Written By Dawn  

Setting:   Following the Episode "Endgame"

Disclaimer:   Voyager and its characters belong to Paramount,
I just add a little more romance and fix some continuity.

Rating:   NC-17

“Captain? You wanted to see me?”

Kathryn looked to see Chakotay standing at attention. “Join me for a drink?” She walked around the desk, squeezed his arm as she brushed past him, and headed towards her sitting area.

“Of course, Kathryn.” He shook his head in amusement while he slowly walked up the two steps to join her.

She lifted a bottle of champagne that she’d had on ice and shot off the cork with a loud pop. “Let’s make a toast.”

“All right,” he said as he watched her pour the amber liquid into two delicate flutes.

She handed him a glass and raised hers. “To the Journey.”

“To the Journey.” He touched his glass to hers and joined her in drinking a sip of the champagne.

“And to the conclusion of the journey.” She smiled brightly.

“That too.” He picked up the bottle and looked at the label. “I thought you used this when we commissioned the slipstream drive?”

“I’ve got an entire case of the vintage. It was used when Voyager was originally commissioned.” She gracefully sat down and patted the cushion next to her.

“You like it that much?” He followed her lead, but took a seat with a little more distance to keep decorum.

“Not really, but it seems appropriate for the occasion.”

He laughed. “Yes, yes it does. The Admiral would be proud.”

Kathryn studied the rise of the bubbles in her glass. “The Klingons would say she died an honorable death.”

“Even the ones that chased her into that rift?”

With a click of her tongue, she inclined her head. “Probably not those particular ones.”

“I’d guess not.”

After a moment of silence, she refilled their glasses. “If you have a few minutes, I’d like to discuss a little business.”


“You and me.”

His glass paused in mid-air. “You and me?”

“I believe we have a standing commitment.”

“To do what?”

She nodded out the viewport where they could see their home planet rotating on its axis. “Didn’t we agree that the moment we arrived in the Alpha Quadrant and had Earth in sight, we would toss all protocol out the proverbial window?”

He cleared his throat. “Ummm…”

Gently, she continued to remind him, “It was that night when we sailed on Lake George. The day I died.”

“Yes, I… I remember that night. I didn’t think you remembered it, though.”

“Oh?” She looked him directly in the eyes. “I remember it vividly.”

“That was four years ago.”

“True, but it’s not like we haven’t spoken in all that time. We’ve grown to be dear friends, even gone so far as to hold each other during many a late night conversation. We’ve had more dinner dates than I can count, and don’t forget all those shore-leaves we’ve spent together, taking in the sights of the Delta Quadrant. I’ve been operating under the assumption that there was something more between us than our professional connection.”

He shifted in his seat a little and cleared his throat before whispering, “I wasn’t aware of that.”

“I was. Imagine my surprise when I learned that you were dating Seven.”

Startled, he looked up at her. “You know about that?”

She held up two fingers. “I’ve learned about it twice in the last few days.” She laid her hand back in her lap. “What I want to know is why didn’t I hear about it from you?”

“We haven’t told anyone, yet. How did you hear?”

“Well, first, my older self tells me that Seven was going to die in three years in the arms of her husband. Which was to be you.”


“Then Seven came to me for advice because the admiral told her the same thing in an attempt to coerce Seven into a mutiny against me.”

“Mutiny?” Chakotay’s eyes widened and then he shook his head as if to clear it. “Well, that explains a few things. What advice did you give her, may I ask?”

“It was tough, let me tell you. Until she came to me, I hadn’t realized that the relationship had already begun.” She emptied her champagne glass. “I told her that I couldn’t give advice on such a personal matter, but that I appreciated her letting me know that the Admiral was trying to coerce her. I informed her that personal relationships carry the risk of loss, and that such loss was part of life in Starfleet.”

“Or any life for that matter.”

“True.” She set the glass down and said, “So, you have a choice to make, Chakotay. Make no mistake about it, if you make the wrong choice, I will not go quietly.”

“Understood.” He was trying hard to contain his smile.

She stood up and sauntered back to her desk, saying, “I seem to be under the delusion that you’re worth the fight.”

Still sitting, he asked, “Kathryn?”

“Yes?” she replied in a deep, husky voice.

He downed the rest of his champagne, set the glass on the table, and walked deliberately over to her desk. Leaning forward until his lips were mere centimeters from hers, he said very slowly, “I would definitely enjoy that.”

“Enjoy what?” Her lips remained parted in expectation.

Leaning even closer, he whispered, “Watching you fight for me.”

The corners of her mouth turned upward, even as her lips continued to anticipate his kiss.

He let the tension rise for another moment before he winked and walked out the door.

Kathryn touched her lips, and a slow grin spread across her face.

About an hour later, Kathryn walked out onto the bridge and caught Chakotay’s eyes as he looked at her. She did nothing out of the ordinary except to focus entirely on him as she joined him on the command deck. “Do you have anything to report?”

It took a moment before he processed her question, but then he looked down to hide his embarrassment at being caught transfixed. “Yes, Captain. We’re clear to enter a low orbit.”

“Then, by all means, proceed.”

He looked up at her in surprise. “Me? I thought you’d like to make this command.”

Stepping closer, she said, “I consider you quite capable, Commander.”

There was a significant pause until Tom cleared his throat and suggested, “You could always say it together. I'm standing by at ready.”

Kathryn glanced at Tom to acknowledge his suggestion, but immediately redirected her attention back to Chakotay. “Shall we?”

“The honor is yours, Captain.”

With the slightest of smiles, she took her seat and he did the same. She said, “Mr. Paris, prepare to enter orbit of planet Earth.”

“Ready, Captain.”

“Take us home.”

“It would be my pleasure, Captain.”

Kathryn stepped into the transporter room and asked Vorik, “Ready?”

“Yes, Captain. Shall I proceed?”

“One moment.” She tapped her comm-badge. “Janeway to Chakotay.”

“Yes, Captain?”

“Would you meet me in your quarters? I have something for you.”

There was a slight pause before he asked, “Can it wait until this evening? I'm in a meeting with the operations crew.”

“Ah. Can they hear me?”

“Yes, Captain.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, do you think you can finish your meeting without the Commander?”

Harry Kim answered, “Yes, ma’am. We can fill him in later.”

“Is that all right with you, Commander?”

He sighed, but said, “I’ll meet you in a few minutes, Captain.”

“Thank you. Janeway out.”

Turning to Vorik, she instructed, “Energize.”

A beautiful woman with soft brown eyes, tan skin, and wavy, black hair coalesced on the platform.

Kathryn stepped forward with her hand stretched out. “Sekaya, it’s a pleasure to finally meet you.”

A smile exactly like Chakotay’s greeted her in response. “You must be Captain Janeway.”

“Please, call me Kathryn.” What started out as a handshake quickly turned into a hug. “Chakotay has told me so much about you, I feel like I know you already.”

“I feel the same way.” She looked past Kathryn and asked, “But where is he?”

“Let’s go see him,” she said as she linked their arms and stepped off the platform. Once in the corridor, Kathryn whispered, “He doesn’t know you’re here.”

“Oh,” Sekaya stopped and turned. “He’s not really one for surprises.”

“Not usually, but I’ve no doubt that he’ll be thrilled to see you.”

“Who does he think he’s meeting?”

“Me.” Kathryn pursed her lips in thought and then nodded her understanding. She touched her comm-badge, but held a finger to her lips to signal Sekaya to remain quiet. “Janeway to Chakotay.”

“Go ahead, Captain.”

“Are you in your quarters, yet?”

“Yes,” he said hesitantly. “What are you up to?”

“A surprise.”

“Kathryn,” he warned.

“Indulge me, would you?” she said with a wink at Sekaya who was trying not to laugh.

“Only because it’s you.”

“That’s more like it. Just stay there and be ready for a surprise, okay?”

“Are you taking me somewhere? Should I change?”

“No!” Kathryn said quickly. “Just stay in your uniform. Janeway out.”

Sekaya burst out laughing as they started walking again. “What was that about?”

“I suddenly had this vision of him getting a little too comfortable.” She coughed to cover her discomfort.

Winking, Sekaya mused, “I thought so. He hasn’t said anything in his letters, but I know my brother.”

“Thought what?”

“That you two are an item. Should I call you sister?”

Kathryn held up a finger. “Not just yet, but hold on to that thought.”

They soon arrived in front of Chakotay’s quarters, where Kathryn directed Sekaya to stand out of sight. She pressed the chime and the door opened immediately. “Are you decent?”

He was standing in the middle of the room. “Depends on whom you ask.”

Kathryn stepped aside so that Sekaya could take her place. The younger woman said, “What if you were to ask me?”

Chakotay’s mouth dropped open in shock as he ran forward and embraced her. “Sister!”

Sekaya cried, “My dear brother, I can’t believe you’re here!”

Kathryn wiped the moisture out of her eyes as she cleared her throat. “I’ll leave you two alone. Chakotay, you have about three hours before we need you on the bridge.”

He leaned back so he could get a good look at Sekaya before directing his attention towards Kathryn. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” she replied with sincerity. “Enjoy this time because it’s going to get hectic later.”

“We will, but how did you manage to bring her here? We’re on comm silence.”

“Don’t ask, just enjoy the time together.” She smiled warmly. “You deserve this, more than anyone, and I'm glad to be able to give it to you.”

“I don’t know what to say.”

Sekaya squeezed his shoulder and suggested, “Say thank you, brother.”

He looked at his sister and nodded. “Yes, you’re right.”

“Of course I am. Little sisters always are.”

They all laughed and Chakotay let go of Sekaya so he could pull Kathryn into his arms. He whispered in her ear. “Thank you. You have no idea.”

“Yes, I do,” she whispered back, placing the simplest of kisses on his cheek. “I’ll see you at fourteen-hundred.” As they broke apart, she saw more love in his expression than she could ever remember seeing. “Take her to the transporter room on your way. Vorik has the coordinates.”

“I’ll take care of it. Thank you, again.”

“My pleasure.” She nodded towards Sekaya. “I'm looking forward to getting to know you better.”

“Me, too, sister.”

Chakotay was staring in shock at Sekaya as Kathryn left.

Shortly after the Voyager crew disembarked, the senior officers were escorted to a reception with a handful of dignitaries that happened to be on earth. As the event was dying down, Chakotay unexpectedly looped his arm through Kathryn’s and led her from the room without saying anything.

“Where are we going?”

His eyes widened with amusement as he opened the door to a small meeting room, and escorted her inside.

“Aren’t they going to wonder where we are?” she asked as he backed her against the wall.

Hovering close, he whispered, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find the chance to speak to you alone?”

“And why would you want to do that, Commander?” She put her hands on her waist and lifted her chin, bringing her mouth slightly closer to his.

“I was thinking that you deserve a kiss.”

“A kiss?” Her eyebrows rose. “For what?”

Shrugging, he offered, “You know, for getting Voyager home and all. It’s the least I could do, really,” he joked.

“The very least.” She tapped his chin.

“And I haven’t had a chance to properly thank you for giving me that time with Sekaya.”

“I see.” Fighting against a huge smile, she added, “You had your chance to kiss me and you blew it, mister.”

“So that was it?” he asked as he leaned in close to her ear, breathing softly against the downy hairs on her neck. “My last chance?”

“Hmmm,” she hummed. “I'm not waiting around forever, you know.”

His nose barely nuzzled into her hair. “That wasn’t much of a fight.”

Kathryn put her hands on his waist to pull him a little closer. “What does a girl have to do to prove that she wants you in her bed, Commander?”

His movements paused for only a second before he looked into her eyes and then made a show of looking down at her chest. “Give it some thought. I'm sure you’ll come up with something.”

“You’re quite sure of yourself.”

His mouth moved in close again. “Do I need to point out that you’re the one chasing me?”

“I don’t chase. I go after what I want, and then I get it.”

“Do you now?” His smile turned into a smirk. “Sounds like fun.”

She fingered the zipper on his uniform. “I'm going to Indiana tonight so I can celebrate Christmas tomorrow, but I plan to host a little get-together for the senior staff next week. Would you like to attend?”

“Is this a formal occasion?”

“I wouldn’t mind if you dressed to impress. You know what I like.”

“Do I?”

“I’ll make it a New Year’s Eve party.”

“Ooooh, should I bring a date?”

“That would, um, be missing the point, Commander.”

“I want to make sure you get your money’s worth from this… pursuit.”

“Then by all means, bring her. I'm not afraid of a little competition.”

“You’re on,” he said with a wink. “She’ll need help getting from her aunt’s house to yours anyway.”

“How chivalrous.”

“I do try.”

“Tell me something, Commander.”

“What’s that?”

“Once I get what I want, will you turn that chivalry towards me?”

“Have I ever let you down?”

“You really want me to answer that?”

“Well, except for this Seven thing.”

She smirked. “Then, in that case, I’ll expect to be well taken care of.”

He placed a soft kiss on the corner of her lips. “In a manner most deserving of the woman that you are.”

“I'm not sure if that’s good or bad.”

He smiled against her cheek. “You’ll love every moment. I know I will.”

“Promise?” she asked, now more serious.

“You don’t believe me?”

“The love part.”

“Oh,” he said with a sweet smile. “Yes, I can definitely promise that.”

“Me, too.” She rubbed his chest. “We should get back.”

He gave her a soft, simple kiss. “Don’t wait a week to call me.”

“The pursuit would lose momentum.”

“I don’t think you have to worry about that, Kathryn. But I’d miss you.”

“I’ll call you tomorrow.”

Several days later, Kathryn took a deep breath before pressing the answer button on the comm unit. When Chakotay’s face appeared, she willed herself to relax. “Hi there.”

“Is everything all right, Kathryn? I was worried when you didn’t call at the usual time.”

She shrugged and looked away. “From what I saw on the Fednews, I assumed you’d be out with Seven.”

“Out with Seven?”

“The cameras caught you on a date.”

“Oh, that,” he said with a chuckle. “Seven asked me to escort her to a family dinner. She would’ve asked you, but she didn’t want to interfere with your holiday plans.”

“She needed an escort to a family dinner?”

“There were over a hundred people there. She was anxious about not having any other Voyager crew present. As you know, being in the spotlight is not really to her liking.”

“Good that she has you around to call on.”

He sighed, but smiled genuinely. “She and the rest of the crew. I could deflect some of the calls to you if you’re feeling neglected.”

“I hope you’re not offering your escort services to all of them.”

“No,” he said with a laugh. “Just Seven. Oh, and you, of course.”

“An afterthought. How nice.”

“Not at all, Kathryn. If you have need for a handsome man on your arm, I’ll change my plans at a moment’s notice.”

“I see.” She took a deep breath and changed the subject. “I sent out invitations to the New Year’s Eve gathering today.”

“I saw that. Can I come early and help you with anything?”

“Not if you’re still bringing a date. Are you?”

“Seven and I talked about it this afternoon. She appreciated my offer to transport with her.”

“I'm sure she did.”

“The media blitz is really getting to her. The Doctor and I have been advising her to tone down her appearance so she’s not so noticeable.”

“A good idea.”

“Did you notice what she was wearing today?”

“No. I was too busy being annoyed by the way your arm was around her.”

He chuckled. “Well, if the news clips run again, take a look. I'm not much on fashion, but I think I helped her pick out something nice for this occasion.”

“You took her shopping?”

“She didn’t want to bother you. If you’d like to take her, I'm sure she’d love it.”

“Maybe I’ll call her.”

“I think you should.”

Kathryn nodded and forced a smile.

“You seem a little distant. Is everything okay?”

“Oh, I'm fine.”

“Are you?”

“I'm just… Well, honesty is the best policy, right?”

“Most of the time.”

“I was wondering if I still have some fighting to do.”


“For you.”

He laughed. “Of course.”

She did not laugh. “That was a serious question.”

“Oh, come on, Kathryn. You know where you stand with me.”

“From my point of view, I'm vying for the affection of my best friend, whom I’ve developed significant feelings for.”

He frowned. “There’s no competition.”

“No? I find myself standing in opposition to a very blonde, very buxom woman who is half my age.”

“You don’t need to compare yourself to her, Kathryn.”

Rubbing her arms, she said, “I don’t like feeling this way.”

“Then stop.” He leaned forward and asked, “Would you like me to come over right now and show you just how beautiful you are?”

“Yes,” she said quickly, then sighed. “No. Mom has dinner plans for us in an hour.”

“That’s a late dinner.”

“Yes, it is, but her gentleman friend lives in Australia so this seems to be the best time.”

“A family event of your own.”

“Yea,” she said with a roll of her eyes. “I don’t know how I feel about my mother dating again. I am not looking forward to this.”

“Just keep in mind that she needs your support. You don’t have to like him, just be your graceful, diplomatic self.”

“But this is my mom.”

“Yes, and you’re a poised Starfleet captain whom your mom wants to show off. If you can let the Starfleet brass brag about you, surely you can allow your mother the same courtesy.”

“All right, fine. Maybe I should take you with me.”

“Why not? I’d love to go.”

“No,” she said with a sigh. “The press will likely capture us, and you don’t need to be seen with two women on the same night.”

“I can’t think of two more beautiful women that I’d like to be seen with.”

Kathryn groaned. “Chakotay, go to bed before you end up sticking your foot in your mouth.”

“What do you mean?”

She shook her head. “Good night. I’ll call you tomorrow, all right?”

“I'm already looking forward to it.”

Kathryn switched off the comm and stared at it blankly for a long moment. She wondered about his mannerisms, unsure of whether he was joking with her or if he assumed their un-confirmed relationship wasn’t exclusive.

She pulled herself together and said, “Well, he’s about to be educated. That’s for certain.”

Dressed in a red blouse, black slacks, and an apron, Kathryn was in the kitchen of her mother’s home, putting the final touches on the trays of hors d’oeuvres, when the front door chimed. Her mother called out that she’d get it, so Kathryn stayed in the kitchen to finish up.

B’Elanna came into the kitchen and asked, “How can I help?”

“Where’s Miral?” Kathryn asked as she handed B’Elanna a container of toothpicks. “Would you put these into the cheese cubes, please?”

“Tom has her, although I think I saw your mom taking over as I walked in here.” B’Elanna asked, “Stick them in every one?”


“I don’t mean to criticize, but wouldn’t it be better to let people put them on their plates and then they can eat them with a fork?”

“These will be passed on a tray, so there are no plates.”

“Who’s passing them? You?”

“Well, sure,” Kathryn said rather indignantly. “I am the hostess.”

“And it’s just us, Captain. This doesn’t need to be formal.”

Kathryn looked around at the kitchen and then back at B’Elanna. “Maybe you’re right.”

“What are you wearing?”

She looked down at her apron and smiled. “Like it? My sister gave it to me about ten years ago.”

B’Elanna read the print on the dark burgundy apron. “Sophisticated, Seductive, Complex, and Full-Bodied.”

“I haven’t had many opportunities to wear it.”

“All you need is a wine glass in your hand.”

Kathryn reached over to the counter and picked up her cabernet sauvignon. “Already got it.”

“Unbutton your blouse.”

“Excuse me?”

B’Elanna smiled. “If you want to be seductive, you need to flaunt it. Two buttons should give enough of a show without being obvious about it.”

Kathryn pursed her lips, but did as suggested. “Are you sure that’s not going to distract everyone?”

“Only the men.”

“Including your husband?”

“If it does, it’ll just make him horny for me, and I'm really okay with that.”

“Tell me something,” Kathryn said as she put the toothpicks away and got out a stack of plates. “What makes you think I want to give anyone a show?”

“Something’s not right between you and Chakotay. I figure he either needs to wake up and smell the coffee, or he needs to wallow in remorse over what he’ll be missing.”

Kathryn muttered, “A little of both.”

The door chime rang again and B’Elanna reached for Kathryn’s hair. “May I?”

“I suppose,” she said cautiously.

B’Elanna threaded her fingers into the perfectly-formed coiffure to loosen it up. After fluffing for a moment, she stood back and examined her work. “Good. Now you look like you want to be touched.”

“Do I?”

Rolling her eyes, B’Elanna picked up a tray and said, “Come on. Let’s see who’s here.”

Kathryn followed with another tray. She set it down so she could welcome Harry and his friend, Libby. Kathryn felt a little exposed with her blouse open, but was glad she had a chance to get used to it before the object of her affection arrived.

When he did, she steeled herself for seeing him with Seven on his arm. Kathryn was a little surprised when he walked in several moments after the younger woman.

As soon as Chakotay set his load of packages down, he scanned the room until his eyes landed on Kathryn. His face grew alight, and he came right over to her. “Good evening,” he said as he kissed the back of her hand.

“Aren’t you the charmer?”

“You did request chivalry, did you not?” His eyes wandered down, pausing at her chest and then again at her apron. Once he read it, he smirked. “Perfect.”

“Is it?”

“Oh yes.” His sightline dropped to her chest again. “Your battle tactics never cease to thrill.”

“It’s just a blouse.”

“On a very enticing woman.”

Kathryn’s eyes narrowed and she nodded towards Seven who, while not in a catsuit, was definitely wearing a top that was significantly sexier than Kathryn’s. “Did you help her choose her outfit again?”

Chakotay didn’t bother following her sightline. “I suggested slacks and a dressy top. You ladies seem to have your own fashion sense about how snug and revealing you make them.”

“But you’re the one who took her shopping.”

“I escorted her into the clothing stores, sat in uncomfortable chairs while other women waited on her, and then took her home. She didn’t model for me, nor did she ask my opinion. I did offer advice that if she wanted to be noticed less, she should try for less revealing clothes.”

“She didn’t take your advice tonight.”

“No, but perhaps, like you, she wants to be noticed.”

Kathryn refused to back down, but the turn of the conversation made her feel decidedly uncomfortable. She downed her wine and said, “I should greet the Doctor and Lieutenant Barclay.”

“If you’re going to drink that fast, you might consider eating a little, too.”

She merely gave him a look of disdain before brushing past him, pausing to take off the damned apron before she spoke to anyone else.

Later, when Kathryn joined everyone in the dining room for the meal, she had donned a conservative jacket and fastened up one of the two buttons B’Elanna had encouraged her to leave open.

B’Elanna asked, “You changed?”

Kathryn waved away her concern. “I was getting a little chilled. Indiana winters aren’t to be trifled with.”

Gretchen said, “Oh, I could tell you stories of this little one getting lost out in the snow.”

“Little one?” Tom asked.

Chakotay grinned. “Mrs. Janeway, I’d love to hear your stories.”

“And I’d love to tell them.”

Kathryn cleared throat. “Or perhaps we could just enjoy this lovely dinner.”

Chakotay asked, “Did you make it?”

“Yes, with my mother’s help.”

Before Chakotay could make any comments about her cooking, B’Elanna kicked him under the table.

B’Elanna immediately addressed Kathryn. “It looks wonderful. I'm famished.”

Once everyone had a full plate, conversation flowed freely about what everyone had been up to over the last week.

Tom said, “This entire week has been a blur. I thought I was sleep deprived on Voyager, but…” He stopped mid-sentence and yelped, “Ow!”

B’Elanna cut in. “Miral eats often. Just like her dad.”

Kathryn asked, “Tom, do you get B’Elanna a snack every time Miral wakes up for a feeding?”

“No, why?”

“He gets one for himself,” B’Elanna muttered.

“Hey now, all you have to do is ask.”

“All right, when I feed her, you feed me, and then you get to keep your kneecaps.”

Tom fought back a smile as he replied, “Of course, dear.”

Seven asked B’Elanna, “Lieutenant, is it customary for Klingon females to become more aggressive post-childbirth?”

Chakotay quickly put his hand on Seven’s shoulder, and said, “Perhaps we should talk about something else.”

“I'm only asking because during the course of this meal, she has kicked the males on both sides of her.”

B’Elanna stated, “My newfound aggression isn’t limited to males.”

Gretchen hummed a small tune and commented, “Aren’t you a lively bunch.”

Harry said, “We’re missing Tuvok. He usually keeps us a little more subdued.”

“Where is he?” Tom asked.

Kathryn replied, “He is en route to Vulcan for an important family ritual, but he’ll be back in a month.”

“He’ll miss two weeks of debriefings,” Chakotay pointed out.

“Yes, but he was granted special permission.”

The Doctor asked, “So, Mr. Kim, did you get enough of your mother’s home cooking this week?”

“Ugh,” Harry put his fork down and held his stomach. “I can already tell that I need to watch it or I'm going to have to replicate an entirely new wardrobe.”

“You’re entitled, Harry,” Libby said fondly. “When she’s through with you, I get to take over.”

“Oh?” Tom asked. “Anything you want to share?”

“Well,” Harry said with a slight blush as he took Libby’s hand. “May I?”

“They’re your friends,” she said.

“Libby and I are engaged.” As everyone offered their congratulations, he held up his hand to forestall them. “But we’re going to give ourselves six months before we tie the knot.”

Libby added, “Because we’ve both changed a lot in the last seven years.”

“But the spark is there and the love between us is unmistakable.” Harry was practically beaming at his bride-to-be. “We felt it the moment we saw each other again.”

Kathryn felt a swelling of emotion and she knew that her eyes had filled with tears. “That’s wonderful. Congratulations, both of you.”

“It’s hard to find that spark with someone,” Chakotay said. He glanced at Kathryn and then back at the happy couple. “Once you’ve found it, don’t ever let it go.”

Tom said, “That sounds like a song, Chakotay.”

The Doctor offered, “The sentiment is in a number of songs. Would you like a list?”

“No, that… won’t be necessary,” Chakotay said.

“All right, but I am a walking database. One could say a veritable fount of information.”

“One certainly could,” Kathryn agreed. “Harry, I haven’t received official notification, but I believe we’ll be offered up to a year for a leave of absence. It may differ per person.”

“I hope they tell us, soon. I'm eager to make plans, but at the same time, I don’t want to rush into anything.”

Tom announced, “I just want some time off.” He looked at Kathryn and quickly added, “Not that I wouldn’t love to be working if we were still out there.”

She assured him. “It’s all right, Tom. I'm looking forward to a break myself.”

“Have you had a good week, Captain?” Harry asked.

“Pretty good, although I'm a little blown away by the fact that we’re here.”

“Well, yeah,” B’Elanna said sarcastically.

Kathryn smiled at her. “It feels surreal, probably because I never let myself imagine what this would be like. Then it all happened so fast. I had no expectations, but at the same time, it didn’t turn out like I expected.”

“Right about now, Tuvok would question your logic,” Tom said.

“I'm fully aware of the fact that I'm not making sense, but being here doesn’t exactly make sense, either.”

Gretchen said, “I'm sure you didn’t plan on arriving two days before Christmas, although I’ve never received such a wonderful gift.”

“Me either, Mom. I guess I figured we’d be whisked away to debriefings, not have two full weeks of leave.”

B’Elanna suggested, “And you probably didn’t expect to find yourself alone. I mean you have your family, but our crew has grown to be such a tight-knit group. It feels strange not to see everyone daily.”

Kathryn nodded. “Very true. Seven years ago, I didn’t know your names, now…”

“…it’s hard to imagine even a day without you,” Chakotay finished.

Her eyes locked with his from across the table for a long moment until Seven squeezed his arm and said, “I assumed you and the other Maquis would be taken into custody. You are terrorists, after all.”

Everyone shifted uncomfortably until Chakotay replied, “We were labeled as such, but I don’t believe any of us thought that of ourselves.”

“Chakotay,” Tom interrupted. “What are your plans for the future?”

He glanced at Seven’s hand that was still on his arm, and then he looked at Kathryn before he answered. “I don’t know what our plans are. We haven’t talked about it.”

B’Elanna asked, “We?”

“Mmmhmm,” Chakotay said around a bite. “It’s really too soon to decide. I think we need some time with our feet on the ground.”

“What about you, Captain?” Harry asked. “Think you’ll go back into space again?”

“I have no idea. For now, I just want to get through debriefings and take a much-needed vacation.”

The Doctor said, “I'm sure Starfleet Medical will do a full psychological workup on each one of you.”

“There’s something to look forward to,” Tom remarked.

Harry said, “Well, I, for one, definitely want to remain planet side. We want to start a family, and I’d much rather do that on Earth.”

“A family?” Chakotay asked. “Don’t you think that’s jumping into the deep end a little too fast?”

Kathryn glared at Chakotay, but then softened her features to address Harry and Libby. “I think it’s wonderful to know what you want and to go after it. Seven years of our lives have gone by, and the entirety of Voyager’s crew has only two children to show for it.”

The Doctor said, “One conception happening before anything began, and the other child arriving just as we got home.”

Gretchen muttered lightly, “I wouldn’t mind some more grandchildren.”

“Mom,” Kathryn warned.

“I'm just saying that the clock is ticking.”

“I realize what you’re saying, but I'm not having this conversation in front of my senior staff.”

The Doctor said, “Oh, I don’t know, Captain, it’s kind of amusing to see you having to answer to someone.”

“Watch it, Doctor. I'm still your commanding officer, even if we are sitting in my childhood home.” She glanced at Chakotay who was biting his lip, trying not to smile.

Harry changed the subject. “I think the only way I’d go back into space anytime soon was if we all remained assigned to Voyager and it became an inter-generational ship.”

“But it wouldn’t be the same unless we were all there,” Tom said.

Libby asked, “Would you ever consider it, Captain?”

Kathryn felt her shoulders tense up and was about to reply when Chakotay spoke.

“She’s been on duty for seven years straight. Let’s give her some time before asking that.”

“My apologies, Captain.”

“That’s all right, Libby. I know you’re eager to plan your future now that you’ve got Harry back, but my future is a little too uncertain at this point to make any decisions.”

B’Elanna asked, “Captain, if you could go anywhere you want, where would you go?”

Chakotay interjected, “Once debriefings are over, she can go anywhere.”

“True,” Kathryn said with a smile. “Assuming we’re talking about a vacation, I’d have to say the beach. I want to walk along the sandy shore, feel the waves tickling at my feet, and hear the power of the waves as they crash against the rocks. I find myself wanting to experience the full richness of Earth before I even think about leaving it again.”

“Easy enough to arrange,” Chakotay said with a sincere smile.

Seven said, “I would like to experience Earth as well. Commander, would you be willing to show me?”

“Umm, well,” he hesitated. “I don’t…”

B’Elanna jumped in. “I'm sure we can all play tour guide for you, Seven.”

Tom offered, “Yeah, because we all like different aspects of Earth. I, for one, like to ski.”

Harry said, “And I like the mountains in the summer and fall when we could go hiking.”

Libby quickly suggested, “Maybe we could all go hiking as a group. It’s safer that way.”

“The Captain has already said she likes the beaches,” B’Elanna pointed out. “And I'm a fan of the tropical islands.”

Chakotay said, “The area I know best, besides San Francisco, is the Arizona dessert. I also love the beaches, specifically the gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic ocean along the coast of Florida.”

The Doctor said, “I, too, would like to explore Earth. Perhaps we could venture out together, Seven.”

“I…uh… I….” Barclay spoke up for the first time. “I would be…uh… happy…. to…. to show you around, Ms. Hansen.”

She replied, “The commander has been a gracious escort this past week, and I'm sure he’ll be happy to continue to do so. But I thank you all for the suggestions.”

Chakotay said, “I…”

Kathryn stood up rather quickly and then made an excuse. “I need to check on… dessert.”

Gretchen said, “Honey, I’ll be glad…”

“Not at all, mom. I’ll be right back.” She quickly left the now-quiet room and went into the kitchen. Not stopping there, she went out onto the back porch and started pacing in the brisk, winter air.

Her heart was racing and she felt unsure about what to do with her hands. The evening was not going at all how she’d planned, although she should’ve expected it to spiral out of control because of the little game that Chakotay was playing. It wasn’t entirely his fault because she’d let it go on this long.

She felt selfish and petty for wanting him all to herself and for being so emotional. Seven was merely feeling lonely and insecure, and had latched herself onto Chakotay. Kathryn acknowledged that Chakotay’s behavior was entirely the result of two women coming at him at the same time. She reasoned that a man starved for sex for seven years might not know how best to handle the situation.

The patio door opened and Kathryn knew without looking who it was. She said, “I just need a few minutes, Chakotay.”

He came up behind her and draped a coat around her shoulders. “No reason that you need to be cold.”

“It’s sobering,” she said as she slipped her arms into the sleeves.

“Red wine always goes straight to your head. You know that,” he said as he turned her to face him and began doing up the buttons to keep her warm.

“Yes, well,” she said absently as she scratched her eyebrow.

He studied her for a long moment before saying, “I owe you an apology.”

Her eyes flew up. “For?”

“Making you uncomfortable about your clothes. You were trying to be alluring, and instead of making you feel beautiful like I should have, I made you feel exposed or something.”

“Made me feel like I was being a tart.”

He smiled apologetically and adjusted the collar of her blouse to stand up in line with her jacket and her coat. “When in fact, the way your blouse was showing only the slightest hint of your breasts was very sexy in a classy way.”

“Was it?”

“I doubt you could be anything but classy. I love that about you.”

“Seven looks like a tart.”

“Yes, she does.”

“I always imagined that her chest was covered with borg components for it to be so large and firm, but her ample display of cleavage shows us otherwise.”

Chuckling, he said, “She’s very immature emotionally and, like a teenager, she’s guessing what would attract a man.”

Kathryn looked away as she asked, “Is it working?”

“For you or Seven?”


“Well, sure. She’s attracting all manner of attention.”

“I meant you.” Kathryn looked directly at him. “Is she attracting you?”

“Not with you around.”

Closing her eyes, she said, “And when I'm not around?”

“You’re always in my thoughts.”

“But I wasn’t before last week.”

He sighed and looked down. “I believe that after another week or two of her, I’d have come looking for you.”

“But you married her in the other timeline.”

“I can’t imagine.”

“Can’t you? She’s very beautiful.”

“She’s not you. If I had married her, she would have been a poor substitute.”

Kathryn buttoned his coat as she said, “I find myself unsure about you, and I don’t know what to do about it.”

“How so?”

“I know we wouldn’t be in this fix if I’d communicated better, but now that I have, I feel more than a little exposed.”

“My intentions towards you are honorable.”

“If we were still on Voyager, it would be easy for me to trust your intentions because I’d know exactly where you are, what you’re doing, and who you’re with. Here on Earth, you’re free to explore the possibilities. Is there a chance that you need to see what’s out there? Sow your wild oats?”

“No, Kathryn. I'm in love with you, and no amount of oat sowing is going to change that.”

“I know you love me, but your reactions to my advances this week aren’t what I would expect of a man in love. I love you, but I won’t let you settle on me just because of our friendship.”

“I’d hardly call it settling to be with you. Quite the opposite, in fact.”

“I just don’t know.” She clamped down on her lower lip to stop it from trembling.

He touched her chin and used the pad of his thumb to pull her lip free. “Kathryn, I’ve messed things up this week, and I’m sorry about that. I was enjoying this cat and mouse game a little too much, and I fear that you weren’t in a good place emotionally to be the cat.”

“I don’t want to play any more games.”

“Okay,” he said confidently as he took her hands and held them close to his chest. “Here’s the real deal, one hundred percent confession from my heart.”

“Chakotay,” she whispered, not sure if she wanted to stop him or not.

“I love you. I’ve been in love with you since the day we met. I’ll be in love with you for the rest of eternity. You’re the only woman I’ve loved since you came into my life. Any others were mistakes. If you’ll have me, I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

“Are you sure?”

“Kathryn,” he implored. “Please, trust me as your best friend, your second in command, and the man that you’ve spent the last seven years falling in love with. I mean what I say.”

“If we do this, there’s no going back. And there’s no escorting Seven anywhere.”

“If she asks, I’ll nominate Barclay. He seems eager.”

Kathryn felt like a weight had lifted and she relaxed against him. “I feel exhausted.”

“I'm so sorry,” he said as he tucked her head under his chin and rubbed her back. “Can I spend the next week making this up to you?”

“I’d rather have eternity.”

“You’ve got it.” He kissed the top of her head and squeezed her tight. “I promise that I’ll never again give you reason to doubt my complete devotion to you.”

She looked up at him and cradled his cheek in her palm. “I’ll make you the same promise.”

“You’ve got a deal. Should we sign a treaty or a pact or something?”

“No,” she said with a huge smile. “Not yet.”

They both jumped when the door swung open and they heard a bunch of people shouting, “No!” Seven came out, followed by most of the dinner guests.

Kathryn didn’t move away from Chakotay, but turned to face her newest adversary. “Is there something you need, Seven?”

“I want an explanation from Chakotay.”

B’Elanna spoke. “I'm sorry, Captain. We tried to explain.”

Kathryn looked at Chakotay and motioned towards Seven. “I'm afraid you’ve dug this hole.”

He took a deep breath and stepped towards Seven so that he was facing both women. After looking back and forth between them, he said, “I’ve made an error in judgment, and because of that, I’ve hurt two very special women.”

“How have you hurt her?” Seven demanded.

Kathryn was about to comment when Chakotay put his hand on her shoulder to quiet her.

“Kathryn and I have been in love for a long time, Seven. Longer than you’ve known us. I lost sight of that when I agreed to help you learn more about dating. My mistake was letting it go too far and saying things to you that I shouldn’t have. I hope that, in time, you’ll forgive me and that we can remain friends.”

Seven was quiet as she looked at both of them and then lifted her chin. “You have behaved like a typical male. I thought you were above that.”

Kathryn bristled, “Seven.”

“It’s okay, Kathryn.” He looked at the younger woman. “You’re right, and I have no defense for that.”

“Captain, are you sure you want to be with him?”

“Yes,” she said without hesitation. “I love him, and because of that, I lovingly accept all his quirks. Love means that you stand together through thick and thin, even when one of you makes mistakes and unknowingly hurts the other.”

Chakotay smiled apologetically at Kathryn. “Thank you.”

She shrugged. “I'm not without guilt. You know I’ve made my share of mistakes.”

Seven said, “I should leave this event. It is clear that my presence is not wanted.”

“No,” Kathryn said quickly. “This party is to celebrate the year that we’ve just ended and to look forward to the next. We’re a family, and families stick together.”

“We don’t need to now that we’re on Earth.”

The Doctor stepped forward and put his arm around Seven. “I’d say that we need to be all the more diligent. Let’s go inside and have dessert. I’ve got some exciting news that I think only you will appreciate it.”

Seven nodded and said, “Very well. I’ll stay.”

All but B’Elanna walked back in, and she stayed long enough to say, “Take as much time as you need. We’ll make sure she sticks around.”

Chakotay said, “Thank you. It’s not her fault.”

“No, I’d say that rests entirely with you.” She lightly punched him in the arm. “But I still love you.”

“Thanks, B’Elanna. I love you, too.” Once she was gone, he turned to Kathryn and took a deep breath. “Well, that was fun.”

“Cleared the air.”

“That it did.”

They looked at each other for a long moment until she said, “Come on. Let’s go in.”

“I was thinking about kissing you.”

She tugged on his hand to draw him inside. “Save it for midnight – just make sure we’re secluded.”

“Yes, dear.”

Laughing out loud, she said, “I could get used to that.”

Midnight was minutes away, and Kathryn walked around, filling up everyone’s glasses with champagne. When she was finished, she stood near the fireplace, and said, “I would like to offer a toast.”

Chakotay came to her side and everyone quieted to listen.

“Our tradition every New Year’s Eve has been to look back over the year with open hearts, accepting our setbacks and celebrating our successes. Most of all, we remember to be thankful that we’re still together and that our friendships are ever stronger because of our time together. This last year is no exception. We’ve arrived at our greatest success, but the year didn’t pass by without some setbacks. There were moments out there when we weren’t sure we could go another day, but by relying on each other, we made it.”

“Hear, hear!” Tom said joyously.

She acknowledged him with a nod. “Although we’ve just accomplished our ultimate goal, the coming year will not be without its own set of hurdles. I want to challenge each of us to continue depending on each other, and by doing so, provide strength for all of Voyager’s crew.”

Harry said, “You can count on us.”

“I know I can.” She raised her glass and everyone did the same. “To the conclusion of our journey – may the friendships that we have forged see us through the next stage of our lives, and may our devotion to each other grow ever stronger in the face of adversity.”

“To friendship,” Chakotay echoed and drank to their captain.

Once they finished, she said, “Now, we have two minutes until midnight. Mr. Paris, would you do the honor of giving us the final countdown?”

“I’d be happy to, Captain.”

“I want to thank you for coming to this party and for all of the generous gifts we’ve exchanged.” She glanced at Chakotay and rolled her eyes. “Even the unusual cup from whatever that planet was called.”

He laughed and gave her a wink.

“It is customary to kiss your loved one at midnight, but for those of you who are single, a peck on the cheek or a warm hug is a wonderful alternative. I don’t know about all of you, but there are times when I could use as many hugs as I can get.”

They all chuckled and gathered in small groups to wait for midnight. Gretchen and her beau snuck off to the dining room.

Kathryn looked around at everyone and felt a sense of pride wash over her. That feeling turned to warmth when she felt Chakotay embrace her from behind.

He whispered, “I have another gift for you, but I want to give it to you in private.”

“I was hoping you did.”

“You didn’t doubt me, did you?” he said as he tugged on her hand to draw her into the hallway behind the Christmas tree.

“No, not when presented with such a… unique? gift.”

“I’ve always saved my real gift to you for when we’ve been alone.”

“I remember,” she said as she stepped into his arms. Off in the now-distance, Tom gave them a thirty second warning.

“Just so you know, if I’d known how our conversations were going to turn out this evening, I would’ve picked out something different.”

“Than the cup?”

“Than the gift that you’re going to receive in just a few minutes.” He gathered her hair in his hands and let it fall behind her shoulders. “Is it just me, or did your hair grow a lot in a week?”

“It’s just not fashioned as tightly as I usually do it.”

“Oh, I like it this way. It’s very touchable.”

She smiled, remembering B’Elanna’s comment. “I’ll make a note.”

Tom announced, “Ten – Nine…”

Chakotay asked, “Are you ready for this?”

“Feels like our first real kiss.”

“Six – Five…”

He held her close, one hand threading into her hair at the back of her head. She felt nearly giddy with anticipation, and she was pretty sure it wasn’t the wine that was making her feel like she was floating.

“Two – One – Happy New Year 2379!”

Chakotay looked deeply into her eyes and whispered, “Happy New Year, Kathryn.”

“Starting this way, how can it be anything but?” she asked as she watched his face descend toward her’s.

Warmth was the first thing that came to mind as his soft lips touched hers. It was an overwhelming warmth that was both succulent and intoxicating. The kiss surrounded her senses and filled her soul with a passion so strong that she wanted to fall into the strong, solid man that held her body with such tenderness that she almost wanted to cry.

She gripped his shoulders in a futile attempt to pull him deeper, feeling as though she was falling into him and hanging on for dear life at the same time. She wasn’t sure who made the sound, but she thought she heard a whimper as his tongue delved inside to stroke silkily through her mouth.

This was like no kiss she had experienced before. Maybe it was the anticipation, maybe the long abstinence, but she knew for certain that if their love-making had even a milliliter of the sexuality she felt herself bathed in during this simple kiss, she was in for one heck of a lifetime.

When his lips pulled away, she grabbed his head and begged, “Don’t stop.”

“Shhhhh,” he whispered as he tucked her head close to his body.

Kathryn felt like she was on another plane of existence. She heard Chakotay talking to someone, but she had no desire to find out what they were saying. She only wanted to delve back into the man that surrounded and sheltered her from anything and everything that might break the spell of the moment.

He rubbed her back and whispered, “Kathryn, would you like me to stay tonight?”

“If you leave, I'm going with you,” she mumbled in response.

Speaking to someone else, he said, “I’ll take that as a yes. You’ll see Seven home?”

“We’ll make sure she’s taken care of for the next week,” Tom said. “Goodnight, Chakotay.”

“Thank you and goodnight.” He squeezed Kathryn and rocked her gently for a moment before saying, “I love you.”

The trance now on temporary hiatus, she lifted her head and, with a silly grin on her face, said, “Love you, too.”

He gave her ripened lips a sweet kiss. “Anything we need to do before going to bed?”

Gretchen was walking by as he asked and replied, “Not a thing. We’re going to transport to Australia and leave you two alone. Go on up, and call me tomorrow when it’s safe to come home.”

“Thanks, Mom.” She laid her head on Chakotay’s shoulder and gave him a firm squeeze. “I should be embarrassed, but I'm not.”

“No need.” Gretchen patted her daughter on the back and said, “It’s a balm to my heart to see you so happy and in love. Goodnight, kids.”


When they were alone, he said, “Next time we have a first kiss like that, we do it when we’re alone so there’s no need to stop.”

“Agreed.” She stepped out of his arms, taking his hand in hers. “Come on.”

“Don’t you want your Christmas present, first?”

“Is it going to detract from the delightful hum that is pervading my body?”

“I sure hope not.” Breaking away from her just long enough to grab the package, he said, “Let’s take it to the bedroom.”

“Should I have gotten you more than the sweater?”

“No, it’s something you want me to wear, right?”

“Of course,” she said as she walked up the stairs in front of him, turning the lights out along the way. “I'm hoping you’ll spend a lot of time with me in Indiana, and it’s cold here. You don’t have any sweaters.”

“Our gifts are perfectly matched, then.”

Now in her bedroom, she took off her jacket, slipped off her shoes, and unfastened a couple buttons on her red blouse. “You’re sure this looks sexy and not tawdry?”

He craned his neck a little to see what her blouse might be revealing. “That’s… uh… incredibly sexy because I know your shirt is open, but yet I can’t really see anything. It’s like you’re making yourself available, but only if I discover a secret key.”

“Interesting concept,” she said with a smirk as she sat on the bed and held her hand out for the gift. “May I?”

“Please do.” He gave her the box, slipped off his shoes, and sat next to her. “I had to make an educated guess, so I hope I made the correct choice.”

She took the lid off the box and paused before she unfolded the tissue paper. “I'm curious about something.”

“What’s that?”

“What would you have gotten me if you’d known how tonight was going to turn out?”

He shrugged mischievously. “I guess you’ll find out next time I give you a gift.”

“I guess so.” She smiled at him as she folded back the paper to reveal a cerulean blue piece of fabric. “What is it?” she asked as she took it out of the box.

“Hold it up.”

She let it unfold and gasped as she saw the long dress. “A sundress?”

“One that I’d like you to wear this week.”

“Somewhere other than Indiana, I hope?”

“Sekaya has invited us to Florida for as long as we want to stay – an afternoon, a day, a week. I thought you might like to stick your toes in the ocean.”

Kathryn couldn’t contain her joy as she looked back at the long dress. “It’s beautiful, but even Florida gets cool in January.”

He nodded towards the box. “There’s more.”

She found another piece of fabric that was identical to what she was holding. After picking it up, she smiled as she said, “A jacket. Very thoughtful.”

“You get cold so easily.” He held up the dress so she could see it. “I think it’s just the right length for walking along the beach. The bottom might get a little wet, but that would be okay.”

Kathryn licked her lips as she studied the dress. “I think that top will be more revealing than this blouse.”

“Well,” he winked. “I did notice that.”

She smiled. “It’s a good thing you had this picked out and wrapped before this evening.”

“Why’s that?” he asked as he folded the dress and put it back in the box.

“Because you’d already planned to take me to the ocean before I ever mentioned that it was my favorite place to go.”

“I do know you.”

“And because of our miscommunication about the tawdriness of my current attire.”

“You should also know, then, that I picked this out when I was shopping with another woman, but she didn’t know a thing about it. My problem with advising Seven about clothes is that I kept suggesting things that would work for you. Everywhere we went, I couldn’t stop thinking how nice you’d look wearing everything.”

“So, now you want to take me shopping?”

Laughing, he said, “If you want to, sure, but I think you do a lovely job of picking out your own clothing.”

“I’ll tell you what. We both need to update our wardrobes, so we’ll go shopping together. I promise not to drag you to every shop I can find.”

He put the box aside and took his belt and socks off. “We should also decide where we’re going to live, even in the short term. That will impact what clothes we need.”

“Okay, but not tonight.” She tried to wipe off the silly grin she knew she had on her face.

“What are you laughing at?” He anxiously looked at his clothes. “Surely not my naked feet?”

“No,” she said quickly. “I'm just happy. Your toes are…” She frowned. “How does one compliment a man’s toes?”

“You could say they’re not weird.”

“They are definitely not weird.” Standing up, she pulled him into a hug. “I'm happy because of this, because of us. And you’ve just implied that we’ll be living together.”

“Oh, I just assumed.”

“A good assumption because I'm not letting you out of my sight.”

“So you can trust my intentions?” he joked.

“No, so I can touch you every minute of every day. You’re addicting.”

“Well then, I’ll be happy to accommodate you.” He cradled her face in his hands. “Are you too sleepy for this?”

“Too sleepy? Are you kidding?”

“After I kissed you earlier, you seemed like you were falling asleep on your feet.”

“That wasn’t sleep, dear. That was euphoria.”

“Oh,” he said in surprise. “That was a nice kiss, wasn’t it?”

“Nice?” She snuggled up closer to him. “Nice doesn’t even begin to describe it.”

“I…” Pausing as he looked at her more seriously now, he seemed to change his mind about what he wanted to say. “This is really happening, isn’t it?”

“What? Sex?”

“Well, yes, but I mean all of this. We aren’t going to wake up and find this was all a dream or a hallucination, are we?”

“Tell me something.” She backed out of his arms and went to turn the bedside lamp on and the overhead light off.


“In fantasies that you’ve had about getting together with me, did any include me storming out of the room and sulking on the back porch?”

He laughed. “Um, no.”

“Good, because if you’ve ever had fantasies about a love triangle with me and Seven, I need to have a word with your muse.”

“I can honestly say that it has never come up in even one of my dreams.”

She let that sit for a moment before reassuring him. “I think it’s safe to assume this is real.” She started unfastening his tunic. “Now, if you’ll allow me the pleasure, I’d really like to see what you’ve got under here.”

“I don’t have anything under there.”

She let the shirt drop to the floor behind him and laid her hands on his chest. “That’s where you’re wrong. I’ve caught a glimpse of this chest a few times, and I’ve felt it under your clothes, but I’ve never had a chance to really touch it.”

He watched her hands move across his biceps. “You have a fixation for male chests?”

“And legs. I assume you have two?”

“Never go anywhere without them.” He stilled her hands as they came to his upper abdominals. “I have a certain obsession with the female chest. Yours, in particular.”

“Just like our Christmas gifts, we’re a matched, but opposite set. This might work out, Commander.”

Closing his arms around her, he said, “I have no doubt.”

Kathryn tilted her face up and was instantly rewarded with the warm, moist touch of his soft lips. She smiled through the kiss as he un-tucked her blouse, but that quickly turned to a delightful shiver as his cool hands made contact with her warm back.

“Too cold?” he whispered against her mouth.

“Mmm mmm. Erotic contrast.”

Still under her shirt, one of his hands went to the small of her back, and the other slid up her spine until it was almost to her neck, effectively securing her against him. His lips offered a light, sensual contrast to his firm hold, stirring her arousal so that she craved more.

She attempted to deepen the kiss, but whimpered when he wouldn’t let her.

“Shhhh, let me love you,” he whispered.

“I want you.”

He pressed his rigid penis against her soft belly. “Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of me.”

Reaching between them, she worked at unfastening his pants, but her actions were restricted by the way their bodies were pressed against each other. She was distracted by the way his tongue coaxed a smoldering blaze within her, although once she finally achieved her goal, she felt a moment of triumph. That lasted only until he moved one hand to cup her breast, making her completely forget what she was doing.

“Unnnng,” she moaned as his fingers lightly pinched her nipple through the satin fabric of her bra. Kathryn felt as if she were flying as he toyed with her chest while continuing to plunder her mouth.

He pulled his lips away, drawing a protest out of her. “Let’s get out of these clothes.”

Remembering her recent goal, she pushed his slacks down until they fell into a puddle on the floor. Transfixed by the way his penis tented his boxers, she decided to investigate and carefully eased the underwear down, gasping as she saw the size of him. “Oh, Chakotay,” she breathed.

“Do I meet with your expectations?”

She felt like the cat that got the cream, and then smiled to herself as she realized that wasn’t far from the truth. “I'm not sure how you’re going to fit, but it’ll be fun trying to accommodate you.”

He smiled and gave her lips a sweet kiss. “I rather enjoy a snug fit.”

“I'm sure you do,” she laughed, and then paused when she realized their states of undress. “Now, why is it that you’re completely naked, and I'm still fully clothed?”

Backing her towards the bed, he replied, “Don’t ask me. You’re the one who has done all the disrobing.”

“Shall I continue or do you want to the honor?”

“Oh, I'm sure that I definitely want to unwrap my own present,” he said as he started undoing the remaining four buttons of her blouse.

“Think my underwear will make a better gift than your sweater?”

“Not that the sweater isn’t lovely, but I'm quite sure this will take the…” His mouth dropped open as he saw her dark red, satin bra. “…prize.”

“I think he likes it.”

“Do you…” He blinked a few times and then reached out to touch the swell of breast that was rising above the demi-cups.

Kathryn dropped the blouse onto the bed and asked, “Do I what?”

“Hmmm?” He ran his fingertips along the edge of the cup, making her shiver in response.

“You started to ask me something.”

“Oh, this. Do you wear undergarments like this all the time?”

“No. This is for you.” She unfastened her pants and offered the waistband to him. “Want to see the rest? It’s a matched set, and that definitely seems to be the theme for the evening.”

He licked his lips and grinned. “Yeah.” Easing the pants down, he was practically drooling by the time he got them off of her.

She sat on the bed and took off her socks, giving him a moment to enjoy the view, and then she scooted back so that she was propped up on her elbows. One of her legs was bent suggestively while the other remained stretched out so that her toes touched his strong thigh. “Nice legs, Commander.”

“Wha?” He followed her sightline and then grinned. “You’ve got me sounding like a dope.”

She gave him a saucy shrug. “I don’t mind having that effect on you.”

Stretching out next to her, he let his hand slide over her body from neck to thighs and then back up again. “Just beautiful.”

“As pretty as Seven?”

“Hmmm?” he asked distractedly. “Seven what?”

“Of Nine.”

He looked at her in confusion until it dawned on him what she was saying. “Oh. Sorry.”

“Again,” she said with a laugh. “I have absolutely no problem with you forgetting yourself while looking at my body.”

After giving her a wink, he said, “Like you, I'm rather unsure about what Borg components might be lurking underneath.”

“You don’t know?”

He shook his head, his hand having returned to skimming over her belly. “And if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to focus on you right now.”

“I wouldn’t mind that in the least. A girl just gets a little insecure sometimes, but I’ll take your significant amount of drool as positive reinforcement.”

“What I can’t decide is whether or not to take these pretty little things off of you. You look so unbelievably sexy wearing them.” He leaned over her and placed tiny kisses along the edge of the panties. His hand caressed her thigh until it came to rest on her panty line so that his fingers could stroke her mons through the soft fabric.

She gasped and fell back, running her hands through her hair in ecstasy under the torment of his touch. “Please,” she begged.

“Please what?” He moved his kisses to the soft flesh of her breasts. His finger didn’t budge a centimeter from where it rested over her clitoris.

“Touch me,” she whispered hoarsely, her buttocks rising off the bed.

With his other hand, he slid one of her bra straps down until he had full access to her breast. “I’d rather lick you,” he said just before his tongue laved across her distended nipple.

Kathryn wasn’t sure what part of her body she wanted to arch towards his touch, her chest or her pelvis. He was exerting an excruciatingly light pressure on her tight bundle of nerves and his soft, pointed tongue on her breast was almost enough to completely undo her. She knew she was whimpering, but she was so lost in desire that she didn’t care.

She had no idea when he moved, but she opened her eyes when she felt him removing her panties. So great was her relief that her head dropped to the side in near-exhaustion.

Chakotay whistled a long, low note as he looked at her wanton body all stretched out before him. “I should’ve seduced you a long, long time ago,” he said as he kneeled over her.

“Seduced?” she asked absently.

“You’ve needed to be properly loved for years, haven’t you?”

“How so?”

He parted her slick folds with his fingers, spreading her pool of desire all around to coat her womanhood. “I believe you need me to show you over and over and over again how unbelievably beautiful and sexy you are, and I plan to do exactly that.”

“Mmmmm,” she moaned loudly as his fingers barely stroked in and out of her.

Positioning himself at her entrance, he said, “I'm going to ride you until you can’t walk, Kathryn, and then I'm going to ride you some more.”

She opened her legs to invite him in, not entirely sure what he was saying. What she did know was that he sounded damned sexy and she wanted whatever he had to offer.

He pressed forward, sliding into her just a little before he met with resistance. She lifted her legs in response, opening herself further and encouraging him to penetrate deeper.

Pressing on, he grimaced in concentration. “Stop me if this hurts.”

“Hurts, but don’t stop.” She grabbed hold of his hips and gasped to catch her breath, willing herself to adjust to his size.

“Kathryn? You okay?” He tried to back out a little, but she had her legs clamped tightly around him, nearly as tightly as her eyes were clamped shut. Caressing her forehead and temple, he asked, “Kathryn?”

“…been awhile,” she managed to say.

“I know, sweetheart. I know. And I'm out the second you say so.”

“Don’t you dare!” she yelled, and then grabbed his ass to pull him even deeper.

“Okay, okay,” he assured her softly.

Beginning to undulate her hips, she commanded, “Move.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He inched his way in and out, using small, slow strokes until she took over the movement and the thrusts because significantly harder. Following her lead, he matched her pace for a few minutes until she began to get distracted with arousal. Only then did he slow down and begin kissing her face, neck and chest.

Kathryn was in heaven under her man. He filled her to completion and he rocked her world. She was almost in tears with the gentle way he was kissing her, and with the slow, measured movements in and out of her, all with pressure exactly where she needed it most.

She was beside herself with desire and arousal, having never felt so completely out of control of an impending orgasm. Unable to complete a coherent thought, all she knew was that she wanted as much of him as she could get. Kathryn lifted her head, her mouth opening expectantly. She almost cried out in joy when he read her mind and began kissing her again.

Their mouths were locked in a passionate kiss that paired with the spiraling arousal that was all-consuming to every one of her senses. Her body shook with urgency as he stroked in and out of her, his large penis pressing along the inner walls of her vagina and tugging deliciously upon her clitoris.

Her orgasm hit like a star going super-nova. Her body jolted and shook as intense, powerful tremors took hold of her. She screamed his name as the white hot flame of orgasm shot through her body, up from her mons and down to her toes. With each stroke, she juddered again and again until at last, she felt the pulsing pressure of his ejaculation.

They lay there for a long moment, him still embedded within her, as they came down from their orgasms. It was a slow return to reality, as both wanted to hold onto the connection as long as possible.

Finally, when Kathryn felt like she had to move, she pulled her hips back and he dropped out.

He kneeled over her and kissed her forehead, her temples, her cheeks, and finally her lips, whispering, “My beautiful Kathryn.”

“Think your sister has a hot-tub?” she asked as she held his face so she could see his soft-brown eyes.

“I don’t know, but we can definitely look for a private one if you want to have sex under water.”

She laughed. “I think I’ll need one to recover from sex, not to have more, but damn, that was good.”

“I have high hopes that it always will be.” He pressed another kiss to her lips before getting up. “I’m sorry about my size.”

“Are you?” She quirked an eyebrow.

He held out a hand to help her up as he replied, “Well, no, not really.”

Groaning as she got to her feet, she whined, “But I don’t like to get up after I have an orgasm.”

“Only for a minute, dear,” he said as he pulled back the covers. “Unless you want to sleep sideways on the bed, on top of the duvet?”

“No,” she sighed as she reached back to try to undo her bra. Her arms felt like limp spaghetti. “This is too hard.”

He chuckled as he unlatched the hooks for her. “You’re funny when you’re satiated.”

“No, sleepy,” she mumbled as she crawled into the bed. “Covers? I’m cold.”

“Of course.” After he covered her up, he asked, “Where’s the bathroom?”

She waved her arm absently toward the hallway. “The room with the sink.”

“Thanks,” he said with amusement as he kissed her forehead. “I’ll be right back to warm you up.”


As Kathryn lay there in the quiet room, she felt absolutely wonderful. It wasn’t long before she heard the door close and felt the bed dip as Chakotay crawled in behind her.

“Asleep?” he whispered as he spooned up behind her.


Holding her close, he nuzzled into her hair. “I love you, Kathryn.”

“Love you, too.”

“I fear that I might have made the wrong choice.”

Her eyes shot open and she turned her head to look at him. “Care to clarify?”

“You said that if I made the wrong choice, you would not come quietly. You definitely did not come quietly.”

“Oh, you.” She rolled her eyes and snuggled back into her warm spot, wiggling her bottom against his semi-flacid penis.

He laughed and kissed the back of her head. “For the record, Kathryn, my heart has been soaring since you said you’d fight for me. Thank you for that.”

Smiling sleepily, she said, “Seeing how I won that fight, you should know that you’re the prize. I get to keep you.”

Giving her a squeeze, he replied, “I’m all yours.”

“Yes, you are.” Kathryn fell asleep with a silly grin spread across her face.

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