Categories: Ship, Het, Romance, Episode Tag
Characters: Janeway, Chakotay
A/N: Written for Ripples in the Pond at Anne's Rose Garden.
Credits: Thank you to Anne Rose for the early morning beta.
Disclaimer: See, Paramount, this is how you treat characters.
"You're hardly alone," he said, and felt a desperate need to say more, yet for a moment he could not. Something wanted him to hold his tongue, and as he defeated it, the whole universe seemed to shift. "As long as I live, you will never be alone."
They attended Neelix's party together, then found their way back to her quarters. Reactions to the news from home were shared, and it was late when he kissed her cheek softly and retired to his own quarters.
The following day Chakotay was sure that she touched him more than she usually did. When he asked her to dinner, she smiled warmly and told him it was a date.
A date. He didn't want to read too much into her word selection. Oh, who was he fooling. He very much wanted to read too much into that choice of word. Candles. Flowers. Soft music. A bottle of real wine purchased at great cost from Tom Paris. Yes, that all went nicely with Kathryn's word choice.
As they ate, he reached across the table and took her hand. It was an intimacy they often shared, although she was the one who usually initiated it. There were times when he could feel her pulse and imagine that their hearts were beating in unison.
Kathryn studied him over replicated pasta. Neither had spoken of it, but the evening's trappings suggested that this wasn't one of their usual friendly dinners.
Could she afford to indulge her feelings, or would it be wiser to cling to a strict interpretation of protocol? The words he had spoken in the ready room returned to her. He had vowed to stay beside her twice now, and she knew he didn't just mean as a loyal first officer. Chakotay loved her. She knew that. And making him wait for another thirty years just couldn't be an option.
"Dance with me," she said.
Their bodies drifted together as they swayed to the soft music. Small liberties were taken. A touch. A whisper of a kiss across her fingers. Her head came to rest against his chest. His hands stroked up her spine.
She looked up into the dear face she had loved for so long, and gave in to a long suppressed impulse to trace his tattoo with her fingertips.
He smiled down at her. "My Kathryn."
The words sent a shiver through her. She let her fingers drift down to stroke his lips before sliding back into his soft hair to pull his head down to hers.
For long minutes they shared a tender, heated kiss. When they finally parted, foreheads still touching, they each knew that whatever the future held, they would face it together.
Love Has No End
Star Trek™©, Star Trek: The Next Generation™©, Star Trek: Voyager™© and related properties exist as Registered Trademarks of Paramount Pictures. No copyright infringement intended. No profits made here. © Spiletta42, May 2003.