heat and hardness. He took a deep breath. “Kathryn, we have to slow down a bit or I’m not going to last.”

Her breath was coming in short gasps.  “I don’t want to slow down….. I have been… at a standstill for so long …and I want you so badly.  I need you now.” She was standing in front of him, her lips swollen, her hair in disarray, and her hips rocking. Chakotay groaned.  It was too much for him.  He reached forward and tore her uniform open down the front. In a flurry of clothes, both were soon naked, standing, staring at each other, chests heaving. They took a tentative step towards one another, then another, and then suddenly they were pressed together, thigh to thigh, groin to groin, chest to breast.  With the contact, Kathryn’s legs went from under her. “Oh God, Chakotay, please…” She groaned. He picked her up and she wrapped her legs around his hips. Chakotay swung around and her back and head thudded against the wall. She was so aroused she didn’t feel a thing. Her entire being was focused on her hot centre and she ground herself against Chakotay. He brought his hand down and slid a finger through her curls and over her clitoris making her thrust her hips forward. As he inserted one finger and then two into her warm depths Kathryn let out a long moan and started riding his fingers. She was so wet and ready. “Please Chakotay, please oh God it’s coming, oh God, it’s been so long.” She was panting, her head thrown back and her eyes closed. He removed his fingers and slowly slid his aching cock into her hot channel. Once he was fully encased in her depths, he stopped moving, taking time to savour the moment. Kathryn was lost.  She started grinding herself down on his erection but had trouble finding any leverage. He lifted her slightly, grabbed her hips and began to thrust into her. With each thrust, Kathryn moaned.  “Deeper, oh God, that feels so good, oh God, harder, please.” He was pounding into her.  He leaned over and took one of her nipples in his mouth and sucked.  He could feel the walls of her vagina starting to clench. “Come on, Kathryn, come for me, baby.  That’s it.  Here it comes.”  Just as she thought she could take no more, he moved his hand down to where they were joined and massaged her clitoris.  Her orgasm slammed into her. She arched her back as waves of ecstasy rolled over her.  The walls of her vagina rhythmically gripped his cock, sending him over the top. Chakotay let out a loud groan as he spurted into her, his knees gave way and they slid to the floor still joined.

Kathryn slowly opened her eyes and looked at Chakotay. A wicked grin crept over her face. Relieved that she was not withdrawing, he slowly matched her smile, dimples in full force.

“Do you think we can do that again soon?” she asked, still with a wicked glint in her eye. Chakotay chuckled, the movement making her sensitive tissues jerk and clench again. He looked at her.  She was a wreck, hair mussed, face flushed and blotchy with fading arousal, sweat dripping down her neck, but he had never seen her look more beautiful. She looked so human, so Kathryn, that he fell in love all over again.

“Just give me a minute. I’m not a young man anymore.” He leaned forward and kissed her nose. At the same time he began caressing her back and sliding his hands down her arms. Bringing both of her hands up to his mouth, he placed a kiss on each of her palms. Replacing her hands he brought one of his hands up and with his finger slowly traced the path of a bead of moisture as it made its way from her neck, down her front to between her breasts. It was now his turn to take inventory. She watched as his finger moved up over her breast and around her nipple. He bent forward, licking the pink bud and then blowing on it, delighting as he watched it pucker. He did the same to Kathryn’s other breast and heard her sharp inhalation as he gently pinched each nipple between his thumb and forefinger. He cupped her breasts in his hands, feeling their weight and shape and then began rubbing his palms across her nipples. He looked up into her eyes.  They were dark and clouded with arousal. Kathryn was caressing his chest and lightly raking her nails down his front. She leaned forward and kissed and nuzzled Chakotay’s neck, licking the drops of sweat and then gently sucking and nibbling his skin. She took his mouth again in a passionate kiss and she could feel him hardening inside her. She started to slowly move on him and felt him swell even more. She placed her hands on his chest and pushed him until he was lying on the floor with her straddling him and his cock deeply imbedded in her warmth. She began rising and lowering herself on his erection and then grinding herself down on him in a circular motion.  He was so deep inside her and in this position he was ploughing against her G-spot. She was in heaven and so was Chakotay. She had her hands on his chest bracing herself as her pace quickened. Another orgasm was building, stronger than the first. Suddenly Chakotay sat up and flipped them over so he was on top. He took his weight on his elbows and started slamming into her. She was making a grunting noise with each thrust.  She could feel him hammering her cervix. She couldn’t get enough of him, his scent, his feel, his maleness. Then it came.  Her body snapped taut as a bow, muscles clenching.  He continued pounding into her until he let his orgasm flood her depths. He collapsed on her but quickly rolled to the side taking her with him. He held her close, nuzzling her hair and murmuring words of love. Kathryn moved away slightly and raised herself up on one elbow and looked at Chakotay.

“God, that was amazing.  You were amazing. I never realized it would be like that.”

He looked directly at her and with a gentle smile said. “I did.”  He spoke with such certainty that it brought tears to her eyes. Here was a man who had loved her for all these years and had never doubted his love. He was steadfast and true and it made her heart swell.  She was a very lucky woman and she swore to herself that she would honour that love and stand by this man for as long as he’d have her.

“What’s this?” he asked, wiping the tears from her cheeks. She looked at him and smiled at him through her tears.

“I feel whole again, and I haven’t for such a long time. I’m…. joyful, and, I love you.” She leaned forward and kissed him. It was a kiss filled with love and gentleness and adoration. She was home.  His love had filled all those empty places that had made her soul echo with need. She slowly drew back from the kiss and smiled at her lover. “I know this is outrageous, but do you think we might make it to the bed sometime soon.”

Chakotay guffawed, sat up and swung her into his arms. She let out a yelp as he hoisted her into the air. He carried her to the bedroom and none too gently dropped her in the middle of the bed and then flopped down beside her. He was revelling in the joy of being able to touch her, caress her, kiss her and show his love without fear of rejection. He could hardly contain himself.  He wanted to shout it to the world. He looked down at his lover and she smiled up at him and then yawned.

“Oh my, Chakotay, I’m so sorry. That wasn’t terribly sexy, was it? It’s been a big day, rather life changing and all of a sudden I’m so tired.”  She slid off the bed to pull the covers back. Chakotay moved off the bed on the other side and stood, suddenly unsure of what to do. Would she want him to stay or to return to his quarters?  Should he ask or should he just climb in next to her and assume? He hated this feeling of insecurity. Kathryn noticed his ambivalence and took the decision out of his hands. She pulled the covers back on the other side of the bed and invited him in. She reassured him. “I’m not going back, my love. I have you now and you’re not getting away. You’re in my heart and I want you in my life, and in my bed. We can do this. We’ll find a balance and make this work. I’m just sorry that I waited so long.”  She snuggled into his side and he wrapped his arm around her pulled her close. She kissed his jaw and continued.
“I know we have a lot to talk about and sort out, things like living arrangements and what to tell the crew but, can we do it in the morning? All I can think of now is sleeping in your arms.”  She caressed his cheek and kissed him sweetly on the lips. “Goodnight, Chakotay.  I love you and always will.” He stroked her arm as she quietly dropped off to sleep.

He lay there, in her bed, looking up at the unfamiliar ceiling holding her in his arms listening to her gentle breathing. He didn’t want to sleep and miss this precious time alone with her. In a way he needed this time to come to terms with the dramatic changes this day had brought. He was somewhat overwhelmed by today’s events. When he woke this morning the last thing he thought was that he would be sleeping in her bed tonight after hours of soul shattering love making. Life was full of surprises, especially, it seemed, where Kathryn Janeway was concerned. He watched her face as she slept, the lines of tension disappeared, her features softened and she looked younger and so beautiful. He stroked her hair away from her face.  She snuffled and wriggled herself closer.  He smiled to himself and closing his eyes, finally drifted into a peaceful sleep.

“The time is 0600, the time is 0600” chimed the computer next morning. Chakotay rolled over and groaned. He picked up a pillow and pulled it over his head. His senses were assailed with Kathryn’s scent and the different feel of the sheets. He lifted the pillow up and peeked out from under. Yep, he was in Kathryn’s bed, but without Kathryn. The events of last night rushed back to him suddenly and he sat bolt upright in bed and looked around. Sitting at the end of the bed was Kathryn, his lover, his love, sipping on a cup of coffee, dressed in her uniform and smiling at him. To his relief, she looked happy and content. He blasted her with his dimples and reached for her coffee cup. She handed it over and he took a sip. “Now I definitely know this is for real.  You shared your coffee with me. Does that mean we are engaged?” he joked.

“If you want” she replied offhandedly as she stood up, turned and walked into the other room.

Chakotay was stunned. He wanted to yell, yes, yes, let’s be engaged. Let’s be married. Let’s do it now before you change your mind. A series of images flashed through his mind; her in a simple white dress, surrounded by flowers; her belly swollen with child; a chubby golden baby suckling at her breast and her face joyful and laughing as she chased a small dark haired child through the long grass, as he carried a small red haired baby in his arms. He shook his head to clear the images of his fantasy.  He climbed out of bed and followed Kathryn into her living area. She was standing looking out of the view port as he came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her. He whispered in her ear. “Kathryn, did you mean that?” He gripped her shoulders and turned her around to face him. They made an interesting pair. She dressed immaculately in her Starfleet uniform and he completely naked. The symbolism was not lost on Chakotay. He looked in her eyes and asked the question. “Kathryn Janeway, will you marry me?”

She stood there looking at him with an unreadable expression on her face. The look on his face was as naked as the rest of him. His soul laid bare. He stood there staring deep into her eyes trying to read her thoughts, expecting to be rejected, not quite knowing what he would do if he was. Her answer when it came was a quick nod, so quick in fact that he almost missed it. Then she leapt forward and wrapped her arms around his neck and murmured “Yes, oh yes, oh yes please. I love you.”

So that was that. In the space of less than 24 hours the command team of the Starship Voyager had gone from colleagues and friends to lovers and now to future husband and wife. Chakotay stepped back and took her face in his hands. “May I kiss you, Captain?”

She looked at the man she loved and nodded her head. “By all means.  Permission granted, Commander.”  They sealed the pact with a soul shattering kiss.

Chakotay stepped back and suddenly became aware of his lack of attire. “I should probably get dressed.”  Kathryn looked him up and down lasciviously. She reached down and took his growing erection in her hand and stroked along his length a few times.

“I don’t know.  I could get used to this.” She wiggled her eyebrows at him.

“I don’t think Tuvok would approve. I can hear him now. ‘Captain I cannot see the logic of having the Commander naked whilst on duty. Certain parts of his anatomy might become a hazard if there was an emergency.’” They both laughed at the thought and Chakotay’s mimicry. Looking at her happy face he was overcome with joy. He picked her up around the waist. Spun her around and carried her to their bed. A muffled squeal emanated from the captain’s quarters and echoed up the corridor of deck three.  For the first time ever the command team were very late for duty, but nobody cared.

The End



Some flowers used to make the contest graphics from