Warnings: Aftermath of trauma.
Categories: GEN, Ship, Het, Episode Tag, Hurt/Comfort, Friendship
Pairings: GEN Janeway&Chakotay Friendship, Janeway/Chakotay UST subtext
Characters: Janeway, Chakotay
Spoilers: Unimatrix Zero
A/N: Written for the Unimatrix Zero contest at Love Through the Years.
Disclaimer: Paramount owns the universe, including these two poor souls.
Assimilation. What an ugly word. It brought cold fear to the strongest of hearts.
The pain would be intense, but worse would be the loss of self. If this plan worked, the Doctor's treatment would prevent that. But if this plan failed...that was her fear.
Janeway turned to Chakotay, and saw the fear in his dark eyes. It was worse for him. He wasn't going. He had to watch her go.
Perhaps it was time for the confession she had owed him for years. He deserved to hear those words, at least once, and she wanted those arms around her, even for a stolen moment before the end.
Was that selfish? Perhaps, but she needed his strength right now, and he needed hers. She wanted a moment of truth.
She turned back to the viewscreen. It was now or never. The cube, on the screen. Fear in her heart. Fear in his dark eyes.
B'Elanna was ready with the flyer. The stolen moment in the ready room wasn't going to happen. Still, she needed something.
He offered to clean the carpets. He might as well have said 'please don't die' because that's what she heard in his strained voice and saw in his terrified expression.
She extended a hand, and he took it gratefully. That touch, more valuable than all the latinum in the galaxy. Those eyes, those handsome dark eyes, spoke volumes more than could be said aloud.
So hard to leave him, this man that she loved so dearly and yet could never have. She had to come back, for him. First officer, friend, future lover. She had to come back, if only to make that last one true someday.
She was on board, and she was alive. Nothing else mattered to Chakotay. Part of his brain registered that the mission had been successful. He was relieved that B'Elanna and Tuvok were safe as well, in a vague sort of way. For some illogical reason, he had never really doubted their safe return.
His fear had been for her.
He passed B'Elanna, shuddering at her grotesque appearance. The Borg did not treat guests well. His eyes sought Kathryn. He needed to see her with his own eyes. He needed to know in his heart that she'd really been returned to them.
"This way, Commander," the Doctor said.
He was led to the back of sickbay, his heart in his throat. Then there she was, and nothing the Borg had done to her could diminish her beauty, not when she looked at him with those stunning blue eyes that he so loved.
"Kathryn." Distracted by his relief, he did nothing to keep the affection from his voice or from his expression.
She rewarded him with a smile and he reached eagerly for her hand. It was a struggle not to kiss her.
"How are you feeling?"
"Better than I look, I suspect."
"You look beautiful."
She laughed softly. "Only to you, Chakotay."
A gift from Dakota.
This transformative work constitutes a fair use of any copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. 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, July 2002.