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SUMMARY: Janeway and Chakotay explore a new planet as per the agreement, and find themselves in the middle of a philosophical discussion. However, as often happens, philosophy has a habit of getting personal. A Voyager and Liberty a/u fic.
History in the Making
"They're pathetic," Janeway replied briskly, brushing the leaves and twigs from her skirt as she rose to her feet.
"But put yourself in their place." Chakotay stood slowly, brushing off his trousers. "First, sources that they trust assure them that it's true. Second, what they're told is what they want to hear. And third, they're an insulated society that doesn't care much about any other society on their home planet. What that adds up to is simple -- looking for proof that their cherished beliefs are wrong is highly unlikely."
"Liberty, not knowing the truth is one thing, but not wanting to know the truth is something else entirely. Even when it became apparent that there is plenty of evidence to disprove their beliefs, they still do nothing. Totally pathetic."
"I suppose. But, Voyager, maybe they can't handle the truth. Their entire sense of self is based on the 'facts' as they know them. If they accepted the truth, they wouldn't -- couldn't -- exist. Their personal identity would cease to be."
"I'll say it again, pathetic."
She looked up at him sharply. "You don't sound all that convinced."
When Chakotay didn't continue she looked at him again. The expression on his face touched her in an inexplicable way, his eyes bearing an emotion she couldn't identify.
"What is it? Why is this so important to you?"
"Have you ever wondered what Earth's history will say about the Maquis?" he asked softly.
So that was it. He was almost seventy years from home and still worrying about his people. She continued in a less pugnacious tone. "I haven't dwelt on it, no. I assume that history will explain the philosophical differences of the two entities, together with their origins. After that, it will show how people from many different planets came together to actively support or fight for one or the other, and then describe those confrontations. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Or, at least something along those lines."
"Well, I'm not so sure. There aren't as many Maquis now as you might think, and when those people are gone I guess you could say the Maquis will be 'history'. And yet, it will be Starfleet that actually writes and records it."
"And you think it won't be accurate."
"I think that it will be Starfleet's story of the Maquis, yes. And, before you ask, I also think that Starfleet won't mind blurring a few of the edges either. There will be a spin on what facts they want to record and the omission of those they don't."
"Chakotay, I don't know what to say. Starfleet does have a history with the Maquis; look at me, I'm evidence of that. What would you expect history to record?"
He turned to her suddenly and grabbed her upper arms. His gaze was intense as he demanded, "Kathryn, why are we here?"
"What?! You know why we're here -- we made that agreement -- your terms stated "
"No! Further back! Why are we here, Kathryn?"
"Where? Here? In the Delta Quadrant here?"
"Yes! Why, Kathryn? Tell me why!"
"The Caretaker "
"Forget the damned Caretaker! Further back! Why?!"
"I don't know what you mean! What 'further back'? The Badlands? Okay. I was sent to apprehend you and we engaged in battle. You took Liberty into the Badlands to lure us in to gain the advantage of a surprise attack and "
His arms dropped like stumps. "Exactly. Kathryn Rose, I've never lured you in my entire life. Liberty was falling into a thousand pieces even as we dodged in between all the space debris. Hell, Be was going crazy trying to keep her together and I was getting desperate about the lives of my people. All I wanted was to get the hell away from Voyager so that we could limp home to fight another day. But nooo, Captain Janeway had something to prove to the brass back home and so "
" Here we are." Kathryn looked up at him. "Okay, I understand. It's my fault."
"Damn it, Voyager, it's no one's fault and it's everyone's fault. I wasn't trying to lay blame at your feet, I was trying to make a point. You know, you've called me a terrorist to my face more than once, and you were trying to be diplomatic! Spirits only know what we'll be known as by the time our children are taking history lessons."
"Well, since I've never played the diplomatic game with you and since we don't have children, it doesn't much matter, does it? So stop worrying."
The twinkle in his eye flashed for a millisecond and Kathryn was sure she saw a twitch in his dimple department.
"You weren't trying to be diplomatic?"
"Certainly not. I read your file front, back, and sideways before we left on our mission and frankly, I figured you for an old space pirate from day one. You believe strongly in the Maquis cause, but all you needed back in the AQ was an eye patch and a parrot and you could have been the terrorist poster child."
His smile was disarmingly dangerous. "You'll have to make up your mind, you know."
"Well, either you see me as an old pirate or as a poster child. Which is it?"
"I haven't decided yet. I guess I'll just have to wait to read the history books and "
She couldn't finish as she suddenly found herself slung over his shoulder. "Put me down, you fool! What the hell are you doing?"
"My peg leg and I are taking a walk. When I decide what your fate is I'll let you know, but I definitely see a treasure chest in the future."
"What the hell is it with you always slinging me over your shoulder? Put me down!"
"I don't know, it's just an urge that comes over me. You start doing what you do and I can't resist"
"This is not very spiritual of you!"
"That's what you think; I feel a real inner moment coming on here."
"Put me down and that's an order!"
"Did you know that your voice can get a little shrill sometimes?"
She executed a well-aimed kick and found herself sliding down his torso while he gasped for breath. To keep from falling all the way to the ground she clutched him by the neck, only to feel his arms close around her firmly. His mouth still breathed heavily in pain against her neck, making the fine hairs there stand on end, while his small groan made her knees go weak. He was still softly gasping when she felt his lips, and then his tongue, teasing her ear.
Kathryn pushed him back and tried to smooth her hair. "Stop that. I don't know why you always carry on like this when we're alone. Honestly, you'd think you were eighteen."
"You're blushing! And Kathryn Rose, I'm a lot older than eighteen, and so are you. Why do you go all prickly when we're together? I thought the purpose of us being alone on a new planet was to make us stronger, more of a team."
"But you always take the teasing too far. I mean, it's good that we have time together away from the crew, but you always go just one step too far. I -- I've never liked to be teased. I know that may sound childish, but I don't. I've worked too hard to get where I am and I just don't think it's really something that deserves to be mocked. If you were anyone else you'd be in the brig right now."
"If you were anyone else youd be in my bed right now."
The sound of her slap was like a shot, echoing in his shocked silence. Then, without a word Chakotay turned around and walked away.
Kathryn watched him leave. She was in a daze and time lost all meaning for her. Slowly she realised she was trembling, and felt a balloon rising from her craw until it burst out of her throat in a crying sob. Disbelief filled her mind, she couldn't believe she'd hit him again. Their flirting and teasing were supposed to be games, and now she was developing a habit of making them real. No wonder he'd strode off.
Haltingly at first, she started after him. Then, gaining strength as her remorse continued to grow, Kathryn sped up. He hadn't gone far, only to the water's edge, and now stood gazing at the horizon as the soft waves lapped over his feet. Her hand reached out to touch his bare, tanned back.
"I think perhaps we should forget about this agreement," he said stonily, without turning around.
She froze. Her hand, so close to his skin, was quickly tucked into her signature arm crossing. "Why?"
"Why?" he repeated in frustration, and finally turned to glare at her. "Why do you think? It's not working. This is definitely not working. You obviously feel you're under some kind of constraint and that was never my intention. Let's just call it quits before one of us gets really hurt."
"I'm sorry," she whispered. "I don't know what came over me. Maybe I feel like I don't have many choices out here, but that doesn't justify violence. I don't want to hurt you, Chakotay, and I honestly don't know what came over me."
"Sure you do. I came over you. You have a stubborn streak that reaches back to the Alpha Quadrant, Captain Janeway, and you're determined to keep me in my Maquis place. Well, that's not going to work for me. I'll do anything within reason to help Voyager and her crew while I'm on board the ship, but this thing between us stops here and now. You can hide from life for the next seventy years, but I'll be damned if I will."
"You're being ridiculous."
"The one being ridiculous is you, but you won't admit it. Will you?"
Still with arms crossed the captain inspected her bare toes. "I've already apologised for hitting you and it was genuine; I was way out of line and I know it. What more do you want?"
"Nothing." Chakotay turned and began to walk away, and then suddenly swung back and marched the two steps back. Grabbing an upper arm to turn her towards him, the impatient man pulled her against his body. "No, damn it. This!"
His mouth was on hers without any preliminary warning, and Kathryn felt his powerful arms envelope her, trapping her own arms between them. Her head was pushed back against one of his own, braced so that there was no escape, while his sturdy body allowed no room for her to manoeuvre. For all her Starfleet training, there was no chance for Kathryn to pull away -- and then she didn't want to.
From being drenched in cold, dank dismay, her body intuitively ignited. Without intent she felt herself mould against him, responding willingly to his advances. She relinquished her mouth to him, and he plundered it possessively, taking what he wanted. Her head was still clamped by one of his arms, but the other had now slid lower, allowing his hand to roughly grip a buttock. In every way except words, the Maquis told the small Starfleet captain that any authority she had was on her vessel, never over him.
Chakotay finally raised his head an inch and they both breathed deeply. Then, still with closed eyes, he slid his mouth along her jawbone until she felt his hot breath against her ear. "Take off your blouse, Kathryn Rose."
She started. "Why?"
"Our terms of agreement, remember? I want to feel your skin and breasts against me and because if I have do it, I won't stop there."
With her teeth biting her lower lip, Kathryn tentatively fingered the hem of her little silk top. She started to pull it up, but then hesitated. His voice vibrated against her.
"Last chance, Voyager."
Slowly she brought the hem up until it reached her breasts and then, looking up at him, she pulled the garment over her head. His eyes drank in her nakedness, plainly showing his appreciation for her femininity. He put a hand on her hip, and then gently slid it up her side, following her curves until he cupped a precious breast. He felt her nipple react against his hand and smiled.
"Then why are you standing so far away? Come here."
This time his embrace and kiss were gentle. She stopped shivering in cold and continued in passion, feeling it rise up and spread through her like a wave of incendiaries attacking her nerve endings. Chakotay sank slowly into a kneeling position and gently helped Kathryn lay down on the sand. He positioned himself over her in a protective pose and smiled at her arching back, then complied with its voiceless plea. Bending his head down he let his mouth and hands worship her breasts, then slowly and tenderly he gave each nipple a gentle kiss, and brought his face up to smile into her eyes.
"You really are beautiful, Kathryn Rose, just like I knew you would be. All the rough edges filed off for me, soft, seasoned, loving."
"No, I'm not. I'm Starfleet, remember?"
"Yes, you are -- for them. For me you'll leave Starfleet on the ship and bring me Kathryn Rose. It'll get easier in time."
"Maybe ... but now we have to go back."
"You know? You're not going to give me a fight or pitch another fit?"
Chakotay's laugh was instant and full of mirth. "Did you think I was going to just take you here on this beach? That I had something -- anything -- to prove?"
"I seem to recall a threat." Her voice sounded slightly miffed.
He pulled her back close to him, wrapping his arms around her for warmth and stroked her hair. "Yes. No. What I mean is that no, I would never hurt you like that and yes, I certainly would have taken your top off if you hadn't. Why not? That swim we had a few months ago didn't leave anything to the imagination, and I've been dreaming of feeling your breasts against me since then."
"You threatened me if I didn't!"
"I certainly did. But you're a Starfleet captain with Voyager at your command -- don't pretend you couldn't have protected yourself against any real assault. Once you were free of my arms, it was all your call, and we both know it."
His head pulled back enough to look her in the eyes. "I don't know what's going on between us, nor do I really care. I know how I feel about you, and I think it's mutual, but that doesn't mean I want to jump into anything. Far from it. We've got seventy years to figure this out and I'm in no particular hurry."
"You could have fooled me a few minutes ago."
He laughed again. "Give me a break! You went warp on me and I'm only a man, for goodness sake. And you don't have to blush and get that look on your face, Kathryn. You've got nothing to worry about, what happens between us stays between us. I have total respect for your position on the ship, I assure you. I've been a captain and I'm looking forward to being on vacation."
"I don't think the next seventy years are going to be one big holiday, Liberty."
"Neither do I, but let's just make an agreement. Between the two of us we'll pledge to get our people home and do it in the best way we know how. You're the captain, I'm the away mission officer, and together we'll work towards that objective. In the meantime, when I say 'strip', you will."
She groaned. "You just had to go and ruin it."
"Do you blame me? You were getting all mellow and I had to do something. Okay, all kidding aside, I'm here for you, Voyager. I don't think we're going to have it easy, but we're going to make it. You, me, our people, and even that little leola root addict and his Ocampan sidekick. I can feel it."
She looked up with shining eyes into his own. "You lied to me, Liberty."
His eyebrow raised in surprise. "I have never lied to you, Kathryn Rose. Especially about us."
"You said you've never lured anyone in your life. You lied. You lured me into an agreement that will let me be someone other than 'the Captain' for small moments in time out here in the DQ."
"I did? You know, I suppose I did. That's funny, I always thought I blackmailed you."
"And you're concerned about how the Maquis will be remembered?! Saints preserve me!"
Chakotay brought his finger to her face and slowly slid it down over her nose until it gently rested on her swollen lips. "Yes, indeed. Saints and all spirits preserve you. There are one hundred and fifty people who need you out here, and I'm one of them. You know what I think?"
"I think you and I are going to make some exciting history out here. And, in our case, it will definitely be recorded correctly."
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