Categories: Ship, Het, Fluff, Romance, Episode Tag
Characters: Janeway, Chakotay
Spoilers: The seventh season episode Shattered and the novel Pathways by Jeri Taylor.
A/N: Written for Final Frontier. An episode addition for Shattered.
Credits: Thanks to Dakota for the beta.
Disclaimer: Paramount, you know what they say about finders-keepers.
Chakotay watched his captain take another sip of Antarian cider. It was good to see her relaxed and happy. That didn't happen all that often any more.
He'd spent the day with a Kathryn from seven years in the past, and he could see the differences now. His Kathryn, the Kathryn sitting across from him now, had grown wiser, closer to her crew, and in his eyes more beautiful, even with the little stress lines they'd both earned over the years, but those weren't the only changes.
The Kathryn of seven years ago had let him glimpse one thing his Kathryn never had -- a willingness to break the rules.
His Kathryn held fast to protocol, and didn't press when he invoked the Temporal Prime Directive. The younger Kathryn would have happily thrown the Temporal Prime Directive out the nearest airlock, and more importantly, she didn't see protocol as an unbreakable force that ruled over her personal life.
The younger Kathryn had seen something in his eyes, had recognized his fondness for her, and had wondered if they were lovers. She'd even asked, and he had the impression she would have let him kiss her if he hadn't answered quite so truthfully.
So she could imagine herself breaking protocol for love. Was his Kathryn's adherence to protocol nothing more than an excuse? Perhaps it served as a reason to deny herself happiness so she could punish herself for stranding them all in the Delta Quadrant.
Or perhaps she feared the changes that would come with a personal relationship. The idea that Kathryn would fear anything came as a surprise to him. She could face the Borg, but not love?
He decided to test the theory, and stood.
"You're not leaving already?" She looked up at him, a flicker of disappointment in her eyes.
"No," he said. "Just thought I'd make myself comfortable." He took two steps and sank down on the couch beside her. "That's better."
She looked at him, a little puzzled perhaps, but not displeased. He made another decision, and wrapped his arm around her shoulders. Instead of stiffening, as his pounding heart feared, she relaxed into him.
He sighed, his eyes closing briefly as the smell of her shampoo filled his nostrils. So many times he'd longed for a moment like this one, when he could hold her close and just enjoy her nearness. This wasn't like those brief, precious seconds after a near-death experience, when he'd steal a quick embrace before she risked her life again.
This moment brought peace to his heart, restored his soul, gave him hope that she'd let him into her life.
"Chakotay, what happened today? With the deflector dish?"
"You know I'd have to break the Temporal Prime Directive to tell you."
"I do," she said. "But maybe you could just bend it a little? A few hints?"
He chuckled. "If we're bending rules tonight there's another one that could use some twists."
She didn't answer, but she didn't pull away.
"I've always thought that Starfleet's policies regarding bed making techniques could use some adjustment." He felt her release the breath she'd been holding, and smiled. "If a crewmember wants to use a method other than Starfleet-approved mitered corners, I don't see the harm."
"You may be right," she said, laughter in her voice. "We're a long way from headquarters."
"That we are," he said softly, his lips close to her ear. He felt her shiver. "We've come a long way in just a few years, accomplished quite a few things."
"That should buy us some leniency with the brass," she said. "If we were to set aside a few rules, forget about mitered corners, they wouldn't hold it against us."
"No," he said. "I'm sure they wouldn't."
"I think I might enjoy a break from mitered corners," she said. "Do you have some other techniques to recommend?"
"I have many techniques that I think you might find interesting," he said. "If you'd like to try them out, all you have to do is invite me into your bedroom."
She laughed softly. "I wonder what the brass would have to say about that."
"We're a long way from headquarters," he said. "Besides, we can always use that leniency we've earned."
"Just how much leniency do you think we have?" Her voice was soft. She looked up at him, the softness in her eyes sending a jolt of electricity through his heart.
"At least enough for this," he said. He bent and kissed her softly. He nibbled gently, tracing her lips with his tongue, and when she opened her mouth to deepen the kiss he groaned.
She turned to slide her arms around him, he pulled her closer, and they kissed until the need for oxygen grew too great.
Foreheads touching, they both struggled to catch their breath.
"I think there's another rule we might consider bending," she said.
"Consider it bent," he said. "I think I'd enjoy breaking it altogether, if my captain would allow me some leniency?"
"Permission granted." She kissed him again.
He ran his fingers through her hair, drowning in her, his heart thumping so hard he was sure they'd pick it up on sensors. He felt her tugging his shirt from his pants and sliding her hand up and down the bare skin of his back.
"Once we've given up mitered corners, we won't be able to go back," he said.
"I know," she said. "I don't want to go back. Mitered corners made sense for a while, but I think we've moved beyond needing them."
He smiled. The time had finally come. He savored the words as he spoke them. "I love you, Kathryn. Sometimes it seems like I've always loved you, and I promise that I always will."
"I love you too," she said. "I know I haven't always shown it -- "
"But you have," he said. "I've seen it in your eyes, felt it in your touch. Your love is the only thing that keeps me going sometimes."
"And your love has given me the strength to build up quite a store of leniency back at headquarters." She stood, tugging him up after her. "Come on," she said. "Let's go pull apart those mitered corners."
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 2004.