By Maquis Leader
Author’s Note: Another look at that scene in Endgame in astrometrics that gagged us. And what should have happened as a result.
“The Admiral suggested… that your feelings for me will cause you pain… I can’t allow that to happen.” Seven walked away from Chakotay.
He grabbed her arm to stop her, but she kept her face turned away. “Seven, any relationship has risk and nobody can guarantee what’s going to happen tomorrow. Not even an Admiral from the future.” He turned her to face him. “The only certainty is how we feel about each other here and now. If you think I’m going to let you end this because of what might happen, then you need to get to know me a little better.” His hand came up to cup her cheek.
Clasping his hand in hers, Seven rested her forehead against his. She felt his smile. “No, it’s over.” She pushed him away, hating the pain on his face. “Thank you for your help.”
“In exploring romance. You have been most… helpful. Now I wish to move on.” Her heart ached to pull him back into her arms, but Admiral Janeway’s words added steel to her backbone. This pain would be small compared to the pain he would feel when he realized that he had trapped himself into a marriage with a woman he didn’t truly love.
“Senior Staff to Bridge.”
Seven kept working, blinking back tears as Chakotay turned and left astrometrics.
Earth was shining on the forward viewscreen, but the scene did nothing to lift Chakotay’s spirits. He’d stood next to Seven as they blasted through the remains of the Borg sphere, but she’d ignored him as if he didn’t exist. It was almost a relief when Kathryn ordered him to take the helm. She’d looked up at him with a look that clearly said she felt betrayed he hadn’t been at her side where he should have been. Where he had always been.
Kathryn stood behind Chakotay and laid a hand on his shoulder. “When we get home, I hope you’ll…” She blinked back tears. “That you and Seven will visit.”
“I can’t vouch for Seven, but I – I’d like to see you.”
“Aren’t you and Seven… getting married?” She’d seen Seven’s face as she looked at Chakotay before leaving the bridge. She loved him.
“Married?” He turned around to look at her.
Tuvok and Harry looked up from their consoles.
“Married?” he said more quietly. “Kathryn, we’ve had four dates – well three really – the last one was interrupted by Admiral Janeway’s arrival.”
“I thought it was more serious than that.” Hope rose up inside of her. Maybe the game wasn’t over.
“No.” He turned away. “She dumped me.”
Tuvok and Harry looked up from their consoles again.
“Are you kidding me?” Her tone clearly labeled the other woman as insane. “Why?”
“She said that Admiral Janeway – it doesn’t matter. You know the saying, there’s no fool like an old fool.”
“Chakotay.” She squeezed his shoulder. “You’re a wonderful, caring man. Seven’s the fool.” She hesitated. “Do you love her?”
Tuvok and Harry looked at each other. Tuvok arched an eyebrow at Harry’s smile.
“No.” That admission eased his pain somewhat. His ego hurt more than his heart.
“Good.” The word came out before Kathryn could stop it. Chakotay looked up at her in surprise. “I mean…. ‘good’ because I’d hate for you to be hurt.”
“I’m hurt, but for different reasons.” He sighed. “It was flattering to an old man to have a beautiful woman half his age ask for lessons in romance.”
“Chakotay, you’re not an old man. You’re still very handsome, very virile, still very male.” Kathryn swallowed as that admission slipped out. “What woman wouldn’t want you?” He didn’t answer, his shoulder tense under her hand. With one last squeeze, she turned away.
Chakotay’s hand came up to catch hers, pulling her down to her knees beside him. The question was there in the black velvet eyes. Seven years of longing exposed to her.
“I’ve always wanted you, Chakotay, always.”
Sliding out of his seat, he knelt in front of her, taking her face in his hands. “I love you, Kathryn.”
“I love you, too.” Kneeling by the helm they kissed gently, softly for the first time.