Kathryn Janeway slowly rolled up her uniform and tossed it on the bed; this one was definitely fodder for the recycling unit. She cautiously took off the sickbay robe and looked in her mirror, appraising her battered body.
One hell of a voyage had turned into one bitch of a week. Always in the past she had found that the boring shifts were the hardest to bear. There had, unfortunately, been plenty of battles with hostile aliens in the last five months and they always had the usual hard consequences - but damn it, at least with them there was no fear of falling asleep in the big chair. Thank heaven for Chakotay, he always had something up his sleeve to keep her either alert or amused during these long days. Standing here in her bedroom, however, she realised that he also had plenty of things up his sleeve for other situations, her rescue today had proven that. Those Maquis abilities had come in handy, just as he had predicted.
Chakotay had turned out to be her biggest surprise on this voyage. He had been on time for his first shift and within a week he had the crew and ship down pat. It jarred her at first to see a leather clad terrorist in Cavit's seat, but it didn't take long before she was more comfortable with him than she ever had been with Cavit. Chakotay might be independent, semi-insubordinate, and a former Maquis, but at least he wasn't a tight ass. And he was incredibly intelligent and ingenious - more than once she secretly wondered what the outcome of her original mission would have been. After this week she wondered even more.
She needed to find something to wear. Chakotay had told her no uniform in no uncertain terms and she knew he meant it. No one on Voyager, including the captain, ever had a hard time knowing when Chakotay meant something, although it was sometimes her job to change his mind. That was never easy but there always was a certain thrill in the challenge.
She sighed. She had never been a clotheshorse and she'd been living in her uniform for five months now. She didn't have a lot of choice in civvies, and she slowly started to go through them. She fingered a green dress and thought about that one and only time she had gone to Chakotay's quarters.
It had certainly been a wake-up call and one that she badly needed. It had reminded her of two things; one, that Starfleet protocols and procedures were sometimes open for interpretation; and two, that almost a third of the crew didn't even think they were relevant. She had taken that to heart and had Tuvok arrange intense training sessions for the former Maquis. The physical lessons only proved that it was time for the Starfleet crew to get back to the gym and the protocol lessons were like trying to teach a Ferengi the concept of the chosen lifestyle of the 20th century nun, Mother Theresa. Chakotay finally managed to keep a straight face long enough to suggest that teaching by example would be their best bet and Tuvok thankfully put his training gear away for another time.
But she still remembered that first night and the feel of his hands and mouth on her. When she had come to her senses in the corridor outside his room she had vowed never to return to his quarters; he was simply too dangerous. But on duty he had not slipped once in performing his duties - as a matter of fact he fell obligingly into the role of the perfect Starfleet first officer everywhere outside of his quarters, even when he was off duty. Certainly no aliens had ever thought the Voyager crew was a hybrid, even with the disparity in their choice of attire.
For, after five months, none of the former Maquis had yet appeared in a Starfleet uniform and she was secretly getting concerned. They had each been issued one after the EMH had examined them and entered their health and body specs on the computer. But she knew that none of them would ever put on a Starfleet uniform before they saw their former captain in one, and that seemed more unlikely each day. Theirs was a stubborn and loyal lot.
Kathryn pulled out another dress. This one was red, but the kind of red that had enough gold in it to set off her skin and reddish brown hair. It was simple; a soft delicate knit that clung to her body without looking either tawdry or cheap. The low scooped neck showed off her décolletage and only a whisper of a hint of cleavage and the wide straps emphasized her shapely shoulders and arms. The bruises were gone but not their memory and on any other day she thought she might even be considered sexy in this dress. But not today. Sexiness required an attitude that she was fresh out of - at least for the moment. A pair of slip-on sandals completed her outfit and she went into the bathroom to do her hair.
She pulled out the pins and ran her fingers through her hair; tonight she was wearing it down. Reaching for the brush she remembered that first night when his fingers had found their way into her hair and smiled. Then the brush stopped in mid-air as she remembered another night, this time in her own quarters, and blushed. She had been such an arrogant fool - again...
Commander Chakotay was putting the remains of their supper into the recycling unit. During their work evenings he would always clean up the table while Captain Janeway sorted out the reports they had to work on that night. His back was turned and he didn't hear her approach so when he turned around to find her in his face he had reacted instinctively.
The captain found herself on the floor completely immobilized under her first officer before she even knew what hit her. Later on she would recall that fact and speak to Tuvok, but just then she was too startled to even think. She looked up into his fierce face.
"I was just coming to see if you wanted a glass of wine, Commander," she squeaked. Her lungs were starting to scream from lack of air and she feebly tried to shift his weight. He didn't move.
"Wine?" he asked in confusion.
"Yes," she gasped. "Chakotay, please - air!!"
He suddenly realised her predicament and moved a little, enough for her to breathe but not enough for her to escape. He watched in fascination as her chest expanded and contracted as she gulped for air. Then, with her oxygen replenished, she assessed her situation and saw what his eyes were glued on. In total mortification she felt her nipples harden and point through her tank top, arousing an appreciative smile under his dark eyes.
"Kathryn," he murmured, "so beautiful." He dipped his head down and took a mutinous nipple between his teeth.
Her body completely betrayed her will. One touch of his mouth over her eager nipple and she let out a small scream and pushed her breast harder into his face. She didn't know how he did it but his arm swept out of nowhere and suddenly her tank was being pulled over her head and arms, leaving only her scanty brassiere between her heaving breasts and his hot mouth. Another nanosecond and the brassiere was history and she was truly transported on a wave of rapture as he started where he'd left off and then slowly began to kiss his way lower. Her freed hands found his hair and she clutched at him as her body writhed beneath his. She let out another little scream when his tongue found her bellybutton and worshipped it, then she felt his hands slide over her hips and come together to unfasten her pants. Chakotay had them undone and was just slipping his fingers under her waistband to pull them down when her body stiffened and her hands left his hair. He looked up.
"Kathryn.." he husked, his fingers clutching her waistband.
"No, Chakotay!" she exclaimed, pushing at his shoulders. "Get off!"
"Kathryn.spirits no! Don't do this to us!" His hands moved to hold her hips down.
"Chakotay! Stop it! Let me go!"
"Kathryn, for gawd's sake.." Chakotay dropped his head on her belly and let go of her pants. He lay there for a few moments, shuddering and breathing deeply, then rolled away from her, staring at the ceiling until he flung an arm over his eyes. Kathryn lay beside him, a tear rolling down her cheek and her hands crossed at the wrists, covering her nakedness.
Slowly she reached out and grabbed her tank top, then sat up and pulled it over her head. She looked around but could see no sign of her brassiere; he must have flung it for all he was worth. She buried her head in her hands for a few moments then took a couple of deep breaths and looked over at Chakotay.
Her heart fell. He still lay there with his eyes covered, although he was much calmer now. She felt totally ashamed, her whole behaviour tonight had been juvenile, letting him take her past the point of no return and then slamming on the breaks. Then it dawned on her that this powerful man, this so-called terrorist, had accepted her no as just that. No meant no and he had stopped no matter what pain he felt. The man had honour.
Kathryn crawled over to him and gently lay her hand on his chest. "Chakotay," she whispered.
"Chakotay, sit up. Please sit up and look at me."
His elbow raised a little and two dark eyes shot out at her. "And why would I want to do that, Captain?"
She hung her head at his use of her rank. "Please Chakotay, don't be like that. Please look at me."
A few tense moments passed and then Chakotay finally rolled onto his hip, supporting himself with his elbow. He waited until she looked up again before he spoke.
"Kathryn, I just want to know one thing."
"I know you know it; I just want to know why you deny it."
Her forehead creased in confusion. "Know what?"
He groaned and flung his head back. "Spirits, Kathryn, don't tell me you don't feel the connection between us because I know better."
"Connection?" Her heart leapt in fright in recognition of that very feeling. "I don't know what you're talking about, Chakotay. Obviously I find you attractive, but a connection..." Her voice faded away.
He took a deep breath and then let it out slowly. "So, you are going to deny it to yourself as well as to me." He pushed himself into a sitting position, with his legs crossed. "Well, Kathryn, I hope you know what you're doing. What we have between us doesn't happen very often and, even when it does, it's not invincible. We both know that this was meant to be but I can't do it all on my own."
He rose to his feet, quickly and gracefully. He looked down at her. "I feel sorry for you, Kathryn. The spirits had to send you 70 years away from home to find your soul mate and you keep thinking about uniforms and protocols and crap that doesn't mean fuck-all in the great scheme of things. Good night."
And he was gone.
Kathryn slowly put the brush down and sighed. It had taken quite a while before she had been able to mend that fence. Chakotay was the epitome of professionalism on the bridge, but he kept his distance from her for almost a month. Finally she had a bottle of champagne beamed into his quarters with a personal note attached, offering abject apologies and a request to start again with champagne as they had at their first meeting on board Voyager. She had held her breath for hours until her chime sounded and the doors opened to reveal her first officer holding the chilled bottle and two crystal flutes. After she quietly repeated her apology and he accepted it, no other word was ever said about the incident. And that, more than anything else, caused a pain in her heart that she just couldn't shake.
Kathryn picked up the brush again and stared at her image in the mirror.
"Well, not anymore, Kathryn, not after this week. And hurry up, you're late and he's waiting for you."
On to Part Five
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