Spoilers: Someone to Watch Over Me
Summary: J/C - Based on a song? Not really.
Based on an episode? It is a coda to one.
So nice of TPTB to name an episode after such a wonderful song.
Thanks: Thank you to Caffey for her beta-reading and Thank you to Jadie for her suggestions.
Disclaimer: Alas, I did not create the songs, the episode, or the characters - but they are in my heart and so I share this with you...
Chakotay stepped into Kathryn's quarters to find her sitting on the couch reading a PADD. She had taken off her dress uniform jacket that was now lying over the back of the chair. "Welcome home."
She diverted her attention from the PADD to her friend. "I've been home for two days."
He grinned guiltily. "I know, but I haven't had a chance to talk to you in private."
She sighed heavily. "It has been rather hectic since I've been back, hasn't it?"
He took up a seat next to her. "I'll say." Looking over at her, he said, "I missed you."
"And you have no idea how much I missed you - that was the most boring first contact away mission I have ever been on - and I've been on a few!"
"You just missed me because you were bored?" He tried to look a little hurt.
She touched his knee. "Of course not. You have a way of livening up things in a way that Tuvok will never understand."
He smiled. "I'm glad to know that I entertain you so well."
She held up the PADD in her hand. "Although from the looks of this report, you had a rather entertaining time here with Ambassador Tomin."
Chakotay chuckled. "He certainly gave Neelix a chance to earn his ambassador stripes."
"Mmm hmmm," she agreed. "I like this line that Neelix quoted the ambassador as saying, 'An entrée on the menu of pleasure that you have opened up to me in order to immerse myself in your wonderful culture'." She looked wryly at Chakotay. "I had no idea this ship turned into such a pleasure cruise while I was away."
He laughed. "Oh, you have no idea. At one point Neelix asked what to do when you got back with the minister."
"What did you tell him?"
"I told him to pray."
"And then what?"
"That was right before I thought the ambassador was going to deck me - until he passed out."
She chuckled and looked at the report again. "Lucky for Neelix that Seven's nanoprobes came to the rescue, again." She added, "But the best part was the look on Neelix's face when the minister told Tobin that it was a shame he didn't explore any new experiences while he was here." They laughed together.
Kathryn picked up another report off the coffee table. "Have you read Seven's report?"
"Of what?" He tried to look at it over her shoulder.
"Do you know about B'Elanna finding out that Seven was using them as subjects for her study of human mating behavior?"
"I recommended to Seven that she should start a romantic relationship if she really wanted to know. So she went to the Doctor for help and he began a series of lessons on dating."
He had difficulty imagining that. "The Doctor was coaching Seven on dating?"
Kathryn nodded. "Leave it to Seven to be the one to write a report on her social life."
Chakotay was intrigued. "She did seem more outgoing at the reception. What does it say?"
"Well." Kathryn found this one particularly amusing. "Lesson 1 was 'Love Amid the Stars' in which she was introduced to various mating rituals including the 'chance encounter' or 'first introduction'. This, of course, immediately leads to - and I quote - 'Fortress ovum besieged by countless little warriors'."
Chakotay doubled over in laughter, unable to speak.
She continued. "Lesson 2 was 'Encounter in a Public Place'. He took her to pick up men in Sandrine's."
His mirth had quieted enough so that he could speak. "Any details on that one?"
She shook her head. "Only that the exercise was pointless and that assimilation was more efficient."
He cringed. "Probably not what the Doctor was going for."
"No, probably not." She tapped her finger on the PADD. "Lesson 3 was 'Getting to know you' during which Seven discovered she has an aptitude for music."
"I heard the Doctor telling someone about that."
Kathryn nodded and continued, "Other lessons that she includes in the report are 'Beguiling Banter' and 'Dressing for Success'. She even gives a detailed report of her first date."
"Yes, she bases finding a mate on work performance and compatible interest. And evidently, it ended with Lieutenant Chapman in sickbay with a torn ligament in his shoulder."
Chakotay shook his head in laughter. "Oh, we really shouldn't be laughing about this."
She grimaced. "I know - but we do have to go over each report thoroughly, don't we?"
He nodded. "Of course. How many more lessons are there?"
"She only highlights a few more: 'Life of the Party', 'Thanks for the Memories', 'Toast to the Town', and 'Dancing'.
Chakotay nodded. "She did give a very nice toast at the reception."
"What was it?"
Chakotay thought for a moment. "Something like 'May cultural differences help us build bridges to understanding to that which makes us unique'."
Kathryn shook her head in approval. "Well said."
"I thought so too."
"She ends her report by saying that she finds that there are no compatible mates aboard this vessel, but is available should we need to use her new skills at diplomatic functions."
Chakotay nodded and searched his mind for an appropriate response. "Well… I'm happy to hear that, I think."
She tossed the PADD down on the table and stretched back, laying her head on Chakotay's shoulder. "I'm glad it all worked out and we got what we needed." She treasured the emotional closeness that they had been developing recently. A few months previous, they had talked about their feelings for each other and both understood the necessity of putting them on hold until they were home. However, allowing themselves the freedom to be this close made them both feel a lot less lonely and isolated.
He wrapped his arm around her shoulders, bringing her closer. "And more. We now have a considerable amount of bland food to enjoy."
She chuckled. "I'm sure Neelix will find a way to liven it up."
They sat quietly, enjoying each other's presence until a communication from Tom interrupted their tranquility.
"I thought you might like to know that we are organizing an impromptu gathering in Sandrine's to hear Doc and Seven sing."
Kathryn was eager to hear Seven's newfound talent; she just hoped it wasn't opera. "What are they singing, Tom?"
She looked up at Chakotay to silently ask if he wanted to go. When he nodded she said, "Then count us in. We'll be there in a few minutes."
Chakotay watched her stand. "Do you want to change?"
She yawned and stretched her arms over her head. "No, but I'm not putting on that again." She pointed to her dress uniform jacket. "I'll get my other one."
He took the four pips off of her dress jacket and waited for her to return. He smiled when he saw that she had brushed out her hair so that it looked softer than usual. He showed her the pips in his hand and motioned her to come closer. "Let me put these on for you."
Her eyes were drawn up to his as he placed his fingers behind her collar. His gentle touch on her neck made her face warm and her knees a little weak. She felt her heart expand slightly when his gaze briefly shifted from her pips to her eyes and winked. After he finished, he let his fingers linger on her collar for a moment before letting them wander up to touch her cheek. She closed her eyes to shelter herself from the intensity of his gaze. Her breath caught when she felt his warm lips fall softly upon her cheek.
He pulled back and waited for her to slowly open her eyes before asking, "Ready to go?"
She nodded and took his offered elbow. "Yes, I think so." He led her out the door.
Just one look at you
My heart grew tipsy in me
You and you alone
Bring out the gypsy in me
I love all the many charms about you
Above all, I want my arms about you
Don't be a naughty baby
Come to papa - come to papa - do!
My sweet embraceable you
When the next song 'Our Love Is Here To Stay' began, Chakotay brought her close against him so that they could whisper into each other's ears without being overheard. "What lesson number was the 'Toast to the Town'?"
She chuckled. "I don't remember, why?"
He squeezed her. "I have an addendum. 'Toast to my Captain'."
Her chuckle turned into an uncharacteristic giggle. "And what's your toast, Chakotay?"
He leaned his head against hers and turned them to the music. He waited until a very quiet moment in the music before saying, "May our love endure throughout the journey and blossom even brighter in the sunshine of home."
She squeezed him tightly and whispered back in a choked voice. "That's my prayer every night before I go to sleep."
Absorbed in the melody of the moment, they closed their eyes and held each other with a love that would stand the test of time.
I'm a little lamb who's lost in the wood
I know I could, always be good
To one who'll watch over me
Although he may not be the man some
Girls think of as handsome
To my heart he carries the key
Won't you tell him please to put on some speed
Follow my lead, oh, how I need
Someone to watch over me
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