Stolen Memories

by Dawn

Summary: Set at the end of Workforce. Before regaining her stolen memories, Kathryn wonders about her relationship with Chakotay.

Disclaimer: Voyager and its characters belong to Paramount.

Thanks to my Betas: Jadie and Lizzy

Chakotay heard agitated voices all around him, but his eyes were too heavy to open. The floor beneath him was hard and cold, the chill seeping into his bones and making them ache. Heavy grogginess made it difficult to figure out where he was and how he had gotten there.

After a few minutes of trying to wake up, he started to remember. The last thing he recalled was being restrained and drugged on Quarra. What was it they said? He was mentally ill. Memories assaulted him as he forced his eyes open and yelled, "Let me go! I have to go! You have to listen!" He struggled against the grogginess to try to get off the floor.

"Amal… calm down. You're okay." Kathryn tried to capture his flailing hands.

Chakotay grunted with pain as a fiery surge rippled down his spine. "Please…listen."

"Shhh… It's going to be okay. Shhhh."

Hearing her voice, Chakotay realized that he wasn't in danger anymore and he laid back to try to cope with the pain. "Kathryn?"

"I'm right here, Amal." Her fingers brushed through his hair soothingly.

He slowly forced his eyes open. "Amal?"

"Isn't that your name?" She was leaning over him and holding both of his hands in one of hers. Her eyes were full of concern as she laid a hand upon his cheek.

"I need to get to a communications terminal. I need to call my ship."

She smiled sweetly. "I think you're on your ship."

Chakotay looked around and saw that it looked like most of the crew was around them, although still in Quarran attire. "You're right. We're in the cargo bay."

"Are you in pain?" She laid one of his hands back down against his side, but held on to the other.

He nodded and then thought better of it as he winced in pain. "Yes."

"I don't know what I can do to help. I'm not sure who to ask - some of these people worked with me at the plant, but I don't really know anybody."

"It's okay. We're on Voyager and help will be here soon."

"I hope so. Everyone seems pretty upset." She absently rubbed his chest in soft circles.

He heard voices gradually rising and said, "Kathryn, you should tell them they're okay."

"Oh, I don't know." She looked around nervously. "I'm sure there is someone here who is in charge."

He smiled at her despite his pain. "That's you. You're their leader."

"I don't believe you. I mean… I just can't be." The cargo bay doors opened. "Oh look, it's the woman who was abducted. And she's with another man."

Pain kept him from looking toward the door. "What does he look like?"

"You shouldn't try to move." She rubbed his cheek with the back of her fingers. "The man is balding, dark eyes…"

"That's the Doctor." The voices around them were getting more agitated and he heard a few people start demanding answers.

"The Doctor? Will you be okay if I go talk to him? I want to let him know you're hurt."

Chakotay gripped her hand. "Listen to me, Kathryn. You need to stand in front of these people with him. You remember what I told you? Help him explain."

"Amal…" She looked quickly back and forth from Chakotay to the Doctor.

"My name is Chakotay. You are the captain of this ship. You need to help him."

She leaned down and kissed him on the lips. "All right, but I'll be right back."

Chakotay took a deep breath as she got up. He wasn't sure why she thought to kiss him, but he certainly didn't mind. Watching her as long as he could, he saw that she went over to the Doctor and motioned back towards him. The pain in his spine got to be too much, and he had to relax his neck again.

The voices around him quieted as he heard the Doctor's voice broadcast throughout the room. "Ladies and Gentlemen, please try to remain calm. I know that your arrival here is disconcerting, but be assured that we brought you here to help you. You are on a starship named Voyager. This is your home. You were taken from this ship three weeks ago, your memories altered, and put to work on Quarra."

Voices rose again, and Chakotay heard B'Elanna start talking. "Do you remember me? I was on Quarra with you. They brought me back to this ship several days ago and gave me my memories back. Believe me, this ship is our home and everything is going to be all right very soon."

It was quiet for a moment before he heard, "Hi, my name is Kathryn Janeway. I monitor the primary reactor coils in the main power distribution center. Well, at least I did. They tell me that I'm the captain of this ship. I must say that I find it hard to believe, but I helped get us here because the evidence they've shown me is quite convincing. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, and I hope you will too. Thank you."

Chakotay smiled as the room quieted down. He had always admired the affect she had to put people at ease in moments of crisis and panic. A warm hand took his again and he looked up to see Kathryn sitting with him again.

"How are you feeling?"

"My spine hurts and I'm groggy, but I'll be okay."

"The Doctor said that he'd be over soon and they'd take you to someplace called sickbay." She squeezed his hand and continued talking. "I hope what I said to everyone was okay."

"You were great. They're much quieter now."

She leaned over him and whispered. "The Doctor… what's his name, by the way?"

"He doesn't have one. We just call him the Doctor."

"That's odd," she said softly. "Anyway, he said that he's going to flood the room with an odorless gas called neprazine that will help us get our memories back."

He looked into her eyes and saw that she was very nervous. "It's going to be okay, Kathryn."

"I know." She gave him her crooked smile. "I can tell already that there's something special between you and me, and I know, in my heart, that I can trust you."

"You can. Completely."

She looked away mischievously for a moment and then asked, "Tell me something, Chakotay. Are we married or something?"

He was stunned into silence, unsure how to answer. "Uummm…"

"Well, it must be something. Tell me."

"We're very good friends."

She grimaced at him as the Doctor arrived.

The Doctor kneeled down next to Chakotay and scanned him with a medical tricorder. "Commander? Do you have your memories?"

Chakotay said, "I believe so."

"Your spinal fluid is inflamed with a large amount of a reactionary substance. I found trace amounts of it in Lt. Torres, but nothing like this."

"I've got shooting pains down my neck and back." Chakotay tried to remain still to avoid aggravating it.

The Doctor injected him with a hypospray. "This should take the edge off, but I'm going to need to evaluate you in sickbay."

It took a moment before the pain started to recede, but once it did, Chakotay breathed deeply and looked up at Kathryn. "Much better."

She smiled lovingly and squeezed his shoulder. "I'm glad."

Chakotay started to sit up and the Doctor said, "Take it slow, Commander. I'm going to be here for awhile before I can take you to sickbay. We're a little shorthanded."

Kathryn suggested, "May I help him get there?"

The Doctor answered, "You'll miss the treatments, but I would feel better if he were lying down in sickbay."

Chakotay said, "Give me a few minutes, and I think I can make it on my own." Because of her question about their relationship, he was a little nervous about being alone with her until she got her memories back.

The Doctor pulled out another hypospray. "Tell you what, Captain. Allow me to give you this, and I'll let you go. It's the first dose that you'll miss if you leave here."

Kathryn nodded with a smile. "Okay." After receiving the medication, she helped Chakotay to his feet. He swayed heavily with dizziness, using both the Doctor and Kathryn to stabilize him. She said, "Take it easy," as she put his arm around her shoulders to help support his weight.

"I'm okay. Just need to get my balance."

The Doctor said, "When you've got your equilibrium, go on up to sickbay. Captain, try to get him to lie down once you get there."

Chakotay held his hand against his head. "I don't think that'll be a problem."

The Doctor nodded and left to attend to Tuvok, who was laying unconscious nearby on the floor. Once Chakotay's vision cleared he led Kathryn into the corridor.

She asked, "How far do we need to go?"

"Just down this corridor to the turbolift, up to deck five, and then it's not far."

"How large is this ship?"

"Fifteen decks. Three hundred forty-five meters from bow to stern."

"Wow, that's huge." Kathryn looked down the corridors as they passed.

Chakotay smiled. "She's a good ship." They arrived at the turbolift and stepped inside. "Deck Five."

She helped him lean against the wall. "How are you feeling?"

"I've been worse."

The doors opened and she said, "Ready?"

He nodded and let her help him step forward. "It's the second door on the left."

Once inside, Kathryn said, "It's a little hospital." She helped him onto one of the bio beds along the wall.

"More or less." Chakotay laid back and closed his eyes in relief.

"Should we take your jacket off? Or your boots?"

"I just want to be very still for a minute."

"All right." She picked up his hand again and stood by silently.

When the room stopped spinning, Chakotay said, "Computer, open a comm line to the bridge."

Harry answered, "Bridge here. We're a little busy, Doctor."

"It's Chakotay. What's our status?"

"Commander! Are you okay?"

"I'll be in sickbay for a while. Can you handle things up there for a little longer?"

"Of course, sir. We're still in orbit, and have been in contact with Yerid, a Quarran investigator."

Kathryn said, "He's the one who helped us."

"Captain, welcome back."

Kathryn shrugged silently at Chakotay and said to Harry, "Thank you, I think."

Chakotay smiled at the face Kathryn made and said to the bridge, "All right, Ensign. Keep me informed if something comes up."

"Yes, sir. Bridge out."

She asked, "Who was that?"

"Ensign Harry Kim, the operations officer."

"Oh, I have a lot of names to learn."

Chakotay squeezed her hand. "Your memories will return soon enough."

"Do you need anything?" She touched his upper arm.

"No, but I think you should stay here with me."

"Of course, I will. I'd get lost if I tried to leave." She smiled warmly and touched his tattoo. "What does this mean?"

"The tattoo?"

She nodded and traced the lines. "The lines go into your hair."

"It's a family symbol. I wear it to honor my father."

"It's very striking." She shifted her gaze to his eyes. "Are you sure we aren't a couple?"

There was the question he was hoping she wouldn't ask again. Perhaps he could evade it. "Aren't you in a relationship with the man on Quarra?"

"Jaffen?" Chakotay nodded and she continued. "He's a nice man, but I just moved in with him last week."

"You've only been on that planet for three weeks."

She shrugged, a blush coloring her cheeks. "It had potential, but I definitely feel a stronger connection with you. I think he sensed that the night he called the authorities on you."

"He did that?"

"Jaffen was concerned about my safety. He thought you were a con-man trying to seduce me."

Chakotay yawned. "I can see that."

"You had me pretty unsettled with your story and your eyes."

"My eyes?"

Kathryn leaned down and looked deep into his brown eyes. "They just drew me in. Especially once you took off that disguise. You definitely made me think twice about Jaffen, but when he called you in, I felt like I would be safer sticking with him."

"I'm glad you had someone looking out for you."

She stood up straight. "I guess I was craving a physical connection with someone. It felt like it had been forever since I had something like that. Maybe they programmed that into me."

"Not necessarily. You're a very tactile person."

She blushed further and released his hand. "I guess I am. I haven't really let go of you since I saw you laying on the floor."

"I don't mind. It's nice to have the comfort, especially when I feel so woozy."

Kathryn pulled up a stool and sat down, placing her hand on his upper arm. "So, you say I'm the captain of this starship, leader of all those people down there, and your friend."

"That's right."

"Sure sounds like a lot of responsibility and not much fun."

He laughed gently. "You're a brilliant scientist and a true explorer, Kathryn. You find fun in just about everything we discover."

"Brilliant?" She guffawed. "You make me sound like a totally different person. I can't be that great. Tell me something about myself that isn't perfect."

He smiled. "All right. You drink too much coffee."


"And you don't sleep well. You work very hard and you don't take much time for yourself."

"You're not making me want this other life."

Chakotay took her hand in his. "You stop at nothing to get this ship back home."

"To Earth? Or is that an altered memory too?"

"No, Earth is your home planet."

"And I want to go back there?" She raised an eyebrow.

He studied her expression for a moment. "Your memories about Earth must have been altered. It's a beautiful and very rich planet."

"That doesn't sound like the Earth I remember. Are you from there too?"

"My ancestors were, and I studied and taught there for awhile." Chakotay yawned. "You'll remember soon."

"You need to rest."

He agreed. "I think it's an effect of the drug they used."

She touched his cheek. "Close your eyes. I'll sit here with you."

Relaxing into her touch, he quickly fell asleep.

Chakotay woke to an empty sickbay. "Doctor?" When he received no answer, he cautiously sat up and swung his legs over the side. A blanket fell off and he realized that he was wearing a sickbay gown instead of his Quarran garments.

"Computer, what is the current time and date?"

The voice replied. "The time is 13:47. The stardate is 54648.14."

Chakotay sighed. That didn't tell him much because he didn't bother to check before he fell asleep. "Computer, what is Captain Janeway's location?"

"Captain Janeway is in her quarters."

"How long has Captain Janeway been on board?"

"Four hours, twelve minutes."

Chakotay scratched his neck. He knew that they must have been back longer than that and so she was probably reissued a commbadge earlier that day. "Computer, what is the location of the EMH?"

"Deck five, section seven."

Before Chakotay could call for him, the sickbay doors opened and the Doctor walked in. "Commander? I wasn't expecting you to be awake so soon!"

"How long have I been out?"

"A little over twenty-four hours. I kept you sedated until the substance in your spinal fluid could be neutralized. It was preparing your brain stem to receive new memory engrams, and I didn't want to accidentally reprogram you."

Chakotay nodded. He noticed that the Doctor was still wearing command red. "What's our status?"

"We're still in orbit around Quarra. There are a few loose ends that need to be tied up. Ensign Kim and Mr. Neelix are also working on a trade for supplies to compensate us for the inconvenience of being brainwashed and enslaved. Also, we want to give the crew time to recoup their memories and see if they want closure for any relationships they might have developed."

"That's a good idea."

The Doctor said, "It was Mr. Paris' idea."

"How is the crew?"

"They're recovering nicely. Tuvok was the only challenge, and he is attempting to heal himself through meditation in his quarters."

"Sounds about right."

"I just made a round of house-calls, and everyone I spoke to has regained at least half of their lost memories, if not more. Most are reading their personal logs."

"And the captain?" Chakotay couldn't help but ask about her.

The Doctor hesitated. "I know she's recovered some memories, but it's hard to tell how much. She's not as forthcoming with her self-discovery."

"She was with me when I fell asleep."

"Yes." The Doctor thought for a moment. "Her behavior was a bit odd."

"In which personality?"

"When I returned to sickbay to start treating you, she had fallen asleep. Her head was on your chest."

"Her Quarran personality was very tactile."

The Doctor continued. "Yes, well, when she woke, she obviously had some Captain Janeway memories. She was very surprised that she had fallen asleep like that. She asked a few questions about the crew and then made a hasty retreat. She's been in her quarters since."

Chakotay nodded in thought. "How much longer do I need to stay here?"

Picking up a tricorder, the Doctor said, "I think you should be fine to return to quarters."

"Perhaps I'll get a bite to eat and then check on the captain."

"Good idea. Contact me if you feel any pain in your back, or if you discover any memory issues." The Doctor handed him a pile of casual clothes. "I went to your quarters and pilfered through your drawers."

"Thanks, Doctor."

Chakotay stood outside Kathryn's quarters, waiting for her to respond to his presence. When she finally opened the doors, he stepped into dark quarters.

Kathryn said, "Computer, fifty percent illumination."

The lights came up and Chakotay saw that she was wearing shorts and a cotton shirt, obviously having just been asleep. "I'm sorry I woke you."

She rubbed her face and threaded her fingers through her hair. "It's okay. After all, it is the middle of the afternoon. I stayed up late last night reading my personal logs."

"Discover anything?"

Sighing, she said, "It seems to be all back now."

"Ah. So now you believe everything I told you?"

She cracked a slight smile. "Almost."


"I don't drink too much coffee."

He chuckled lightly and moved closer to her. "Do you need to talk about anything?"

Kathryn looked out the viewport at the planet swirling beneath them. "Probably, but I'm not ready yet."

"Okay." He laid his hand on her shoulder so she would turn to look at him again. "You know where to find me."

"Yes, thank you." She stared at him for just a moment before saying, "I didn't ask about you. How are you feeling?"

Dropping his hand, he said, "Fine. Hungry. I was just heading to the mess hall to find something to eat. Would you like to join me? Thought it might be a good chance to see how the crew is doing."

"I think I'd rather be alone, but thank you."

"All right." He was quiet for a moment. "Have you contacted your friend?"

"No." She looked out the viewport again. "Harry said we'll be ready to break orbit in the morning."

"You might feel better if you say goodbye."

She nodded absently.

"Unless you'd like to invite him to come with us?"

"What?" She turned to him again as she processed his question. "No. I don't think…"

"It's okay, Kathryn. I understand." He watched her slight nod of thanks. "Well, I'll leave you alone. Should I check on you later?"

"No, that's okay."

"All right. I'll see you in the morning." He turned to leave and she stopped him just as he walked through the door.


He turned back. "Yes?"

"I'm hungrier than I thought. Could I meet you in the mess in about fifteen minutes?"

"I'll see you there." He smiled in relief.

Chakotay watched the movements of Voyager's visiting aliens from his bridge console. When set to the internal sensor display, he could see where the aliens were and how many crewmembers were near them. Bridge officers were indicated as red marks, the rest of the crew were yellow, and the alien guests were the unusual green marks. All but one had already departed, and he was being escorted from the captain's quarters to the transporter room by two yellow marks. This meant that Jaffen and Kathryn had said their goodbyes in her quarters, and that she wasn't going to see him off.

He knew that Jaffen wouldn't be staying, but he wasn't quite sure how strong Kathryn's feelings for the other man were. Her Quarran personality seemed to indicate that Jaffen was just someone to be with, but regardless, he hoped that seeing Jaffen again would be a stimulus to either find closure or get really upset. Either would be preferable to sinking into depression.

When she'd joined him in the mess hall the day before, she'd put on a happy face. He'd been able to tell that her smile hadn't reached her eyes, but her presence had definitely helped the crew. She'd listened intently to everyone else, but hadn't said much about herself.

Chakotay turned at the sound of the turbolift door opening. Kathryn hesitantly stepped out and made eye contact with him.

Because it was her first time on the bridge since returning, Harry stood and announced loudly. "Captain on the bridge!"

Kathryn walked slowly down the steps and to her chair, nodding to each bridge officer that was standing at attention. She slowly took her seat and stared at the image of Quarra on the viewscreen.

Everyone sat down and Chakotay asked quietly, "Ready to go?"

She nodded at the viewscreen and said, "It may not have been real, Chakotay, but it felt like home. If you hadn't come after me, I never would've known I had another life."

"Are you sorry I showed up?"

She glanced at him. "Not for a second." Kathryn spoke to the helm. "Resume course, Mr. Paris."

Tom answered, "Aye, sir."

Chakotay took a deep breath as the ship jumped into warp, relieved that Quarra was behind them. He pulled the computer console over and started a check-up on the ship's systems. Everything looked okay except for engineering. They had been having problems with the gel packs since the Doctor repaired them, and hadn't quite located the cause of the cascading power surges.

"Captain?" Chakotay said quietly.

She turned to him. "Yes?"

"I'm going to spend the day running a full diagnostic on ship's systems. If you have time, engineering could possibly use your help with a puzzle."

Hiding a smile, she asked, "A puzzle?"

"Evidently," Chakotay whispered, "the Doctor's quick-fix of the gel pack systems caused a problem that B'Elanna can't locate. It sounds like something you'd like to help figure out."

"You do know me well, don't you?"

He winked at her. "Forgive the pun, but it might just be what the doctor ordered."

She laughed quietly. "I'll give her until after lunch. B'Elanna might not appreciate the help until she's had a chance to get really irritated with it."

"Sounds good." He was glad to see her smiling. The relaxed happiness he'd seen in her on Quarra was something he'd love to help her find again, but he was afraid he wouldn't see it until they reached Earth because of her self-imposed emotional boundaries.

"I owe you an apology, Chakotay." Kathryn handed him a cup of tea and curled up in a chair across from him. It was late, and she had finally decided that she needed to talk.

"An apology? For what?"

She laid her head back and stared at the ceiling. "I'm not sure how best to talk about this."

Chakotay studied her. She was wearing her pajamas, or what counted as pajamas, he supposed. A long sleeved knit top and pants. He'd noticed that she hadn't been getting much sleep and assumed that she had been throwing herself into work to avoid thinking about Quarra. The planet was a week behind them, but it had been a very long week. "You know, you can tell me anything, don't you?"

She smiled, but didn't lift her head. "Yes, I do. But there are some things…" She looked at him. "… some situations that are very personal, and hard to talk about."

"Were you in love with him?"

"Jaffen?" She raised an eyebrow. "No, and that disturbs me a little."

"How so?"

"I didn't love him, yet I was ready to…" She didn't finish her sentence.

Chakotay took a sip of tea. "You told me after you got back that you were craving a physical connection. There's no harm in that."

She was silent for a moment as she thought that over. "That's what you said about the Fair Haven hologram."

He nodded. "That's true. I thought the diversion might cheer you up."

"Until I got addicted to that… diversion."

"Addicted is a strong word. You stopped it before it got too far."

Kathryn sighed. "And a hologram is no substitute for the real thing."

After a long silence, Chakotay got back to her original statement. "So, why do you think you owe me an apology?"

She studied the coffee mug in her hands. "For my behavior when we first returned to Voyager."

"Before you had your memories back?"

Nodding, she said, "I know that you've been very careful about not crossing the line past friendship, and I respect that. However, my questions about us, and my physical contact with you went too far." She looked up at him. "I'm sorry, and I hope that I didn't make you too uncomfortable."

Chakotay was taken aback. This was not what he expected to hear from her, by any stretch of his imagination. "Kathryn… I think you've got the wrong idea. How could you have known what our relationship was or was not? I certainly didn't mind your touch. As a matter of fact, I welcomed it. I always welcome it."

"I'm a little embarrassed about my reaction to you." She held her coffee mug close.

He smiled warmly. "Don't be. It was very flattering. And it's just me, you know, you don't have to be embarrassed. Now if you had asked Tom or Harry those questions…"

She laughed. "Stop it."

"Poor Harry would be more embarrassed than you!" Chakotay joined her laughter.

"Chakotay… thanks for being such a great friend."

"You're welcome, but I'm still confused."


"You said that you respect that I never cross the friendship line with you. What do you mean?" He hoped he wasn't pushing her.

"I… um…" At first tension radiated from her, and then she smiled and let her shoulders drop. "Well, I'll just come out and say it. Either you aren't interested in anything but friendship, or you've done a great job of curtailing your emotions. I respect your position either way, and I've tried to keep my emotions restrained as well."

"Wow." He was stunned.

"I guess if I hadn't put you in an awkward position before, I have now."

He cleared his throat. "I wouldn't say awkward, exactly. Dumbfounded, perhaps."

"I'm sorry, Chakotay."

"Don't be. I'm just astonished that we've been such close friends for so long, and yet this has never come up."

"I'm not very good at subtle. If I can't say it outright, then I've probably left it unspoken."

He put his teacup down on the coffee table. "Kathryn, I've hidden my love because I believed you weren't interested or felt strongly about maintaining the protocol in the command structure. I started falling in love with you the day I met you, and each passing year has only amplified how I feel."

She stared at him for some time before taking a deep breath and saying, "Did the gravity plating just go out?"

Chuckling, he said, "No."

"You're sure? Because I feel like I'm floating."

"I'm sure." He stood up and extended his hand to her. "Come here."

She leaned forward in her chair. "I don't think my legs will support me."

Chakotay stepped closer and took her hands, bringing her up and into his arms. "I've got you."

Kathryn held onto his arms. "Yes, yes you do."

He lowered his lips to softly caress her mouth. His eyes closed as the electricity of the intimate touch coursed through him. Her soft moan encouraged him to part her lips slowly and gently explore further. Soon, he was lost in the touch of her mouth and in the warmth of her body snuggled tightly against his.

When the kiss ended, Kathryn said, "Now I know I'm floating."

Eyes still closed, Chakotay whispered, "And I have to be dreaming."

"You're not." Her voice was so strong and steady that he opened his eyes to look into hers. "Chakotay, I was ready to marry Jaffen and had even decided that I wanted to start a family with him. I wasn't in love with him. My feelings were only a tiny fragment of what I feel for you."

"Is that what you want for us?"

"Yes. No. I don't know? Eventually? But maybe not until we get home. Or maybe I don't want to wait that long." She sighed heavily. "I feel like my world has…"

"…turned upside down?"

She smiled. "Maybe it's just turned right side up."

He kissed her softly again. "One thing is for certain… this is forever, and everything else we can take one day at a time."

"I love you, Chakotay."

"I love you too, Kathryn."


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