Let Me Let Go

By Maquis Leader

 

 

 

Author’s note: In this world Endgame never happened. They ran away from the Borg infested nebula with no Admiral Janeway to stop them. All other episodes are part of my continuity even (gag!) Human Error.  Let Me Let Go lyrics by Steve Diamond and Dennis Morgan performed by Faith Hill and Vince Gill.

 

 

 

“We thank you for your help, Captain, and hope that you enjoy your stay with us.”

 

“I’m sure we will, Regent.” Captain Janeway bowed her head in the Tiktean manner of respect. “You’ve been most generous in trading with us.”

 

“The ability to stop the Borg is well worth the cost.” His vivid blue eyes sparkled. “We have lived in fear of their presence too long. Your pathogen and the Slymarian torpedoes may finally rid us of their evil.”

 

“That’s a day I look forward to.”

 

“I will alert my colleagues on Slymaria of your imminent arrival; they will be most interested in acquiring your pathogen.” He signaled his aide to carry out that order.

 

“The transphasic torpedoes – the Slymarians will be willing to share that technology with us?” Commander Chakotay asked.

 

“Oh yes, most definitely.” The Regent nodded enthusiastically, causing his long blond hair to sway around his shoulders. “Ridding ourselves of the Borg is something our Alliance is devoted to. It’s what brought our warring worlds together. We share any and all technology to achieve this.”

 

Kathryn and Chakotay glanced at each other. It sounded similar to the basis of the Federation. Band together to protect everyone against a common foe.

 

“They also have excellent spacedock facilities. The best in the Alliance.” The Regent leaned forward and whispered conspiratorially. “Although we are quickly gaining on them.”

 

“I find it hard to believe theirs could possibly be better than yours, Regent.” In the two days Voyager had been in the Tiktean spacedock, repairs had been made with such speed and efficiency that even B'Elanna had been impressed. They had even been able to acquire the supplies needed to repair and replace their gel packs.

 

“Unfortunately, Captain, the Slymarians are much better at replacing hull plating and of course they will have to provide the torpedoes and their systems. We are still working on those facilities. Another few months and we will be able to outfit ships ourselves.”

 

“Thank you again, Regent.” Kathryn rose from the table. “Please accept our invitation to dinner tomorrow evening. Voyager will host a banquet in your honor before we depart.”

 

“Certainly, Captain.” He rose as well.

 

“We’ll contact you in the morning with the details.” She bowed her head again.

 

The Regent returned the bow, as did his aide. She was a striking woman with brilliant green eyes and blond hair reaching to her hips. “Commander Chakotay.” She placed a delicate hand on his arm.

 

“Yes, Korianda?” He smiled at her.

 

“Are you and the Captain mates? I thought perhaps –“

 

“Yes. We are.” Kathryn laid her hand on his other arm.

 

“Ah, I wasn’t sure. Forgive me.” There was a look of disappointment on her beautiful face.

 

 

 

I thought it was over, baby

We said our goodbyes

But I can’t go a day without your face

Goin’ through my mind

 

In fact, not a single minute

Passes without you in it

Your voice, your touch, memories of your love

Are with me all of the time

 

 

 

Chakotay held his anger in check until they were outside the Regent’s office. Once outside in the garden, he whirled on her. “Why did you do that?”

 

“We agreed a long time ago that if aliens asked if we’re married, we would say yes.” Kathryn seemed surprised by his anger.

 

“This was different! She wasn’t asking as some alien ambassador – the negotiations are over!”

 

“Remember the trouble we had with – “

 

He grabbed her shoulders. “She was interested in me!”

 

She’d noticed the woman staring at Chakotay all through the negotiations but he hadn’t returned her glances. “Oh, and you were interested in her?”

 

“Yes, damn it! Is that so hard for you to believe?”

 

Yes!  “Well then, go back and tell her I said it’s okay by me.” She said sarcastically as she jerked free of his grasp.

 

“Thank you for your permission, Kathryn.” His tone held an equal amount of sarcasm. “But their culture has a taboo against extramarital affairs.”

 

“Something you took the time to research, no doubt!” Kathryn’s own anger bubbled up.

 

“Yes, I did as a matter of fact.” Chakotay ground his teeth in frustration. “You just declared me off limits to the entire planet!”

 

“Forgive me, Chakotay, I didn’t realize you were trolling for women.”

 

“You wouldn’t, would you?”

 

“I’m sorry, I forgot.” She shook her head. “Men have needs. Isn’t that the old excuse?”

 

“Yes, we do. A man has needs, Kathryn.” He started to walk away then stopped and came back. He leaned down until their faces were inches apart and his black velvet eyes flashed with anger. “Make up your mind, Kathryn.”

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She took a step back.

 

“Don’t you?” He laughed bitterly. “You don’t want me, but you don’t want anyone else to have me.”

 

“You – you’re – “

 

“Either be with me – or let me go!” Turning, he left her standing and gaping at his retreating back.

 

 

Let me let go, baby

Let me let go

If this is for the best, why are you still in my heart

Are you still in my soul, let me let go

 

I talked to you the other day

Looks like you made your escape

You put us behind, no matter how hard I try

I can’t do the same

 

 

Watching as he left, Kathryn called Voyager and beamed back to the ship. Sitting on the sofa in her quarters, she sipped her coffee. Why had she told Korianda that Chakotay was her husband? This wasn’t a case of an alien that might try to force a relationship on one of them as part of trade negotiations. The woman had smiled and been friendly to Chakotay during the talks but had kept a professional distance. Once everything was settled she had clearly wanted to be with Chakotay. As much as she hated to admit it, Kathryn was jealous.

 

It wasn’t fair to keep him hanging on. How could she explain to him that the promise he’d made on New Earth was something she treasured? Realistically, she knew he wouldn’t wait forever, but hopefully Voyager would be home in a few years. He had the occasional fling. He did have needs and she did know that. There had been Riley and a few others – never anyone on Voyager. Thank God, she’d hate to think what she might do to some hapless ensign who went out with him. 

 

It had been seven years since the Caretaker pulled them in to the Delta Quadrant, and she desperately wanted to be with Chakotay. Maybe if they were still facing seventy years of hard traveling, but they had made several leaps forward until they were only thirty years away now. They could stumble onto a wormhole or an alien technology that sent them home in a flash. Tomorrow. Or the day after that. Or the day after that. Sighing, Kathryn took a sip of her cold coffee. Or maybe never.

 

 

Let me let go, baby

Let me let go

It just isn’t right

I’ve been two thousand miles

Down a dead end road

 

Let me let go, darlin’, won’t you

I just gotta know, yeah

If this is for the best, why are you still in my heart

Are you still in my soul, let me let go

 

 

Chakotay walked through the city, blind to the beauty of the people and sights around him. More than one woman turned to look at him. The Tiktean were all fair and blond, and the women found his darkness exotic and fascinating. Too bad Kathryn had laid her claim on him. He had no desire to face their laws on adultery or the punishment. Castration. No doubt the Tiktean men were very faithful.

 

Stopping at a small café, he sat at a table overlooking a playground. Children ran and played. Chakotay smiled. No matter the planet, children were children.

 

Waving away the waiter, he leaned his elbows on the table. Why couldn’t Kathryn make up her mind? One moment she was having a candlelit dinner with him in her quarters and snuggling up on the sofa with him, and the next she was pushing the rule book in his face and slamming the door.

 

He loved Kathryn beyond all reason; of that, he had no doubt. But did she love him in return? He thought so. Most days. It was there sometimes, escaping the closet she kept her feelings locked in.

 

His promise to wait was a yoke around his neck. Alone on New Earth, it was inevitable that they become lovers. He had been patient and content to let her come to him in her own time. Then Voyager returned to end it before it started.  At the time he had thought she’d give in after a year or maybe two at the most. The distance home was too great. What he hadn’t counted on was her stubbornness.

 

It wasn’t like he hadn’t tried. He had made sure to stay away from relationships with women on the ship, and his shore leave affairs had been discreet. Occasionally he’d turned to holograms, but only when he was so horny he’d hump anything. He needed a connection with a woman, even if it was only a mutual fleeting lust. Holograms could never provide that.

 

A ball bounced onto the terrace at his feet. Leaning over, he caught it and tossed it back to the fair skinned child that had been chasing after it. Watching the child run back to his parents, Chakotay felt a twinge of longing. He wanted a wife and children before he was too old to enjoy them. Kathryn needed to let him in or let him go.

 

 

The lights of this strange city are shinin’

But they don’t hold no fascination for me

I try to find the bright side, baby

But everywhere I look, everywhere I turn, you’re all I see

 

 

Every corridor ended with a blank wall. Turning and walking back the way he’d come, Chakotay turned left this time at the intersection. After a few feet it ended in a blank wall as well.

 

Sitting down, he leaned against the wall. This vision was confusing. He’d opened his eyes to find himself in a corridor of smooth blank walls and dead ends. There were no doors or windows, no signs or decorations. Just empty gray walls. As visions went, it was extremely frustrating. His spirit guide had failed to appear. Either she felt he didn’t need her or she didn’t want to. Guides could be capricious at times.

 

Hearing a sound, Chakotay looked up to see a buzzard flying through the clear sky. Hadn’t there been a ceiling there a moment ago? Standing up, he watched the bird circle above him, finally coming in to land on the edge of the wall above him.

 

“Hello, brother. Have you come to speak with me?” A buzzard wasn’t a good sign, but he didn’t want to be rude.

 

The buzzard turned his head, beady eyes glittering.

 

The scent of death and decay assaulted his mind. Crying out, Chakotay turned and ran down the corridor until he came to another dead end. His stomach heaved and threatened to force its way up his throat. Hearing a rustling, he looked up to see that more buzzards had joined the first one. They lined the tops of the walls.

 

“Well, if I can’t go forward… how about up?” Leaping up, he caught the edge of the wall. The buzzards flapped and stepped aside. Hauling himself up, Chakotay perched on the edge for a moment. A maze! As far as he could see were corridors branching into each other. He had been inside a huge maze. One with no way out.

 

Looking down, he saw green grass and flowers. Dropping down onto the grass, he started walking along the path. His spirit guide trotted up and leapt up to lick his face.

 

 

 

The vision faded, leaving Chakotay sitting on the floor in his quarters. Leaning back against the sofa, he pondered what he’d seen. Obviously, he was trapped with nowhere to go. Only by climbing out of the box he’d put himself into would he find peace.

 

Gathering up his medicine bundle, he put it away. His path was clear to him now. Kathryn was someone to be put firmly into the category of friend from now on. Their lunches and dinners would have to be cut back to only business and as seldom as possible. No more joint shore leaves or holodeck time together. Not alone. Not anymore.

 

Sighing, Chakotay lay down and tried to sleep. His mind was made up but his heart still ached. He would seek out someone to share his life with. Even if it broke his heart.

 

 

Let me let go, baby

Let me let go

It just isn’t right

I’ve been two thousand miles

Down a dead end road

 

 

“Commander?”

 

“Yes, Seven?”

 

“I – I had one other item to discuss with you.”

 

Chakotay leaned back in his chair wondering why Seven seemed so nervous around him lately. “Something that wasn’t in your report?”

 

“Yes. I mean no.”

“Well, which is it?”

 

“Something that was not in my report.” The tall blonde seemed as flustered as he’d ever seen her.

 

“Sorry. I guess that was one of those ‘yes, we have no bananas’ questions.” He grinned at her confused look. “Old Earth expression.”

 

“I think I understand. A question that requires a positive answer to be a negative.” She cocked her head. “Interesting.”

 

“What was it you wanted, Seven?”

 

“I was going to the mess hall for lunch and thought perhaps you would like to accompany me.”

 

Was she asking him on a date?

 

“In the mess hall of course. In the company of others.” She rushed the words out.

 

Chakotay started to decline and then stopped himself. She had such a hopeful expression on her face, and he had decided to move on. “It’s a date.”

 

Seven smiled. “Yes. A date.”

 

 

Oh, let me let go, darlin’, won’t you

I just gotta know

If this is for the best, why are you still in my heart

Yeah, you’re still in my soul, let me let go

Let me let go, let me let go

 

 

Chapter 2 You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This

 


maquisleader@maquisleader.net