Categories: Ship, Het, Fluff, Cliche Fic
Characters: Janeway, Chakotay
A/N: Written for Simple Math's Baby It's Cold Outside. The title comes from a phrase used by Christie Golden in her wonderful novel Cloak and Dagger. This silly, sappy little thing is for all of you who complained that I never write happy stories.
Disclaimer: Paramount doesn't deserve them, as they failed to observe the rule that all such characters are required to spend at least one night shivering together on an L class moon or the equivalent.
Transporters were offline. Communications were fuzzy at best. The icy surface of this L class moon wasn't an ideal place to spend the night, but it would have to do. Janeway and Chakotay gathered as much of the scarce wood as possible. They had little choice but to start a fire and settle down to wait for a rescue.
Thanks to the fact that their phasers had yet to malfunction, the fire was soon crackling cheerfully. They sat side by side, not quite touching, and exchanged soft smiles.
"We should have known better," she said.
He chuckled. "Is this so bad?"
"No, not at all." It had been weeks since they'd been alone together. She had missed him.
"Did you hear the latest gossip?"
She shook her head.
"B'Elanna told me that Mortimer Harren is seeing Mariah Henley."
"I wonder what that pays in Tom's pool."
They sat and talked of insignificant things as they watched the fire. Both were aware that the wood they had collected wouldn't last the night.
The temperature continued to drop. Eventually the fire wasn't enough to ward off the bitter cold.
"Chakotay, I think it's time."
"Time to share a little body heat." She flashed him a lopsided grin. "If you're willing."
They rearranged themselves. She settled down in his lap and he wrapped his arms around her snugly.
He had held her in his arms before. Quick embraces that followed peril or heartbreak. Brief, precious seconds that healed his soul at such times.
This was a moment he would savor. The cold was forgotten, blocked from his mind by the luxury of holding the woman he secretly loved.
"Tell me a story," she whispered.
His heart clenched painfully as one particular story rose in his mind. A story he had told her five years ago; a story that some unknown force had prevented him from finishing. The unspoken final sentence still plagued his dreams.
She turned in his arms. "Chakotay?"
"I'm sorry, Kathryn, I was just trying to think of one."
The emotions she read upon his face burned into her heart. The waiting was hard on him, and she suddenly wondered if she was right to cling to a protocol written for another quadrant. "I know the one I want to hear."
"I do." Her hand came up to touch his face. "But it's only fair to warn you. I don't think I have the strength to resist it a second time."
She watched tears spring to his eyes, and hurried to wipe them away before they froze to his skin. He swallowed hard and clutched her tighter.
"There once was an angry warrior..."
Star Trek™©, Star Trek: The Next Generation™©, Star Trek: Voyager™© and related properties are Registered Trademarks of Paramount Pictures. No copyright infringement intended. No profits made here. © Spiletta42, October 2002.