Chakotay sat in his armchair in his quarters, slumped down low with his feet on the coffee table. There was an unopened bottle of champagne and two glasses in the middle of the table and he felt himself falling into a deep meditation as he stared at them.
It was now five months since the Voyager and Liberty crews had come together to work towards the common goal of getting home to the Alpha Quadrant. All in all, it had gone better than either captain had actually hoped for. No one had been murdered (yet) and some sincere friendships were now beginning to form among the combined crew. He himself now thought of the new family as "our" crew and he found that he enjoyed the position of First Officer. He had the natural ability of instilling faith in people and, while he wouldn't admit it to himself, it was his doing that the integration was going along as well as it was. Captain Janeway was well aware of this and had a hard time equating her new XO with the terrorist she had been sent to capture - until she remembered her own reaction to him. He was a natural leader and people tended to do what he wanted them to do.
And no Maquis crewmember had yet wanted to don a Starfleet uniform.
He recalled the day when the Starfleet captain had pinned the Maquis rank insignia of full commander on his collar. It had been a tense meeting, both parties skirting around one another, shields up and photon torpedoes primed to fire. He had recognized the control freak in Janeway immediately and had dreaded the next decades. Her words had suggested a team approach in bringing both crews together but her demeanor had not and he had reacted swiftly and strongly. It had to be done, and he wouldn't hesitate to do it again - but then she pinned that Maquis rank bar on him and offered him her complete trust. Her reaction that day had certainly surprised him and it wasn't the last time she would do that, either.
His mind wandered to his return to Cargo Bay Two after that first meeting with Janeway. B'Elanna, Kurt, and Ayala had already organized the Maquis into attack teams. They were all used to pulling themselves into attack readiness quickly and now they were simply waiting for their captain and his orders. The door opened and there he was - a commander?! Chakotay could hear B'Elanna's growling before he was even half way across the bay.
That had been his second difficult meeting of the day. He explained the situation clearly - he was a good communicator - but it was still hard for his crew to swallow. They had dodged too many blazing weapons and survived too many battles against Starfleet to just jump into bed with a whole crew of them. It really didn't matter if these people were also decades away from home; they were Starfleet and therefore the enemy. Chakotay managed to bite back any and all flippant remarks about sleeping with the enemy - he knew that B'Elanna would immediately pick out a target and then come back to him with information he could get from Janeway simply by asking.
Slowly they had calmed down enough to hear and understand the position they were in. Chakotay didn't mince words and the picture he painted was certainly vivid. Finally they accepted the inevitable but not without a great deal of grousing and secret dreams of mutiny. Chakotay recognized those expressions and decided he would let them dream for a week; after that, he'd pay a house call to anyone who still had that mutinous look. It was no secret to him that his crew tended to do anything to avoid a house call from him.
He had pulled out a padd that he and Captain Janeway had worked on after the champagne. It included assignments for quarters, duties, and messhall privileges. And, since everyone was hungry, exhausted, and filthy, the immediate debate was over. One by one they gathered up their duffel bags and trudged out of the cargo bay to be met by security personnel waiting to play host and to help them get settled. He remained behind to ensure that any unsuitable items were not carelessly left in the Cargo Bay and then he went in search of his own quarters.
He hadn't realised that his quarters were going to be beside the captain's. He didn't know why that surprised him but a tightening in his groin reminded him that he wasn't going to complain. There was something about that woman that made him immediately want her - body and soul. There was no conscious decision, there was no one particular attribute that stirred him, there was only his consuming raw desire from the second he swung around on her bridge ready to kill her. And now she would be sleeping on the other side of his bedroom's bulkhead. He threw his duffel onto his bed and wondered how good the soundproofing was on an Intrepid class starship..
The fire spreading throughout his body brought Chakotay out of his daydreams and he sat up in his chair abruptly. Kathryn was expected any minute. Over the months the two of them had gradually fallen into the routine of regularly finishing up monotonous reports together in her quarters. Tentatively supper had been added to those evenings as the reports inevitably encroached on their evening meals. Then, after a month of not getting together at all, wine was introduced to round off their evenings with a quiet half-hour, sharing notes about the crew and enjoying a little down time. These evenings were his favourite part of being first officer and tonight, at last, Kathryn had finally agreed to come to his quarters. Tonight would be only the second time since the Maquis had come on board that she was coming to him. Him. Not her damned First Officer.
His thoughts turned towards the Captain and the end of that first day..
"Come in, Kathryn. What can I do for you?" Commander Chakotay was surprised to see Captain Janeway at the door of his new quarters so soon after their meeting.
"This isn't official, Commander. I just thought I'd come to make sure you found your quarters and have settled in, that's all."
He looked around his quarters in bemusement. "I have, thanks. B'Elanna and Kurt managed to grab a few of my personal things before beaming over but I can't say that it took me very long to settle them in."
She allowed a sad smile. "No, I guess it wouldn't have, but I do hope you'll be comfortable here."
He nodded slowly. "I'm sure I will be. I was just about to have some tea - would you care to join me?"
"Well, if you make that a coffee I'll be happy to."
He placed his hand in the small of her back, fingers trailing over to the curve of her hip, and started to guide her towards the couch. The second his hand touched her he felt a jolt of plasma between them and he knew she felt it, too. For an instant her body melted into his hand and arm but then she bolted ahead to the couch. He continued to the replicator and brought their beverages back to the coffee table.
"How's your crew?" she began.
"Angry, confused, and scared. How's yours?"
"About the same. I suppose my question was the last time we'll ever refer to the two groups as yours and mine. From now on, they're ours. Are you still feeling good about that?"
"I have to, Kathryn, I don't see any alternative that gives everyone better odds of surviving. They're ours from here on out. However," he smiled wryly, "I wouldn't be too surprised if we had to make a distinction between them every once in a while."
"You're right of course, but only in private. Let's agree that you and I will be able to make some distinctions in 'our' crew that will be unacceptable anywhere else. I will not be happy with anyone who takes too long in coming to terms with our new reality." She shook her head and he smiled.
"Agreed. But leave the discipline to me, that's my job."
"Gladly." Captain Janeway stood up. "Thanks for the coffee, Commander, but I should go now; I still have reports to sign off." He rose and walked with her towards the door.
"Thanks for coming, Kathryn, I enjoyed our visit."
She paused, then slowly turned around and put her hand on Chakotay's chest. "I should get this over with, Commander. I would prefer that you not call me Kathryn."
He looked down into her eyes. "That's your name, isn't it?"
"Yes, but protocol requires a certain amount of formality and I would prefer that we follow it."
"I will when we're on duty, Kathryn, but not otherwise."
"Insubordination does not become you, Commander Chakotay."
"I'm not your subordinate, Kathryn."
Her eyes narrowed. "I thought we'd settled that. This is a Starfleet ship and I'm the captain. And I would prefer you to call me by my rank or, at the very least, 'Ma'am'"
He stepped towards her until their bodies were almost touching. "You're not the captain in my room, Kathryn, and you never will be. This room is my world and when you come here you're a woman. One day maybe even my woman." His hand came up to her face, covering her cheek and allowing his fingers to slide into her hair. He bent his head over her other ear and whispered, "I'm not going to be on continuous duty for the next seven decades and neither are you. It's lonely at the top, Kathryn, and I think you're going to need a sanctuary on board this ship. I want it to be here - and so do you."
Before she could respond she felt his mouth on her ear, his tongue swirling around its curves, and his voice whispering something else that she was too stunned to understand. He began to kiss behind her ear, finding that spot that made her knees buckle, then mercifully continued down her jaw. She felt herself arching into him and his hand slid around to her neck to support her. His other arm slipped around her waist and his mouth found hers when suddenly she came to her senses and tore herself out of his embrace.
"Chakotay, stop it!" She almost had to put her hands on her knees to catch her breath.
"Why?" he gasped.
"This is wrong! A Starfleet captain does not fraternize with a member of her crew, she just doesn't! It's against every rule in the book!"
"You've got a Maquis captain serving as first officer on your precious ship, Kathryn! I think it's time you started reading the new chapters in that holy book of yours!"
"I can't, Chakotay, I just can't. It's the only way I know how to command a ship and I'm not changing now just because we're in the Delta Quadrant." She hugged herself in an attempt to calm down.
He watched her for a moment and then came close to her again, running his finger up her arm towards her neck. "Okay, not here and not now," he said, then bent closer to her and lowered his voice. "But it's going to happen, Kathryn - you will change, I promise you. And you'll learn to love hearing me say your name, even crave it." Slowly he straightened up. "Good night Kathryn, I'll see you on the bridge in the morning."
He swung her around and walked her to the doors, both hands on her upper arms. As they reached the door his mouth bent close again and he ran his tongue up her neck to her earlobe, which he sucked between his teeth for a little nibble. The door slid open and he blew against the trail, smiling when the goosebumps rose and betrayed her. Then he pushed her into the corridor. She was still standing there shaking when the doors slid shut.
Chakotay jumped as the chime to his door broke through his memories. He bit his lips as he tried to force his natural reaction to Kathryn Janeway to subside; she always had that effect on him, both in person and in dreams. Then, realising who was on the other side of those doors; he stopped trying and stood up. She was here and she needed him.
On to Part Four
Back to Ficlist