By Maquis Leader
Author’s note: I’ve taken one liberty with Endgame. I moved the scene between Chakotay and Seven where he begged her not to dump him (gag) to the night before Admiral Janeway took her shuttle into the nebula. Personally, I didn’t think he’d be in astrometrics five minutes before starting their attack on the transwarp hub. Basically what you saw on TV -- you see here as well. Except with a twist and the right J/C ending, of course.
Author’s note 2: A big thanks to Cress for bugging me to enter the Artist contest. I played with my Remembering Chakotay picture and it ended up looking really cool.
Chakotay was slightly uncomfortable under Admiral Janeway’s scrutiny. She was looking at him as if she hadn’t seen him in a very long time. Hungrily, as if he were a rabbit and she was a wolf that hadn’t eaten in a long time. “Relax, Chakotay, I won’t bite.” The corner of her mouth lifted in a crooked smile. “Not too hard anyway.”
He smiled in return and relaxed against the back of the sofa.
“That smile should be illegal.” She laughed. “How did I ever manage to resist you all those years?”
“You tell me and we’ll both know.” He smiled again.
Handing him a cup of tea, she sat on the sofa next to him. “Don’t flirt with me. I’m old enough to be your mother, hell, maybe even your grandmother.”
He laughed. “I’d never mistake you for my mother, Kathryn, or my grandmother.”
Patting his leg, she let her hand rest on his thigh. “You’re lying, but I love you for it.”
The words made his heart beat faster. Even at her age, Admiral Janeway was still a beautiful woman. Sitting here with him, she looked younger than she had when she first appeared on the main screen. She was smiling a mysterious smile and the lines and bitterness had faded. Her thumb rubbed circles on his thigh and he felt himself hardening in response. The smoky blue eyes were looking at him as if he were the only man in the universe. He knew he should look away and break eye contact with her, but it was too easy to bask in her attention. Too easy to let her feed his male ego with her obvious adoration. Now if only his Kathryn Janeway would look at him this way.
Lifting a hand to her hair, Chakotay rubbed the silver strands between his fingers. “Is this from putting up with me all these years?”
“I started going gray about six months ago. Almost overnight.” She patted her hair self consciously. “I’m still not quite used to it, but I’m too vain to dye it.”
“You’re still a beautiful woman, Kathryn.”
“And you were always so handsome.” Her hand came up to touch his tattoo, traced it lovingly. “Chakotay…” she followed the blue-black lines in their ever connecting pattern.
“Kathryn?” Her lower lip was trembling and tears had pooled in the blue eyes. Had he hurt her so terribly that it affected her this much years later?
Leaning forward, she placed a kiss where her fingers had been, freeing them to slide into his raven hair. Resting her cheek against his, she breathed in his unique scent. Warm, masculine, and spicy. God, how she’d missed him!
His arms went around her to cradle her to his chest, hands stroking her quivering back and shoulders. “Shh… everything will be okay.” Her lips touched his temple, his cheek, and then before he realized, she was kissing him. Gently but thoroughly, her tongue slipping past his lips as he gasped in surprise.
When he didn’t respond, she pulled back. His arms tightened suddenly, holding her against him. His mouth slanted across hers, tongue plunging in to taste her. The scent of her surrounded him and intoxicated him, making his blood burn through his veins.
Her hands moved over his broad shoulders and down his chest. Pulling down the zipper of his jacket, she slid her hand inside to caress the muscles under the gray shirt, her fingers brushed one of his nipples and it hardened instantly for her.
“Wait.” Chakotay pushed her back gently. “I can’t.”
“I know, I know. You’re not mine.” She rested her head on his shoulder. “I’ve missed your gentleness.”
“Kathryn –” the chirp of his combadge interrupted him.
“Seven of Nine to Chakotay.”
Looking away from the Admiral, he tapped his badge. “Chakotay here.”
“Commander, our – “ Seven paused. “Meeting was scheduled for 2200 hours. It is now 2210.”
“I’m in a – “ It was his turn to pause. “ A meeting right now.”
Admiral Janeway laid her hand on his forearm. “I need to talk to you, please stay, Chakotay.” He turned to look at her. “ I promise to keep my hands to myself.”
“Seven, I’m going to have to cancel tonight. I have a friend who needs to talk to me.”
“Understood. Can we reschedule for tomorrow morning?”
“I’ll let you know. Chakotay out.”
“Thank you.” The Admiral took a PADD out of the small bag she’d carried on board with her. “Before you read this, I want you to know that I didn’t tell him then because I thought it would only embarrass him. I didn’t think it was important. I was wrong.”
He took the PADD from her, eyebrows raised at her cryptic statement. The stardate was roughly three months earlier. “This is your personal log.”
“Yes and my official log as well.” Her gaze was steady and true. To hell with the temporal prime directive.
He read the contents, shock changing to anger as he read about Seven’s holodeck experiments into human emotion. “She used me? To – to practice?” The dark eyes glittered angrily. “And you didn’t tell me?”
“I thought it would hurt you, and I was right.” She rubbed her forehead. “I called her on the carpet. Told her and the Doctor to keep their mouths shut and told her to never do this type of thing again.”
“And you didn’t think I should know?” The words were forced past clenched teeth.
“Not then, no. Now, yes.” She sighed. “I couldn’t see where it would do anything but harm. I was happy that you’d finally managed to be more than just civil to Seven. If I’d known she’d go after the real thing – I would have let her keep playing with the damn hologram.”
“This didn’t make you angry?” Chakotay threw the PADD down. “Didn’t you care?”
“Of course I cared, Chakotay. I was madder than hell! As far as I was concerned, you were mine and she could keep her mitts off.” Taking a hypospray from the bag, she adjusted the setting and placed it to her neck. “On the other hand, I was happy she wanted to be more human. I didn’t want to set back her progress.”
Chakotay took the hypospray from her before she could put it away. “Tetracynel?”
“A new migraine medication the Doctor developed. I gave up coffee, I couldn’t give up the headaches.” The hypo went back into her bag. “ Little did I know that Seven would decide to start a real relationship with you. Her hologram hadn’t been anything like you. She’d edited the parameters until you were more like a teenage boy than a man. In her program, she slept with you but there was no sex.”
“She may not have been too far off. She’s scared and shy. I’ve been taking things very slowly with her. Not wanting to let her see what a man can be like.” Chakotay shook his head angrily. “I’m such a fool.”
“You’re a kind man, Chakotay. Gentle and sensitive.” She patted his cheek. “And naïve as hell. How did you ever survive as a Maquis? You’ve been taken advantage of so many times.”
His eyes narrowed. “Thanks for understanding.”
“I wouldn’t have you any other way. You’re a good man.” Her arms went around him again for a quick hug. “I didn’t know that you and Seven were dating. You were very discrete. Not until the night you told me you wouldn’t be going with me on shore leave to this beautiful little planet we’d found. You would be going with Seven.” Her eyes closed.
“So, where do you want to go first, Chakotay?”
“Kathryn, I – I’m not going to go with you.”
“What?” Kathryn turned from the viewport where she’d been watching the blue and green planet turn. “Don’t tell me you’re not taking leave? This place is a paradise. There’s hot springs…”
“I’ll be going down with Seven.”
“Seven? Do you want her to come with us?” She stopped. “You want to be alone with her?”
“Yes.” Chakotay looked at the floor, the sofa, anywhere but her eyes. “Seven and I have been seeing each other for the past two months.”
“When? I’ve never seen – “ He’d stopped joining her for dinner and then lunch. She rarely saw him off duty anymore. How could she not have seen what was happening? “I see.”
“Seven’s new to this sort of thing. We wanted to keep it quiet. But now – “
“But now things have changed?”
“I – I care for her, Kathryn. And I want it to be out in the open.”
“I’m happy for you.” She forced a smile onto her face.
“Kathryn, I don’t mean to hurt you.” He stepped towards her.
“Why would you think it would hurt me? We’re only friends, after all.”
“You’re right. What was I thinking?” His jaw hardened. “Only friends.”
The door snapped shut behind him and her heart snapped in two. Falling to the floor, she clutched her chest; the pain was agonizing, crushing her. Sobs tore out of her. “You promised… you promised… you promised…”
She opened her eyes. The pain in her heart was as strong as it had been that day 26 years ago.
“Kathryn, are you okay?” Chakotay had become concerned when she’d clutched her chest. “Do you need to go to sickbay?”
“There’s no cure for a broken heart, Chakotay.” She sighed. “Except time. Or so they tell me.”
“I never meant to hurt you.” He said it for himself and for his other self in the Admiral’s timeline. Hurting Kathryn was the very last thing he wanted.
“I’ve always said that if I’d known, I’d have fought for you.” She laughed bitterly. “I’d forgotten how stubborn I could be. She’s pretending she’s happy for you – just like I did.”
“You’re not here to save Seven, are you?” He got up from the sofa. “You’re not here to save Tuvok or even Voyager.” Kathryn had told him what the Admiral had told her about Seven’s death and Tuvok’s illness.
“No, I’m here to save us.” She stood up as well, grasping the front of his jacket. “Voyager will get home earlier, Tuvok will be cured, and Seven will be saved. But I’m here for us! I’ll do whatever it takes!”
“Then how do I know you didn’t make all this up?”
“Feel free to ask your Kathryn – better yet ask Seven. Hell, check my logs. Do you want my security codes?” She sat back down on the sofa. “I can wait. After all, I have nothing but time.”
“I do not understand your anger, Chakotay. You were the most logical choice. You are kind and caring and you have proven you can be discrete. After all, you have kept your feelings from the Captain for seven years.”
“Logical? I thought you had some feeling for me!”
“I do care for you. I wish to form a collective with you – “
“A collective?” He backed away. His old fear of the Borg resurfaced.
“I – I believe I love you.” Seven struggled with the strange feelings. “I am anxious to see you and unhappy when you are not with me.”
“You used me to – feel – to – “ Turning, he smashed a fist into a console.
Startled, Seven backed away. Chakotay had never displayed
violent tendencies previously. He
appeared angry and hurt as a result of her actions. “I do not understand.”
Was this what the Admiral had meant when she had told her that Chakotay
would be hurt because of her?
“You can’t use people – experiment with feelings and emotions! I’m not a hologram!”
“The hologram was a mistake, I understand that now. Captain Janeway pointed out to me that such programs are unethical and can result in hurt feelings. I complied.”
“And I’m the guinea pig to help you with these ‘real life experiences’?” He slapped his hands down on the console. Chakotay was so angry that tremors shook his body. “I’m honored!”
“You were the logical choice.” Seven repeated. His anger disturbed her and she felt uneasy. Was this fear?
“Our little scene in Astrometrics tonight – you wanting to end it – was that another experiment? A real life experience? ”
“No – “ Perhaps if she explained it in a more logical fashion? “I – I knew I could count on your gentleness and kindness. Another man might be forceful or inconsiderate of my wishes. I knew that you would wait until I was ready to initiate a sexual relationship.”
“Is that what you thought?” He advanced on her, backing her against the storage racks. He was tired of being controlled. Tired of being kept on a leash like a dog. “You thought you could control me?”
“I – I – “ she stuttered as he grabbed her arms. His mouth slammed down on hers. She tried to twist away, but he held her too tightly. Strong fingers squeezed her jaw painfully forcing her to open her mouth.
Chakotay thrust his tongue in and out of her mouth, fucking her with his tongue and grinding his mouth against hers until he tasted blood when her teeth cut into her lips. She staggered as he stepped back. The ice blue eyes were wide with fear. “Maybe you need to see what being with a man is really like.”
Pushing her to the floor of the cargo bay, he held her down with his weight while he tore her jumpsuit down the front. He knew this was exactly why she’d chosen him over the other men on the ship. Her fear and hesitancy about sex had made her pick the one man she knew would never force her. He squeezed her breasts and ground his hips into hers, enjoying the terror in her eyes.
“Add this to your ‘real life experiences’, Seven.” Getting to his feet, he left her lying frightened and crying on the cargo bay floor.
In his quarters, Chakotay sat on the floor under the viewport. He’d calmed down during the walk back and was appalled at what he’d done to Seven. He’d never been violent with a woman. Even with Seska’s betrayal, he’d kept his emotions firmly in check.
Resting his head back against the bulkhead, he contemplated the mess that was his life. He had a Borg who wanted to form a collective with him, but please, no sex until I’m ready. A Captain he loved who might love him back but who refused to come out from behind the Starfleet rulebook. And an Admiral who had 26 years on him and who’d profess her love and take him to bed in a heartbeat if he asked. “Oh Spirits, help me.” He pleaded. There was a crash in the bedroom. Getting up, he moved quickly into the bedroom. Was there someone in his quarters? “Computer, is there anyone besides myself in here?”
“Has anyone else been in my quarters?”
“Captain Janeway was present at 0730 hours.”
No one since Kathryn had stopped by to walk with him to the mess hall this morning. Turning, he noticed the picture of himself and Kathryn that he kept on the bedside table had fallen to the floor. It was one he’d taken on New Earth just days before Voyager had come back for them. He set it carefully back on the table.
Kathryn Janeway bolted upright in bed. Someone was in her quarters, right next to her bed. “Computer lights!” She scrambled to the bedside table for the phaser she kept there. “Chakotay?” He was sitting in the floor against the side of the bed. The broad shoulders and raven hair were unmistakable. “Chakotay?” Crawling across the bed, she leaned over to look at him.
“Kathryn.” He answered softly.
“Are you okay? Are you sick?” His forehead felt cool.
“I have a pain. A horrible pain.” His hands were pressed to his chest.
“Oh my, God! Sickbay! Medical emergency!” Rolling off the bed to kneel next to him, she ran her hands over him looking for an injury.
“Please state the nature of the medical emergency.” The Doctor materialized beside her.
“I don’t know, he says he’s in pain!”
The Doctor ran his medical scanner over Chakotay. “He’s fine.”
“What?” She snatched the scanner out of his hand. “There must be something wrong with this. He says he’s in horrible pain, help him!”
“He doesn’t look like he’s in any pain.” The hologram repossessed his scanner. “I’m sorry, you’re right. The first diagnosis was wrong.”
“See! Now help him!”
“He’s as healthy as an ox. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an expectant Klingon to check on.” The Doctor vanished.
“Wait! Come back here, you worthless excuse for a tricorder!” Turning back to Chakotay, Kathryn pulled his shirt up. There were no marks on his chest. “What happened? Is it something you ate? Did you – I’ll make him – “
“Kathryn, there’s no cure for a broken heart.” His voice was soft, almost a whisper.
Sitting back on her heels, she took in the mussed hair and the despair in the lines of his body. “Chakotay, look at me.” The black velvet eyes were filled with an agony no medical scanner could ever detect. A pain that tore at her heart. She put her arms around him and guided his head to her shoulder.
“I thought I could move on. You don’t love me like I love you.”
“That’s not true.” She stroked his hair. “I love you, Chakotay, more than anything.”
“Not more than your precious Starfleet.”
“I could care less about Starfleet! I care about our crew. Our having a relationship could adversely affect them.”
“I said bullshit.” He pushed her away and got to his feet. “You’re afraid. Plain and simple.”
“I’m not afraid of anything.” She stood up as well.
“Will you stop saying that?”
Leaning forward until his nose touched hers, Chakotay repeated softly. “Bullshit.” Her eyes narrowed. “You’re a coward.” He added.
Anger boiled up in her. How dare he suggest she was afraid just because she held onto her Starfleet principles? Putting her hands on his chest, she shoved him backwards.
Staggering back, the mattress hit him in the back of his knees and he fell onto the bed. “Kathryn, all you have to do is ask.” He smiled as he lay back.
“It’ll be a cold day in hell!”
She stood over him, hands on her hips and breathing hard. Chakotay could see her nipples through the blue silk of her gown. He grew hard as he watched her breasts rising and falling with each agitated breath. “You want me, you’re just too damn stubborn to admit it.”
“The Admiral kissed me.” Grinning at the sight of her jaw dropping open, he added. “She groped me, too.”
“You – she – you kissed her?”
“No. She kissed me.” He licked his lips. “Very thoroughly. You’re good with your tongue, Kathryn. Or did she learn that later?”
“That’s -- she’s – old!” She sputtered.
“Older women make better lovers. I lost my virginity to a woman twice my age.” He closed his eyes. “Oh, now she knew what she was doing.”
First Seven and now the Admiral! Did everyone on her ship but her get to kiss her first officer? “You let her kiss you? Why?”
“Why not? Maybe I should go back and see if she wants company.” He got up off the bed.
“You’d go to bed with her? How could you?”
“She’s you, after all. Something’s better than nothing.” Shrugging, he walked to the bedroom door. “Maybe she’ll tell you what you’ve been missing.”
Kathryn didn’t know if she should laugh or cry. It seemed ludicrous. The day before they got home, Chakotay was going to cheat on her – with herself! “Wait!” He stopped and turned. “Don’t go.”
“If I stay…” He let the question trail off.
His meaning was clear. He was tired of waiting. She could admit she loved him and go to bed with him or he was gone. There were at least two other women on Voyager who’d welcome him with open arms. “Please, don’t go.”
Slowly, he came back to her giving her time to change her mind. Gently cupping her face in his hands, he lowered his head down until their lips almost touched. Content for the moment to breathe the same air, Chakotay let his hands rest on the sides of her neck, his thumbs stroking the soft skin.
Kathryn slid her arms around his waist and pulled him closer. Rising up on her toes, she pressed her lips against his. Her tongue traced along the full bottom lip until his mouth opened to her.
His hands began moving over her body, one hand on her bottom and the other squeezing one of her breasts through the cool silk. Pulling back, he lifted her in his arms and carried her to the bed. Sitting her down, he stepped back and quickly stripped his clothes off. Pushing her onto her back, he moved his body over hers. “I love you, Kathryn.”
“I love you, Chakotay.” Spreading her legs, she welcomed his weight on top of her. “Oh, God, I’ve wanted to feel this for so long.” She ran her fingers through his hair and down over his shoulders and back to the smooth taut buttocks.
Her gown parted with a loud rip under his hands so he could suck at her breasts. Another tearing sound and her panties were no longer an obstacle. “Spirits, I want you so much.” Pressing against her, he thrust inside her burying himself to the hilt. Groaning with pleasure, he ground himself against her. She was so hot and so much tighter than he’d ever dreamed.
Kathryn cried out in pain. He was a big man and as much as she wanted him, she wasn’t ready for him. Gritting her teeth, she pulled her knees up and out to open herself to him as much as possible. Tears trickled down her cheeks as he lunged into her again and again. My own fault for playing the Virgin Captain.
Chakotay knew he was hurting her but couldn’t stop himself. After waiting so long to be with her there was no way to hold back. Gasping her name, he plunged into her one last time, emptying himself.
Holding his head to her breasts, she stroked the raven hair and murmured soft love words to him. For the first time, she wrapped her legs around him to lock his body to hers.
“I’m sorry.” He gasped out.
“Don’t be. I loved it.”
“I hurt you.” Rising up, he gazed down into her face. There was no anger or condemnation in her eyes, only love. “I’ve dreamed so many times of making love to you. This wasn’t what I had planned.”
“It’s my fault. The price of celibacy.” She kissed him. “I wish I had given myself to you on New Earth. I wanted to. You’re right, I was scared.” Amazing how easily that confession slipped out now.
Kissing her gently, his tongue sliding sweetly along hers, he slowly moved his weight off of her. Rising from the bed, he went to the bathroom and returned with a wet washcloth. Carefully, he washed his seed from her. “Oh, Kathryn, I’m sorry.” Her skin was pink; the delicate lips were swollen and red. Even the small sensitive nub was angry looking. “I didn’t mean to hurt you.” Nuzzling his face into the auburn curls, he kissed the abused feminine center. Leaning over her, he pressed his mouth to hers again. “Let me bathe you. I’ve wanted to since I saw you in your towel. It’s the one time I was glad the monkey was there."
“I can’t believe you still hate him. What’d he ever do to you?” She laughed.
“He kept interrupting us. Every time I’d get close and think I might get a kiss – he’d be there chattering. He was as bad as Tuvok.” Helping her to her feet, he led her to the bathroom. “And you know, I have to wonder if Tuvok has the ability to scan for heightened hormonal reactions – he’s always interrupted us at just the last possible moment.”
“I think it’s just Vulcan bad timing, but we’ll check into it.”
Filling the bathtub with hot water and bubble bath, Chakotay settled against the back of the tub with Kathryn laying against his chest. “This is so nice. Much nicer than when Q was in here with me.” She sighed.
“Q? Should I be jealous?” He rubbed handfuls of bubbles over her breasts.
“Of Q? Well, he is an omnipotent being.” She teased.
“Wonder what the Continum thought when he came back smelling like roses?”
“Oh, I’m sure they’re used to him winding up smelling like a rose.” She laughed. “Considering what he falls into most of the time.”
“Well, I hope after having an omnipotent being in your bath, you’ll be happy to settle for a mere mortal man.”
“More than happy.” Leaning her head back on his shoulder, she closed her eyes as his hands moved over her body. When his fingers rubbed at the small bundle of nerves between her legs, she moaned and arched against him.
Sliding a finger inside of her, he whispered in her ear. “Do you like that? Does it hurt?”
“No, oh no, it’s wonderful!” Lying back, she gave herself over to the lightning storm that ran through her body as he rubbed the sensitive spot with one hand while he slid two fingers of his other hand slowly in and out of her. Bucking against him, her inner walls clamped down on his fingers as the lightning exploded with a fiery crash. “Chakotay, oh God, Chakotay…”
He cradled her to him, kissing her face and stroking her thighs and belly as she shivered under the last of the tremors. “Lean up.” Chakotay guided her to the side of the tub. Grabbing a towel off the shelf, he folded it up to act as a cushion for her to lean on.
Laying her head down on her crossed arms, Kathryn knelt in front of him. This wasn’t one of her most favorite positions, but love was give and take. She already knew that Chakotay would give to her what she needed. She wanted to give him what he needed as well.
Kneeling behind her, he ran his hands over her bottom and rubbed himself against her. One hand went between her legs spreading her open for him and the other settled on her hip. Gently, slowly, he slid inside of her. “Tell me if I’m hurting you.”
“No, it feels good.” The water lapped around her hips as he began moving carefully in and out of her. “It feels so good…”
Nipping at the back of her neck, he whispered hoarsely in her ear. “I like it this way, Kathryn, it feels primitive.” He began thrusting harder and deeper. His hands stroked her breasts and belly. “Our ancestors mated this way. Man taking woman.”
So that’s what he liked. “Man dominating woman.” She whispered back to him.
“Yes!” Pumping harder and faster, he gave up on kissing her neck and shoulders and arched back as he pounded into her. Holding her hips with both hands, he rode the wave of his climax higher and higher. He could hear her moaning, felt her pushing back against him and to take him as deeply as she could.
Kathryn had changed her mind. This was a wonderful position! Feeling completely female to his male, she discovered she understood ‘being taken’ for the first time. “Take me now, Chakotay!” The pleasure was overwhelming, sharp shards of electricity running through her with every hard thrust. He was groaning in his native language, harsh strange words, grunting as he crushed her against the side of the bathtub. Her orgasm rocked her to the core as it exploded within her with the intensity of an antimatter explosion.
With a few hard, sharp lunges, Chakotay came inside her, her name bursting from him. He collapsed over her bracing his forearms on the rim of the bathtub on either side of her. “Spirits, Kathryn, that was wonderful…”
“Yes, oh yes it was!” she laughed. Being dominated was more fun than she’d realized.
Pulling her against him, Chakotay settled them back in the hot water once again. “Are you laughing at me?”
“No, Chakotay. I’m laughing at myself.”
“Care to share the joke?”
“I’ve always hated being on my hands and knees. Hated being fucked that way.” She laughed delightedly. When he was quiet, she turned to look at him. He looked hurt. “I’m laughing because I didn’t know how good it could feel.”
His smile was back in an instant. “My grandfather told me the secret to making a woman happy was to make her want to be dominated in the bed robes. If a man can’t give a woman her pleasure, he’s not a man.”
“I think I like your grandfather’s philosophy.”
“It’s worked well for me.” Chakotay said smugly.
“I’ll bet it has.” She nestled back in his arms.
Later they lay in bed talking about the future. Plans for staying in the Delta quadrant were easier than those for the Alpha quadrant. Strangely enough, there were more unknown factors to be faced if they made it home.
Chakotay was kissing and caressing her, touching her constantly. Sucking at her breasts as he teased her with his fingers. Kathryn was surprised at his aggressiveness. He was such a gentle man, she had no idea he was hiding such a passionate and sensual nature.
He was nuzzling his way through the soft curls between her legs when she realized someone had just entered her quarters. Again. Does everyone have a code for my damn door? Chakotay rolled off of her, reaching for his pants in the dim light. “Who’s there?” Kathryn called out. She’d wrapped a sheet around her and had her phaser out.
“Don’t shoot! It’s only ‘you’!” Admiral Janeway appeared in the doorway. She stopped and smiled at Chakotay. “Well, fancy meeting you here.”
“Admiral.” He grinned at her, a flush staining the high cheekbones. A little boy with his hand caught in the cookie jar.
“Please, Chakotay, I think all things considered we should be on a first name basis.” She winked. “Call me Kate.”
“Kate.” He tried the name. Not as good as Kathryn, but it suited her.
“‘Bout time that bed saw some action.”
“Did you need something?” Kathryn asked her. This was almost as bad as getting caught by her mother, except her mother wouldn’t be looking at Chakotay quite so lasciviously.
“I couldn’t sleep and I wanted to talk to you. How about I make us some coffee?” Turning, she headed back into the main room without waiting for an answer.
After Kathryn pulled on her robe, she found Kate sitting on the sofa under the viewport. “Are you worried about tomorrow?”
“Not tomorrow so much as what comes after. I’m sure you’ve figured out I’m here to do more than bring Voyager home.”
“I’ve suspected you had an agenda you weren’t telling me about.”
“This may sound selfish – hell it is selfish! But I’m not here for Voyager.” She took a drink of her coffee savoring the taste once again. “I’m here for Chakotay. For me and Chakotay and to hell with everyone else.” She laughed at her younger self’s expression. “I’ve spent the last 26 years in hell – I decided I deserved a little happiness.”
Chakotay came out of the bedroom dressed in his uniform pants and gray turtle neck shirt. He gave Kate a kiss.
She held him in a fierce hug. “I love you, Chakotay.”
“I love you, too, Kate.” He gave Kathryn a kiss as well before settling on the floor at her feet. “I could get spoiled very quickly by this. Two Kathryn Janeways – ouch!” He rubbed his shoulder where Kathryn had smacked him.
“Well, I guess the trip wasn’t for nothing.” Kate trailed her fingers over her lips. “He’s magnificent, you'll never regret having him in your bed. I never did.”
“I didn’t think you and Chakotay were ever – “
“Intimate?” Kate laughed. “Where did you get that idea? We had our moments, but it wasn’t the way we wanted. The way we deserved.” She sobered and sat for several minutes looking into her coffee. “I didn’t tell him about the holodeck program she created. I didn’t know he’d started seeing Seven and when I found out, I lied and told him I was happy for him. After all we were only friends.” She laughed bitterly. “You should have seen the look on his face. Like I’d slapped him. I guess that was the pivotal moment in my timeline. My chance to tell him I loved him. Well I didn’t.” She was quiet again. “He walked out and l let him. And I lost him.”
Kathryn put her hand on Chakotay’s shoulder. She’d nearly lost him again. “We’ve changed that.”
“Yes, you have, haven’t you? Screw the temporal prime directive! This didn’t happen in my timeline, so everything I tell you may not happen – already hasn’t? God, I hate temporal mechanics.”
“Now I know why Braxton hated me so much. Janeway must mean ‘she who screws with time’.” Kathryn laughed.
“We’ve had more than our share of temporal events.” Chakotay agreed, thinking of the recent incident where the ship had been fractured into different times.
“Where to start?” Kate got up and paced to the viewport. “Chakotay and Seven were married for only a year when she died.”
“What?” He interrupted her. “Married? To Seven?”
“Yes. Married.” She assured him. “He was content – not blissfully happy – but content. And I was happy for him even though it hurt me. We were still friends, but there was no more flirting and teasing. We still had our dinners, but of course Seven was there, too.”
Chakotay struggled with the picture of himself married to Seven. Having dinner with Kathryn.
“Oh, occasionally we were alone, but we stuck to safe topics and maintained a safe distance.” Kate smiled. “The tension was still there, you know.”
She paced restlessly along the viewports. “One night he came alone. He and Seven had fought. He was hurt and angry. Keyed in his override and scared me half to death as I was getting out of the shower.”
My door might as well be wide open. Nobody actually waits for me to open it. Kathryn nudged Chakotay with her foot.
“One of the reasons he had decided to marry Seven was that she’d told him she wanted children.”
“Seven? Children?” Kathryn couldn’t quite believe that.
“She has mentioned it.” Chakotay told her.
“Miral had been born and a few other children as well. The crew was finally coming to realize it might be their only chance for a family. Chakotay desperately wanted children.” She smiled sadly at him. “He would have been a good father.”
“Wait. Seven can’t have children. The Borg removed her reproductive organs, it’s standard – oh God! She lied to him!” Chakotay’s shoulders were stiff under her hands. “Why would she do such a thing?”
“When the Doctor made it possible for her to experience the full range of emotions, Seven had trouble handling them at first. That night she had a date with Chakotay. She fell in love with him. Desperately, madly – just like in the holonovels. She was the blissfully happy one in their marriage.”
“So she fell in love with the first man she saw? That’s not even a good holoromance.” Kathryn snorted.
“At least it wasn’t Tom or Tuvok.” Kate joked. “I believe it was their third or fourth date, so she was already attracted to him. How could she not be?” She ruffled Chakotay’s hair as she paced past him.
Kathryn rubbed the back of his neck. “I wasn’t questioning her taste in men, every woman on Voyager melts at the sight of those dimples.”
“I certainly did.” Kate went back to the viewports and looked out at the stars. “They had been trying to have a baby for some time – not telling anyone. Seven wanted it kept a secret.”
“I’ll bet she did.” Kathryn muttered.
“Chakotay went to talk with the Doctor thinking that maybe something was wrong with him. The Doctor told him. He confronted Seven and she confessed.”
“Then he came to you.” Chakotay guessed.
“Yes.” Kate crossed her arms over her chest as if she could still feel him. “He was so hurt, so betrayed. I held him. I wanted to strangle her. Bash her head in with a rock!” She growled. She was shaking, still angry 23 years later. “He was crying. Crying! My dangerous Maquis warrior – crying like his heart was broken.” She laid her hands on the cold clear viewport. “And it was, I suppose.”
Kathryn felt tears stinging her eyes at the image Kate was painting of Chakotay crying broken hearted in her arms. Chakotay pulled her from the sofa down onto his lap.
Kate moved back to the sofa. “Then he fucked me. We didn’t have the pretty, sweet love scene I always imagined. Oh no, he was rough and angry. Angry at me, at himself. Right here on this sofa. I accepted the pain as my penance.”
Kathryn and Chakotay exchanged a smile. It sounded very familiar.
“He was gentle after that first time. He was wonderful. We didn’t get a lot of sleep.” Kate smiled at the memory. “The next morning he said he wasn’t sure what he was going to do. We were in orbit around a class M planet and were resupplying. God, we were always resupplying. There were some ancient ruins of some long dead civilization.” She took a sip of her coffee and grimaced at the cold bitterness.
Kathryn crawled off Chakotay’s lap to get her a fresh cup. He took the opportunity to move up onto the sofa. Running a hand over the cushions, he wondered if he was sitting where it had happened. Looking up, he caught Kate grinning at him. She patted the other end.
Handing Kate her cup, Kathryn settled on Chakotay’s lap once again.
Taking the fresh coffee, Kate took a drink before continuing. “We were exploring the ruins, just the two of us, trying to figure out if anything from our lives was salvageable, when Seven beamed down and confronted us. She was angry at us! Can you believe it? Borg nerve. ‘My guilt is irrelevant’, she said to me, ‘he’s my husband’.” Kate waved her hands in the air. “Like her lying wasn’t relevant? We were in the middle of an ugly argument when the earthquake hit. Seven and I were trapped under some rubble. Chakotay had a broken arm, but was able to crawl outside. He called for help, but no one from the campsite answered. Voyager was mining dilithium on one of the outer moons. It would be 15 minutes before they could get to us.”
She was pacing again, brushing Chakotay’s shoulders with her fingertips every time she passed. “Aftershocks were bringing more of the building down around us. Chakotay pulled me out and carried me outside. He started back just as another one hit. Seven was crushed under more debris. Voyager beamed us up. The Doctor did what he could – but – “She shook her head. “Seven forgave him. Told him it was ‘logical’ to save me first. ‘The Captain is more important’. Isn’t that sweet?” Kate snarled. “Borg bitch! She knew exactly what she was doing!” She slapped her hands against the viewport. “The guilt ate at Chakotay. Destroyed him. He believed it was his fault that she died.”
“But it wasn’t his fault.” Kathryn was shocked by Kate’s obvious hatred of Seven.
“What are you saying?” Chakotay felt his heart stop. Had he murdered Seven?
“I had a fractured skull. Both my legs were broken, my ribs, and I had a punctured lung. The pain was… terrible. Chakotay stayed with me trying to comfort me. I thought he’d already gotten Seven out. When I asked if she was okay, he looked surprised.”
“How could he forget she was still trapped?” Kathryn asked.
“He was afraid I was dying. He was afraid to leave me.”
“He still loved you.” Chakotay caught her hand as she passed.
“Yes.” Leaning down, she kissed him softly. “No one ever knew what had really happened down there. Her injuries could have been that severe before the aftershocks – mine certainly were. Maybe – who knows?”
Pulling her hand out of his grasp, Kate moved across the room to the shelves by the door. She laid a picture of herself and Seven face down. “It was almost a year after Seven’s death before he came to my bed again. We’d fallen back into our same comfortable pattern as before. Friendly dinners and shore leave together – nothing sexual. Teasing and flirting, the occasional kiss. Then one night he kissed me and didn’t stop.”
Leaning against the bulkhead by the door, she patted it affectionately and closed her eyes for a moment. “He was gone in the morning. Never said a word about it. That’s how we spent the last 12 years in the Delta quadrant. Friends and occasionally lovers. A week or a month might go by before we made love. We never talked about the future. Everything was for the here and now. He never mentioned wanting children again.” Kate splayed her hands across her stomach. “I’d been exposed to radiation from an alien weapon and couldn’t give him children, even if he’d asked.”
Kathryn mirrored her action, her hands going to her stomach. Chakotay’s hands covered hers.
“When we finally returned to Earth, he left.” Kate shook her head. “He spent every night with me throughout the debriefings and ceremonies. Moved in with me – shocked the hell out of the Starfleet brass! Three weeks.” She closed her eyes smiling at the memories. “He was constantly touching and kissing – sneaking us off to anyplace we could be alone. He was gentle and tender. I thought we had a future after all. Three weeks until the debriefings were finally over. The next day he was gone.”
“Gone?” Kathryn felt Chakotay’s heart pounding against her back.
“Officially, it was a transporter malfunction. Just ‘we’re so sorry. These things happen.’ There wasn’t even a body for me to bury.”
Kathryn cried out softly.
“And unofficially?” Chakotay held Kathryn to him.
“Unofficially? I found a note in his medicine bundle. Handwritten. ‘The reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated’.” She rolled her eyes. “He was always a little too melodramatic.”
“He wasn’t dead?” Kathryn was wiping tears off her face.
“No. But he would have been if he’d been handy. He was working for Starfleet Intelligence. I didn’t see him until Voyager’s first reunion party. Every year, he showed up and spent the two nights before the reunion with me – then disappeared again. It was his way of marking the anniversary.” She sat down on the end of the sofa. “It’s been six months.” She said softly.
“Since the last reunion?” Kathryn asked.
There was a long silence. “Since they sent his body home to me. What was left anyway.”
“W – what?” Kathryn clutched Chakotay’s arms tighter around her.
“Wake up and smell the coffee, Kathryn!” Kate’s voice was harsh and bitter. “Didn’t you think that if he was alive he’d be here with me?”
“How?” She’d tried not to think about why the Admiral was alone.
“Bat'leth. Now at least there’s a body under the headstone in the family plot. You don’t mind do you, Chakotay? Lying with the Janeways for eternity?” She smiled sardonically. “Sorry, doesn’t look like I’ll be joining you after all.”
“You’re being cruel, Kate.” Kathryn was shaking against him, her face buried in his neck and her hands clutching at his shoulders.
“I’m sorry.” Kate had the grace to look embarrassed. “It’s easier to deal with it this way.” She reached out to stroke Kathryn’s hair.
Something she’d said to him earlier clicked into place. “You told me your hair turned gray about six months ago.”
“I guess it was your fault after all, Chakotay." Kate gave him a small crooked smile. “He’d been working for Starfleet, but they wouldn’t say doing what. I did some digging and found out he’d joined Section 31.”
“Section 31? I thought that was just a rumor – a myth!”
“Oh, they’re very real. Chakotay sent me a message recorded the day before he died. He told me about the temporal device the Klingons had developed and that he’d already had my shuttle outfitted with the Borg shielding and transphasic torpedoes. He wanted me to finish what he started. And here I am.”
“He wanted you to save Seven?” Chakotay was skeptical given what she’d told them.
Kate laughed. “More or less. Let’s just say she’s one of the people we’re saving. Whether of not Voyager gets home, things have changed and that’s what we wanted.”
“You told him about Seven’s program, didn’t you?” Kathryn asked.
“That was one mistake I knew I had to correct. Looks like you took care of the other one.” She smiled at the two of them wrapped in each other’s arms. “If Voyager doesn’t get home – stay away from the Nflaa and their territory. We bullied our way across their space instead of going around. We saved six months and I lost the chance to have children. You know we want children – Chakotay deserves this chance to be a father.”
“A starship isn’t – “
“Don’t give me that crap, Kathryn! We had plenty of children aboard by the time we got home. “ Kate waved away her protests. “Hell, Naomi really was my assistant by then. Time keeps moving – life has to go on."
“You wanted to see me, Captain?”
Kathryn smiled at Chakotay standing stiffly at attention. The glint in his eyes belied the military pose. She walked around her desk to inspect him. “Hmm… you’ll do, Commander.” Sliding her arms around his neck, she pulled his head down. “At ease before you strain something.”
His arms wrapped around her and held her tightly as their lips and tongues met. “I love you, Kathryn.”
“Shut up and kiss me.” Her hands moved over his back down to his buttocks, pulling him closer.
“Whatever you say, Captain.” Pushing her back against the desk, his hips ground into hers. Sucking her tongue into his mouth, he swirled his own around and over before plunging into her mouth. Gasping for air, he nuzzled her throat. “I’ve fantasized about making love to you on your desk.”
“Commander, really, the desk?” Nipping at the soft skin below his ear, she laughed huskily. “I’ve always imagined us on the sofa.” Her tongue darted into his ear making him squirm against her. “Or on Tom’s console.”
“Oh, Spirits, yes, let’s do that…” His mouth came back to capture hers again. Her breasts were soft in his hands, nipples hard through the Starfleet jacket.
“Tuvok to Captain Janeway.”
“I swear he’s got some kind of telepathy!”
“He is a Vulcan.” She cradled his head on her shoulder. “Janeway here.”
“We’re ready, Captain. The Admiral’s shuttle is away.”
“I’ll be right there. Janeway out.” Pushing Chakotay back, she straightened her jacket and smoothed her hair down. “Ready?”
“Yes, but we better get to the bridge.”
“I’ll deal with you later.” She gave him one last quick kiss.
“I’m counting on it.” He followed her onto the bridge trying not to look at her tight ass. Settling into his chair, he shifted to lean over their shared console pretending to study the information displayed there. He let his eyes run over her body. They’d made love one last time before they left her quarters. Her cheeks still had a rosy blush and her lips were slightly swollen from his kisses. Good thing Tom was in Sickbay. With his keen eyes, he’d know something had happened.
“See anything interesting?”
“A lot of things, Captain. Nothing I can put my… finger on right now.”
“Hmm…” Kathryn squirmed in her seat. She remembered only too well what he could do with his fingers. “Maybe later we can… get more… in depth on the subject.”
“I’m looking forward to it.” He shifted in his seat. It was becoming very uncomfortable sitting next to her. Getting to his feet, he checked the course laid in at the helm before moving to look over Tuvok’s shoulder at the readings for the shield modifications.
Tuvok’s brows rose as the delicate scent of roses drifted from Chakotay to the sensitive Vulcan nose. “Commander, have you been in the hydroponics bay recently?”
“No, not recently. Why?”
“I believe I smell roses.”
“Ah, that would be my new aftershave.” Chakotay said with a straight face that matched Tuvok’s. “What do you think?”
“I think perhaps a more masculine scent would be more appropriate. Something that smells less like the Captain’s perfume.”
“I’ll take that under advisement.” Following Tom as the helmsman came out of the turbolift, Chakotay took his seat again.
As they proceeded to the nebula, Kathryn rose to stand behind Tom. “Take us in.”
“The Admiral has succeeded, Captain. Conduit shielding is destabilizing.” Seven reported from her station.
“Now, Mr. Tuvok.”
At the Captain’s order, Tuvok fired the transphasic torpedoes and the conduits began to explode. A single Borg sphere moved in behind Voyager.
Kathryn sat down in her command chair once again, trying to look calmer than she felt.
“Sphere firing. Aft armor down to 6%.” Tuvok reported calmly.
Chakotay moved from his command chair to study the readouts over Tuvok’s shoulder.
“Hull breaches on decks 6 through 12.” Harry reported trying to ignore the exploding consoles showering sparks over him.
“I can’t stay ahead of them, Captain.” Tom shook his head as the sphere clung stubbornly to their tail.
“The armor is failing.” Tuvok’s voice rose over the crackle of exploding circuits.
Chakotay moved to the station Seven was manning. “Where’s the nearest aperture?”
“Approximately 30 seconds ahead.” Seven eyed him fearfully as he stopped beside her. “But it leads back to the Delta quadrant.”
Silence gripped the bridge. Kathryn turned to look up at Chakotay. They stared at each other for a moment before she nodded slightly and turned back to Tom. “Mr. Paris, prepare to adjust your heading.”
“Yes, ma’am.” He suppressed a shiver at the thought of purposely letting a Borg ship swallow them up.
The bridge was silent again, everyone staring at the main screen as it showed the inside of the Borg sphere. Chakotay leaned close to Seven and said very quietly so only she could hear. “I’m sorry for the way I behaved yesterday.” Seven shifted nervously. “I was very angry, but that’s no excuse for my behavior. Please, Seven, forgive me for the way I treated you.”
“I – I accept your apology, Commander.” She shifted away from him.
“Mr. Paris, what’s our position?” Kathryn stood up, too anxious to sit any longer.
“Right were we expected to be.”
“The transwarp network has been obliterated.” Seven looked up from her console.
“We’ll celebrate later.” The Captain turned to Tuvok. “Mr. Tuvok.”
Tuvok fired the transphasic torpedo and the Borg Sphere exploded around them. The inertial dampeners strained to keep Voyager on an even keel as they rode the shockwave into the Alpha Quadrant. Debris bounced off their enhanced shields.
“We did it.” She shook at the sight of the starships clustered before them.
Seven turned to look at Chakotay, wishing he would move away. Part of her still cared for him but his emotions frightened her.
Sensing her attention, he turned to look at her before turning back to look Kathryn. She seemed rattled by their sudden return home. Everyone did. He’d always imagined cheers and crying. Instead there was a stunned silence. There’d been too many false hopes. Would they have the rug pulled out from under them once again?
Harry brought him out of his reverie.” We’re being hailed.”
“On screen.” Kathryn straightened her spine as Admiral Paris appeared on the main screen. “Sorry to surprise you. Next time, we’ll call ahead.”
“It’s good to be here.”
“How did you – “
“It’ll all be in my report, sir.”
Admiral Paris paused a beat as she cut him off. “I look forward to reading it.” He glanced around the bridge as if looking for someone.
Tom ducked his head, looking at the readings on his console through blurred eyes.
The screen returned to the image of the gathered starships. “Thank you for your help, Admiral Janeway.” She whispered.
“Sickbay to the Bridge.” Behind the Doctor’s voice they could hear a baby cooing. “Doctor to Lieutenant Paris, there’s someone here who’d like to say hello.”
“You’d better get down there, Tom.”
“Yes, ma’am!” He smiled at her before bolting for the turbolift.
Turning, Kathryn saw that Chakotay was still standing by Seven. He seemed unaware that Seven was looking at him with a lovesick expression on her face. She’d heard the whispered apology he’d made to Seven. What did he have to apologize for? She would have to ask him later. “Mr. Chakotay, the helm.” Not that she was jealous – far from it. However, there were plenty of places he could be other than next to Seven. Why wasn’t she in astrometrics, anyway?
Chakotay smiled at her as he took the helm. “Aye, Captain.”
Seven watched him go before she realized the Captain was watching her. She glanced quickly down at her console.
Settling herself in her command chair, Kathryn gave the order. “Set a course. For home.”
“Captain, Admiral Paris is hailing us.”
“Put him on screen, Mr. Kim.” The front view screen changed from its view of Earth to show Admiral Paris once again. “Admiral.”
“Captain Janeway. We’d like you to take Voyager to Earth’s Spacedock for now. We’ll debrief the crew, including the Maquis and Equinox crews, and bring everyone’s families up. That way you can have some privacy. I’m sure it’ll be a circus once you get to Earth.”
“I appreciate that, Admiral.” She moved up behind Chakotay and put a hand on his shoulder.
“There’s even some crazy idea floating around to land Voyager at Starfleet Headquarters.” He chuckled. “Starships belong in space.”
“Normally, I’d agree with you, Admiral. However, I think Voyager deserves to feel Earth under her feet as much as the rest of the crew. She’s earned it.”
He laughed. “After 70,000 light years – I believe you’re right. We’ll see you in Spacedock, Captain. Paris out.” He vanished from the screen.
“Lieutenant Morgan, take the helm. Tuvok you have the bridge.” She headed for her ready room. “Commander, you’re with me. We need to discuss the status of our former Maquis and Equinox crew.”
Chakotay followed her into the ready room. “I thought we’d already decided – “ her mouth on his cut off the rest of his question. Her tongue was seeking its way past his lips. Eagerly, he opened his mouth to her while he tangled his fingers into her hair.
Their tongues played with each other until Kathryn finally broke away for air. “See why we had to wait? We’d never have gotten anything done.” She rubbed against him and gave him another quick kiss. “We’d be sneaking off to smooch all the time.”
“There are worse ways to pass the time.” He smiled. “I think we’d have calmed down after awhile.”
“God, I hope not!” She pulled him to her again. “I love your shoulders. You don’t know how many times I wanted to run my hands over your shoulders and down your back.”
“About as often as I wanted to put my hands in your hair and pull it out of that damned bun you used to wear.”
They were gasping and panting against each other, her hands in the black hair holding his face still while her tongue traced the lines of his tattoo where it disappeared into his sideburn. He had her pinned against the desk again; his hands were holding her hips as he thrust himself against her.
The door chime caused them to bolt apart. Jesus! That’s all I need is for Tuvok to catch me dry humping my first officer! “Come in.” she gasped out.
The doors opened and Naomi came into the room. She held a small wooden box in her hands. “The Admiral ordered me to give this to you and the Commander after we made it through.” She handed the box to Kathryn. “She said I was the best assistant she’s ever had.”
“You are, Naomi.” Handing the box to Chakotay, she hugged the little girl. “I’m very proud of you.”
“Thank you, Captain.” She pulled herself to attention. “Permission to leave?”
“Dismissed.” Smiling, she watched her leave.
Chakotay was staring at the box and running his fingers over the design on the lid. “My father made this for me. He gave it to me before I went to the Academy.” Swallowing hard, he traced the design cut into the wood. “I put it away years ago. He gave it to me to remind me of my heritage and I – I – “
“Chakotay, we’ve all done things we’re not proud of. Children rebel against their parents. Remember that when our children are old enough to rebel against us.”
“Our children?” He blinked back the tears that suddenly burned his eyes. “Will we have children, Kathryn?”
“I hope so.” She lifted the lid, curious about what might be inside. Taking out a PADD, she set it aside. The dried rose she recognized as the one he’d given her after her near death experience with the alien pretending to be her father. There were other small items including a gold earring. “What could one earring mean?”
Chakotay wondered if it was the same gold earring currently hidden in the small bag within his medicine bundle or it’s mate. Picking up the small golden bars from the box, he smiled. He knew these were in his medicine bundle.
“What are those?”
“Captain Miller’s captain’s bars. And that earring is Katrine’s.” Her eyes went wide. “I woke up naked in your arms, Kathryn. Unfortunately, I don’t remember how I got there.”
“Why didn’t you –“ She’d cherished that one night of passion with Chakotay. Relived every moment of it time and again. “You never said a word.”
“You seemed so frightened when the Doctor walked in on us. I thought it was best to pretend it never happened. But – “ He grinned. “These I kept as a talisman to hopefully pull you to me.”
“I lost one of my earrings, couldn’t find it. I put the other one in my jewel box.” Now she recognized the small gold earring. “Every so often, I’d tell myself to throw it away, but I never did.”
They spent some time going through the pictures and mementoes. Some were familiar, some not. Finally, they closed the box and set it aside. Flicking on the PADD, they weren’t surprised to see Admiral Janeway. “I don’t know if this will still be here for you to see later or not. I’m still here, for now, even though things have changed from the way they were in my timeline. Temporal mechanics always did give me a headache. I wanted you to see this to know the real reason I’m here. Please don’t screw it up this time.” She arched an eyebrow. “Don’t make me come back and try again.”
There was a brief second of blankness before a new image appeared with a stardate 26 years in the future. Chakotay appeared on the small screen. Older and harsher, he looked much like Admiral Janeway had, bitterness lined his face and gray streaked his hair.
“Kathryn, if you’re seeing this, then I guess I’ll be missing this year’s reunion. The Klingons have developed a temporal device, and it works, Kathryn, it works! I’ve been working for Section 31 to steal it for the Federation.” His laugh was dry and bitter. “At least that’s what they think.
I want to fix things, Kathryn. Make it right. I had your shuttle outfitted with new shields – the Borg can’t penetrate them. You should thank the Romulans for those, but I don’t think they’d be happy to find out we’ve stolen the technology from them. The computer has the specifications for the transphasic torpedoes we picked up from the Slymarians. B’Elanna shouldn’t have any trouble putting some together for Voyager.”
He paused for a moment. “I think my cover has been compromised. You have to do this if I fail. Korath has the device and he’s willing to trade – but don’t trust him. Not for a second. Promise him whatever he wants – just get close enough to steal it if you have to. Don’t trust him to actually trade it. He has no honor.
Remember the nebula with the wormhole during our seventh year? The one crawling with Borg. That’s the way home, Kathryn. A transwarp hub is in there. With these shields Voyager can get through. Reg is nailing down the coordinates. No surprise he wants to help fix things. He’s a romantic at heart. You’d better not tell ‘Captain Janeway’ about the hub, she’d want to destroy the damn thing instead of coming home. “ The corner of his mouth crooked up slightly. “You know how stubborn you can be.
If I could, I’d go back to New Earth and change it all from there. One of those nights that I watched you sleep – I’d go ahead and crawl into bed with you.” He sighed. “But I don’t know what other damage might come of that.”
He was silent for several moments. “Forgive me for not being with you all these years – Believe me, I ached to be at your side. But when Section 31 offered – I knew it was the only chance I’d have to fix things.
I never told you, Kathryn, but I knew Seven was trapped inside. I wasn’t going to go back in for her. When you asked about her, I realized what I was doing, but it was too late. Maybe she would have died anyway, I don’t know. I know she forgave me. Just as she did whenever I called out your name when I was in her bed. I murdered her, Kathryn, as surely as if I’d pulled the building down on her myself. That’s what I can’t live with. Her blood is on my soul. I never really loved her – not the way I love you.
Get us home, Kathryn. Get us home so we can be together the way we should be.” The slight smile appeared at the corner of his mouth again. “And if you can’t get Voyager home, please – for spirits sake – make yourself throw the rulebook out an airlock.” A full smile this time caused his dimples to flash and the years to fall away. “Or maybe tell me to pounce on you and get it over with. Screw the Temporal Prime Directive and Starfleet protocol – we deserve to be happy!”
He turned serious once again, glancing over his shoulder at something before turning back. “You have to go, Kathryn! You can bring Voyager home… save Seven… and us.” He leaned forward, his voice suddenly fierce. “Save us, Kathryn!” He touched his fingers to the screen and murmured something quietly. The screen went black.
“No wonder she was so determined.” Chakotay was stunned at the vision of himself ordering her to come back for them.
Kathryn was leaning against his back and her tears were damp on the back of his neck. “Wh – what did he say at the end? I didn’t hear.”
Turning, he pulled her into his arms and hugged her tightly. “It was in his – my people’s language. ‘I’ll be waiting for you in the afterlife, beloved wife’.”
“Not on paper, no, but in the heart and spirit.” He slid his hands into her hair and cradled her head, tipping her face up to him. “We’ve been given a second chance. Please say you’ll marry me. I’ll follow you back into space if you want. Wherever you go, I’ll go.”
“Chakotay, I love you.” She kissed him softly. “I think I’m done with space. I’d like to feel the ground under my feet for a while. We’ve collected enough data to keep the scientist in me busy for years.”
“True.” He laughed remembering how many times she’d told him she was a scientist who took a wrong turn into command.
“Yes?” He looked at her in confusion. Was there a question in there? “Oh. Yes?”
“Yes.” Tears were pooling in her eyes again from happiness this time. She lifted her lips to his for a kiss.
Picking her up, he whirled her around, an ecstatic whoop coming from him. “I love you, Kathryn Janeway!”
“Put me down you big oaf! You’re making me dizzy.” She laughed delightedly. “You’re acting like a wild Indian!”
He stopped and let her slide down his body until their lips touched. “I am a wild Indian, remember? First thing you need to learn is this.” He whispered softly in her ear. The words were slightly harsh yet gentle and soft. “That means I love you.”
She repeated the words back, cringing as she heard the slightly garbled translation coming from the communicator. “I think I’ll need practice.”
“I’ll give you 30 years – but that’s as far as I’ll go.” Pulling her tight against him, he kissed her, letting her feel the love and passion he’d kept bottled up for the past 7 years.
“Tuvok to Captain Janeway.”
“I swear, I’m going to kill him.” Chakotay rested his forehead against hers. “Slowly and painfully. Some of my ancestors could have given the Hirogen lessons in torture – “
“Shh! Janeway here.” Kathryn turned around so the comlink wouldn’t pick up Chakotay’s heavy breathing. That only encouraged him to rub himself against her backside.
“Captain, we’re approaching Spacedock.”
The feel of Chakotay’s erection grinding against her made it difficult for her to focus. “Is Lieutenant Paris still in Sickbay?”
“Tuvok, all stop. Janeway out.” She felt Voyager slow and stop. “Janeway to Paris.”
“Paris here, Captain.” In the background they could hear the baby crying angrily.
“Get your butt up here, Mr. Paris, unless you want Chakotay to bring Voyager into Spacedock.”
“Chakotay is flying Voyager?” B'Elanna’s voice was clear over the comlink. “Go Tom!”
“On my way, Captain! Paris out.”
Kathryn turned to see Chakotay standing with his hands on his hips. “I’d like to know when I got this reputation as a bad pilot? I out maneuvered many a Starfleet and Cardassian ship in the Maquis.”
“Your track record since then hasn’t been so good.” She teased. “What is it now? Three shuttles.”
“I can’t be held responsible for plasma storms and invisible force fields!”
“Calm down, Chakotay.” She soothed, patting his shoulder. “I just thought Tom deserves to bring her in. He’s earned it.”
Chakotay smiled remembering the Tom Paris he knew in the Maquis compared to the Tom Paris he knew now. “Yes, he has.”
They came out of her ready room just as the turbolift opened and Tom bounded out onto the bridge. “Report, Mr. Paris.” Kathryn ordered as soon as he took his seat at the helm.
“Miral Taya Kathryn. 8 pounds and 2 ounces, ten fingers, ten toes, her mother’s forehead and temper.” His fingers danced across the controls bringing Voyager back to life. “And her father’s heart.”
“Yeah, sorry to put you last, Captain, but Miral Kathryn Taya didn’t have quite the same ring to it.” He grinned at the surprised pair. “Congratulations, Commander, you won the baby pool.”
“Great, now that we don’t need to ration replicator use.”
“Come on, Chief, it’s the winning that counts.” Tom smiled to himself. He could say that now that he didn’t have to worry about eating leola root for a month to pay out.
“Spacedock to Voyager. Welcome home.” The voice was warm and pleasant. “Please cut engines and standby to be tractored in.”
“Oh, I don’t think so.” Tom guided Voyager toward the opening bay doors.
Kathryn gripped the arms of her command chair.
“Voyager, this is Spacedock. Please come to all stop.” The voice was a little less warm and pleasant.
“Please, I’ve flown 70,000 light years to let the valet do the parking?” Shaking his head, Tom reversed the engines as they approached the doors. “I don’t think so. Thanks anyway.”
“Maybe you should have let me fly her in, after all.” Chakotay whispered to her.
The back wall was coming up fast. Red lights flashed everywhere. Had they come so far only to die crashing into Spacedock? Kathryn gripped Chakotay’s hand tightly.
“Captain, Commander, have faith.” Tom threw them an evil grin over his shoulder. He tapped a control on his console and Voyager bumped gently into her berth. “We’re home.”
Kathryn and Chakotay changed Admiral Janeway’s past, so shouldn’t something happen? Fate's Pawn
Kathryn and Chakotay changed Admiral Janeway’s past, so shouldn’t something happen? Fate's Pawn
The background was black on the contest site and
the graphic stands out a bit more. It's here.
The background was black on the contest site and the graphic stands out a bit more. It's here.