Mud And Flowers
By Maquis Leader
Mud sucked at her feet making each step an effort. Stumbling, she fell to her knees. Strong hands lifted her back to her feet. “I am going to blast this planet into little pieces!”
Chakotay ducked his head and smiled. This wasn’t the first such outburst he’d heard from Kathryn. They’d been traveling through this swamp since escaping their captors a few hours earlier. A routine first contact had gone somewhere south of ideal when they refused to trade their weapons technology for food supplies.
“Why don’t they just say ‘hey don’t come down here we’re going to knock you in the head’? Why not just tell us to go away?” She wiped her hands on her pants trying to get the thick gray mud off. “Why act nice?”
“That would make it too easy.” Chakotay wiped the sweat off his face. It was muggy and humid. They’d been forced to shed their jackets and turtlenecks early on.
“From now on, we ask up front!” She slogged forward a few more steps. “Are you going to try to do something nasty to us? If so, we’ll just go somewhere else! Who needs your supplies, you backwater Delta quadrant assholes?”
Kathryn Janeway ranting? This was new. He’d seen her order, argue, and occasionally lecture – but never rant. Just when you thought you’d seen it all – “Ooof!” He slammed into her, not realizing she’d stopped.
“I’m stuck.” She tugged one leg and then the other. “Well this just makes my day!” She looked up to see Chakotay laughing at her. “It’s not funny, Commander, if you hadn’t let them take our combadges, we’d be back on Voyager instead of traipsing through this place!”
“I’m sorry, but considering he had a weapon pointed at your head, I thought it was a good trade.”
“Ha!” She glared at him.
He was taking in the sight of her with her hands on her hips, mud smeared on her chin that was tilted defiantly up at him. Her breasts were raising and falling under the dingy tank top, black bra clearly visible. Then he noticed something different about her. “Kathryn are you getting shorter?”
“I’m sinking!” Yanking at her legs, she saw the mud had climbed halfway up her shins.
“Take my hands.” Pulling her towards him, he succeeded in lifting her up a few inches but the mud wouldn’t let her loose. “Hang on.” He moved around behind her.
“Wait, Chakotay, you’ll get sucked under, too!” The mud was almost to her knees.
“I’ll be careful.” Locking his hands together around her waist, he walked backwards, pulling her with him.
“My boots are coming off!”
“Point your toes up. That’ll help.” Trying again, he got her part way out before he slipped and almost fell.
“Leave me!” She tried to push his hands away. “Voyager can’t afford to lose us both.”
“I can’t afford to lose you!” Sliding his hands around Kathryn’s waist again he began slowly backing away. After a few more minutes of tug of war with the mud, he had her free.
“My boots are full of mud.” She’d had to bend down and grab her boot tops to keep from losing them.
“Let’s sit down over here and clean them out.” Chakotay led her to a small raised hummock of land. Compared to the swamp around them, it was relatively dry. Using the short grass, he wiped as much mud as he could off his hands.
Jerking her boots off, Kathryn propped them upside down to drain. “Ugh! We’ve probably got a million kinds of bacteria crawling all over us. I need a bath.” She noticed Chakotay staring at her. “What?” On the front of her tank top were large muddy handprints. Directly over her breasts. “Chakotay!”
What could he say? He’d known where his hands had wound up, but he hadn’t done it intentionally. He hadn’t had a chance to enjoy it, either. “Would you rather I let you sink?”
She looked down at the handprints again. “I’d rather have your hands on me any day.” Laughing at the flush that stained his cheeks, she felt good for the first time all day.
The rain that had plagued them on and off started up again. Chakotay cupped his hands to catch some, sipping the fresh water gratefully.
“Well, could be worse. Could be raining.” Kathryn rubbed her arms. Now that they weren’t moving she was feeling chilly.
“At least we can get something to drink. All this water around us and I thought I’d die of thirst.”
“I hate you, you know.” His eyebrows arched up. “You’re too damned optimistic.” Cupping her hands she tried to imitate his example but she couldn’t seem to get enough for a decent swallow. What she got tasted muddy.
“Here.” Lifting the collar of her shirt, he wiped the mud off her chin and mouth. Cupping his hands, he let water collect in his palms for her. Her mouth sucking the pool of water from his hands set his body on fire. Her smoky blue eyes peered up at him as she licked her lips.
“Thank you.” Kathryn felt a rush of desire at the sight of him kneeling next to her letting her drink from his large hands. Water sluiced down his bare shoulders and chest. “Where’s your t-shirt?”
“I don’t wear one. Too hot.”
Too hot? It was too hot for her for him to run around shirtless. She had an urge to lick up the drops of water that pooled along his collarbone before they trickled down the center of his chest and stomach.
Standing, he held out his hand to her.
Looking up at him with the rain running down the raven hair and dripping onto his broad shoulders, Kathryn shivered. Chakotay looked like some pagan savage. She could envision him in the breechclout and leather leggings of his ancestors. She shivered again.
“Kathryn?” The black velvet eyes were concerned.
“It – I’m just chilly.” B’Elanna had to stop giving her romance novels to read. And she had to stop reading them. Taking his hand, she let him pull her to her feet.
“It’s because we’ve stopped moving, but we need to rest for a few minutes before moving on.” Leading her over to the lone tree on their small island, he circled it looking up into the branches. It was his turn to shiver.
“Just checking for snakes.”
“Ugh!” She laid a hand on his shoulder; the one thing that bothered him was snakes.
Sitting with his back against the tree, Chakotay patted the ground between his legs. “Sit.”
“Who made you boss?” She grumbled settling back against his chest.
“It’s a first officer’s job to take care of his Captain and keep her safe.” He wrapped his arms around her waist and clamped his legs together, effectively trapping her against his body.
“I do feel safe.” Kathryn laid her head back against his chest. “Wish I felt comfortable.” She was silent for a few minutes. Then she muttered. “Tricobalt torpedo.”
“About a dozen or so. Level this place. Maybe B’Elanna can come up with an antimatter bomb.” She waved her hand in the general direction they’d come from. “Turn this whole place into a big sheet of glass. Chaotica’s Deathray, that’s what we need. Nobody would screw with Voyager then.”
“Kathryn, you’re wasting energy. Just relax. Tuvok should be looking for us by now. He’ll find us.”
“I’m just tired of hostile aliens. One little Starbase, is that too much to ask?” She sighed. “Oh, Chakotay, tell me something to make me feel good for a minute.”
“I’m covered in mud!” She laughed.
“So.” He shrugged. “Any woman can look beautiful when she’s not covered in mud.”
“You’re so sweet to me.” Raindrops hit her in the face as she turned to look up at him. “Tell me its not raining. Tell me something that’ll make me feel good for a few more minutes.”
“It’s not raining.” He tucked her tighter against him and rested his chin on top of her head. “It’s warm and the sun is shining.”
“Tell me we’re someplace else.” She closed her eyes, enjoying the feel of his arms around her. “Someplace nice.”
Chakotay’s first thought was of New Earth. It held pleasant memories for him. But would she feel the same?
“Tell me we’re on Risa. Let’s go to Risa, just you and me.”
Risa? The ‘pleasure planet’? “Okay... we’re on the beach. The sun is shining down warming our skin.” She sighed and settled back against him. Resting his face against hers, he discovered he could see down the gaping front of her tank top. The black bra looked to be satin and it held her breasts together nicely. So creamy and white.
“White? Risa’s beaches aren’t white.”
Spirits, had he spoken those thoughts out loud? “The waves are white as they wash up onto the golden sand.” Good save old man. “We’ve been swimming. We’re still damp from playing in the water. Now we’re laying in the sun drying off.”
“What color is my swimsuit?” Kathryn tipped her face up as if feeling the sunshine warming her.
“Blue.” He grinned. “An aqua blue bikini.”
“Bikini? When have you ever seen me in a bikini?” She shook her head. “It’s a one piece.”
“Okay. A bikini bottom with no top. Happy?”
“Chakotay!” Laughing, she swatted his leg. “Okay a bikini, but both pieces.”
“Well, I wouldn’t want you to burn.” His hands rubbed her arms. “You’re lying on a towel and I’m rubbing suntan oil into your skin. It smells like coconut, my hands are warm and slick sliding over your skin.”
“Well, we wouldn’t want me to burn.” The image of him rubbing oil on her made her wish she’d stuck to the topless suit.
“No, I like your skin like it is, nice and white.” He was getting excited at the thought of running his hands over her oiled body. She wouldn’t burn because he’d wind up lying on top of her. Chakotay was suddenly very aware of her bottom pressed up against him. “We decide to go in for dinner.”
Kathryn wanted to hear more about the suntan oil he was rubbing on her. She could feel his erection pressing against her. Would he be rubbing that against her as well? I should move. Instead she pressed back against him. Besides where else would I go?
“We have a room with a glorious view of the sun setting over the ocean. Purple and scarlet light streaming in through the windows. Candles are lit on the table and there’s a bouquet of beautiful flowers.”
His arms had moved back around her, his hands resting on her stomach. Twining her fingers with his, she asked. “Just one room?”
“It’s all we need.” So she’d caught that, had she?
“What color are the flowers?” Anything to stop herself from asking where the bed was.
“Purple. Like this.” Pulling one hand free, he reached down to a small clump of flowers next to their tree. Picking one, he handed it to her.
“It’s beautiful.” Kathryn held the vibrant purple blossom to her nose. “It smells like vanilla, sort of.” She held it up so he could inhale the sweet scent.
“Um hum.” Her shirt gaped farther open and he longed to bury his nose in the valley between her breasts. “Very nice.”
“What’s for dinner?”
“Lobster. I’m dipping pieces into melted butter and feeding them to you. Butter runs down your chin.”
“Do you wipe it off?” Her voice was husky.
“Yes.” Chakotay had an image of himself licking the spicy melted butter off her chin. And her breasts...
“Hmm... What do I feed you?” There was an unbearable ache between her thighs.
“A fat piece of lobster dripping with butter.”
“You’re a vegetarian.”
“I eat fish. My muscles need something to feed on.”
Remembering the times she’d seen him boxing, she nodded. We wouldn’t want to do anything to jeopardize those muscles. “Do I get to wipe butter off your chin?”
“Oh, yes...” He was hard and throbbing against her. Rubbing his face against her hair, Chakotay slid his hands up letting his thumbs caress the undersides of her breasts. “We share a glass of wine. A light sweet wine that contrasts perfectly with the food. The candles are burning down, making it seem like the only light in the universe is that which surrounds us.”
His hands slid up over her breasts, palms rubbing the taut nipples. “Do we kiss?” Kathryn put her hands over his.
“Yes. Definitely. Several times.” He kissed the side of her face. “I give you a box. Black velvet tied with a red ribbon.”
Her heart started to pound. “What’s inside?”
“A ring. A glittering diamond sitting on a gold band.”
She held her breath.
“I get down on one knee and ask ‘Kathryn, will you marry me?’”
Was he serious? “That would make me happy for the rest of my life.”
“I love you, Kathryn.” His voice was soft in her ear.
“We’re in the middle of a swamp for God’s sake!”
“No, we’re on Risa, remember?” He could always pass it off as a joke if she rejected him. Ha Ha only joking, please don’t see my broken heart bleeding on the ground.
“Remember that when our children ask where we were when you proposed.”
It was his turn to hold his breath. Was she teasing him? “As long as I can tell them you said ‘yes’.”
Laying her head back against his shoulder, Kathryn pulled his head down to hers for a lingering kiss. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Chakotay.”
“Happy Valentine’s Day, Kathryn.” His mouth caressed hers, their tongues meeting and tasting.
“So, this diamond. Is it big?” She turned to look into his eyes.
He laughed. Tough starship Captain she might be, but she was also a typical woman. “B’Elanna will be suitably jealous.”
“Good.” Her lips moved along his tattoo. “Now, let’s talk some more about the suntan oil you’re going to be rubbing on me.”