Voices

DISCLAIMER: Paramount owns the rights to the characters and concepts used in this story. This is a work of fan fiction, unsolicited, unpaid and probably illegal. I promise not to make any money from it and no one else may do so either. It was written because I’m so thoroughly engrossed in the concepts of Star Trek and especially Captain Janeway. But the character isn’t fully three dimensional yet. She doesn’t seem to have a life outside those 42 minutes we see each week. They bring her out of the closet for each episode with a slightly different personality and outlook on life, and we’re supposed to get to know her. Well, the Janeway I want to know wouldn’t throw away a wonderful partner and relationship because of someone else’s opinions of what makes a good commander.

This story takes place after Scorpion 2. (Yes I know, I haven’t seen it yet. Bear with that little oversight.) It’s rated NC-17 for smut and mush, a departure from my usual mode. I love to read the stuff, so I decided to try my hand at it. If you’re under 18, you’re not supposed to know these things happen, so don’t blame me if you read it and your innocence is corrupted. You have been warned.

Send critiques, complaints or feedback to DRonhovde@aol.com.

Voices
by Dottie Ronhovde
June ’97

Ship’s night is never really night, but the dimmed lighting and quiet of Chakotay’s quarters as most of the crew slept supported the illusion. He should have been sleeping as well, but the recent weeks of constant tension and fear had conditioned him to sleep in short, light naps instead of the deep sleep of a person at peace with his surroundings. Although the danger had passed, at least for the present, his body didn’t know that yet.
He sat at his desk skimming through reports on his terminal, not really interested in their contents but needing something to quell the restlessness he felt. He’d selected another one, a report from engineering on engine repair status, when his door chime broke into the silence. Surprise that someone else was awake at that hour slowed his response. Instead of calling “come”, he walked over to open the door himself.
Her face was turned in half profile to him as the door slid open. She was dressed in a loose, soft shift in a color somewhere between gray and blue which was gathered slightly at the waist by a belt of the same material. Below that, black leggings and bare feet. The tightness of her mouth and the deep crease between her eyes betrayed the distress that had brought her to his door.
“Captain?”
She’d turned as soon as the hiss of the door alerted her to its opening and her eyes traveled up his body to collide with his. Her expression shifted to discomfort when she took in his state of dress. “I’m sorry Commander, I woke you. The computer, –”
He glanced down at his bare chest, and quickly stopped her. “No, it’s all right. You didn’t wake me. It looks like I’m not the only one with a sleep problem. Please, come in.”
Her eyes had darted away from him after that single encounter, but she accepted the invitation when he stepped back to let her pass. As she walked away from him, he picked up the shirt he’d discarded earlier and put it on. He studied her as he fastened it at his waist. She’d stopped with her back to him but he could see her reflection in the viewport. She was standing with her hands clasped around each elbow, her shoulders rolled forward stiffly as she held in whatever emotion had forced her to come to him in the middle of the night.
He walked quietly to her side and waited for her to gather herself to explain her presence in his quarters. She stared out, silence stretched out between them. When she finally spoke, she did so without looking at him, her voice husky and constricted.
“How did you shut out the voices? I keep hearing them still.”
His eyes closed briefly in understanding and he took a deep breath before answering softly. “I haven’t. Even though we’ve traveled too far for them to actually reach me, I still hear them sometimes in those moments when I’m completely relaxed. I wish I did know how to shut them out.”
Her eyes closed as she tipped her head back, her lips and expression pinched tightly. She’d hoped he’d have the answer, that he’d somehow found a secret she’d been unable to uncover. To know that he still suffered as she did made some of her decisions and accusations seem that much harsher.
She turned troubled eyes glistening with tears to his. “I should have listened to you. You knew better than anybody what the risk was.”
His mind had screamed that same statement more than once as he battled with both the Borg and the aliens to save the ship and her. Now that she was standing in front of him admitting as much to him, he didn’t have the heart to slam it home.
“You did what you thought you had to do. Right or wrong, you still had to follow your convictions. It worked, so I can’t stand here now and say you were wrong.”
Her throat rippled as she swallowed to ease the tension choking her vocal cords. “Yes, it worked, but at what cost. The damage to the ship will never be completely repaired, I don’t know how many of the crew were injured, so many more of them are dead, and I’m — responsible.” Her throat and lips worked furiously as tears welled and spilled down her face.
Chakotay’s anger at her for refusing to listen melted away in that moment. She’d come to him because she needed someone who understood. And he did, perhaps more than she wanted him to. His hand lifted to rest lightly on her shoulder, contact intended to assure her that he did understand, that she wasn’t alone.
“Captain –” She unconsciously stiffened her stance and waved him away, her face contorted with her effort to regain her composure. He understood how difficult it was for her to allow anyone to see any weakness but it didn’t reduce the ache her lack of trust in him caused.
Kathryn Janeway, proud captain of Voyager, again stood alone, weeping silently for the choices she’d made, for the crewmembers she’d lost, for the man who’d been her support even when she’d tried to refuse it. She still believed she’d made the only choice she could, but it had been a costly one. They would all take a long time to recover.
Chakotay stood by helplessly watching her struggle to hang onto the shreds of her composure. He had to squeeze his hands into fists to keep himself from drawing her to him. Instead, knowing she’d be uncomfortable with even a temporary loss of control, he allowed her some distance to collect herself. He headed for the replicator and issued his request in a low baritone. Turning with two cups in hand, he paused to take in the woman who stood before him. She was wiping her face, trying to remove all traces of her tears. Her hair, unconfined and a little disheveled, glowed like burnished gold in the soft lighting. Her slim figure looked rounder, softer than it did when encased in the black of the uniform. In her current state, she looked and was more vulnerable than he’d ever seen her before.
He padded forward on bare feet to stand at her shoulder again. She accepted the cup from him gratefully and wrapped both hands around its warmth to bring it to her lips. It returned several times before she was able to look at him for more than a fleeting moment.
“This is good. What is it?”
He gestured in invitation to the couch and replied as she accepted and moved to sit. He chose his place carefully, closer than normal, but not touching her. “It’s an herbal tea my mother used quite often. It’s very calming and soothing. I programmed it into the replicators shortly after we came aboard.”
She took another sip and then held the cup close to her chin breathing in the warm steam. “I take it I’m not the first person to come to you for a good cry.” Her eyes were downcast again.
“No, you’re not the first, but it’s been a while since anyone felt the need. Or maybe they’ve found other shoulders now.”
She continued to hold the cup close to her lips, tipping it occasionally to take another small sip. He sat quietly watching her wage an old inner battle. He knew she was again trying to reconcile conflicting needs. She needed to talk, to try to come to terms with the emotions she’d just suppressed. But she still felt she needed to keep her doubts and fears a secret from her crew — all of them. The cup dropped into her lap and she watched the remains of the tea swirl in the bottom as she finally spoke.
“I owe you an apology. It was unfair to accuse you of leaving me to stand alone because you didn’t agree with my decision.” She turned to look him full in the eyes. “I’m sorry.”
It wasn’t what he expected, but he took the opening she gave him.
“You haven’t allowed me to be with you on the most important decisions. If I’m not part of the decision making process, I can only stand behind you not with you.”
“I’m the captain. It’s my responsibility to make the decisions.”
He interrupted, before she could raise that shield higher. “Yes, you’re the captain. I’m your first officer. Part of my job is to bring you another perspective. But you don’t often let me do that.”
She considered that and sighed. “I guess you’re right. But I don’t want to fight with you over every decision. I have enough to deal with without that.”
“I may not always agree with you, but I would never fight you over the right to make the final decision. All I’m asking is that you at least give me a chance to express my opinion even when it’s in disagreement and that you’ll fairly consider it. If you’d give me a chance to consider yours, I just might see it your way too. Kathryn, you don’t have to do this alone. I want to be able to stand with you, side by side as a part of a team. Don’t shut me out when you need me the most.”
Tears welled up again, and she reached over to press a palm against his cheek. “I don’t deserve you.”
His hand came up to grasp hers and he held it gently as he pressed a kiss into her palm. Obsidian eyes locked with clear blue. “Well, you’ve got me. All I ask is that you let me be here for you.”
She nodded and turned her hand in his to intertwine their fingers. “I don’t think I could do it anymore without you.”
They sat there, hands clasped, eyes speaking what hadn’t been said, remembering another time when they’d done the same thing. She’d pushed him away then, but now realized how wrong that had been. Now she took comfort in the knowledge that he would be there to add strength in the times when her own wasn’t enough.
She broke the silence first. Her hand shifted again to take his in both of hers. “You must have been very angry with me when it looked like you’d been right.”
He looked down at her small fair hands wrapped around his larger, darker one. His fingers curled around her thumb as he looked up again. “I was.” He admitted. “You’d completely shut me out when you made your decision, but you wanted my total agreement with what you were doing. And you’d gotten us into a situation where it looked like we were all going to lose. I didn’t know how I was going to save the ship, let alone get you back.”
She tightened her grip on his hand. “I have to admit that I regretted not listening to you. It looked hopeless for all of us. I had absolutely no control over what was happening to me, to you or the ship and crew. Then I was injured. As I lost consciousness, my last thought was that I’d made the biggest mistake of my life. They had me, the ship, the entire crew and I’d given it all to them.” Her voice broke as she started to recall the feelings of helplessness. “They could have taken anything from me at that point. I still don’t know why they didn’t. I started hearing the voices and I couldn’t stop myself from being drawn into their collectivity.” Her voice faltered and she looked away, remembering.
He lifted his free hand to cover hers although he wanted to wrap it around her shoulders and draw her against him. She huddled there, drawing from him to get control enough to continue. “I couldn’t see them as an enemy. Once I started to hear their voices, I was drawn deeper and deeper. I tried to fight it. But — ”
He nodded understanding. “But the song is so seductive it’s hard to resist. To be so totally enfolded, supported by all the others, it’s almost impossible to hold out for your individuality. I still find myself wanting that total immersion sometimes.”
She turned to him with new understanding and sympathy. His ability to find just the right words to describe it betrayed how much he’d been affected by his own contact with Borg collectivity.
“I thought I was strong enough, smart enough. But it’s so true, resistance is futile. My own ship and crew became less important than them. Oh god, Chakotay—I still hear them. Their desperation. All the ones that died, their calls for assistance cut off mid-transmission. There was a feeling that I had to help them. I think I would have sacrificed the ship, everything if I’d been able. They still call me. All those voices just won’t stop.” She stopped, choking on the memories and the guilt. Her hands covered her mouth and nose as she leaned forward over her knees.
When she couldn’t keep the pain they caused bottled up, she stood, trying to distance herself from them and him. As she started to walk away he followed her, laying his hand on her shoulder to stop her flight. She halted, hunched under that hand, holding herself rigid.
“Kathryn –” The sound of her name, coming from him in as a murmur, was enough to weaken her resolve. She turned to him, unshed tears glistening on her lashes. He risked another gesture of comfort and cupped his free hand lightly under her elbow. A subtle tug toward him broke her immobility. She took the last step, pressing her nose into his throat as her arms wrapped tightly around his waist. He folded her into his embrace and buried his nose in her hair. He could feel her chest shudder with each long slow breath she took in and the unsteady puffs of each exhale. Wet heat soaked into the edge of his shirt.
“You can trust me Kathryn, you don’t have to deal with this alone. I’ve never wanted anything but to be here for you when you need me.”
The explosion of her emotions into the open rocked him. His chest muffled sobs of raw anguish that might have escaped outside his door, but he felt all of it. All he could do was hold her and wait. She needed this release. Her body leaning heavily against him as the arms he’d wrapped tightly around her back supported much of her weight.
He sank back onto the couch and settled her onto his lap, cradling her like a child, stroking her as she wept. She clung to him, wetting his shirt and chest with her tears. He kept murmuring “I know”, wishing he could erase the memories, the pain, both hers and his own. When she exhausted herself and fell silent, he continued to hold her, his fingers gently kneading the small of her back.
Kathryn lay against him, her energy drained, her mind thankfully blank, after venting the guilt and grief she’d been carrying. The rhythmic motions of his fingers and the beat of his heart under her ear were as soothing as the patter of rain on a roof. Gradually she relaxed, her weight settling against him until he was completely supporting her with his arm and chest. His fingers never stopped their gently rhythm and her breathing slowed into deep, comfortable sighs.
Chakotay let his mind drift as his body relaxed under her slight weight. He was drawn back when she shifted in his embrace and smiled when he realized that she’d fallen asleep. She was only making herself more comfortable.
This kind of vulnerability in her was new to him, and he knew it was very temporary, but it drew out an ancient instinct to protect her. It had been obvious since her return that she hadn’t been sleeping well. If she could get even a couple of hours of undisturbed sleep, he was willing to serve as her pillow and suffer the consequences when she woke in his arms.
His own fatigue took over, and his head started to fall forward against hers. He registered the fact that he liked the smell of her hair just before he dozed off as well.

Chakotay started awake when the weight on his chest shifted and a low moan reached his ears. Her struggles against the gentle hold he had on her caused his heart rate to jump. He realized she was dreaming and gentled his hold even further, using his voice to soothe her instead. As she quieted, he shifted her weight. His arm had gone numb and the muscles in the small of his back were protesting at the position they were being forced to hold. He pushed himself upright with his free arm and tightened his grip with the other one when she moved in protest. Slipping his hand under her knees, he stood and carried her to his bed.
The bed was still rumpled from his earlier aborted attempt to sleep. The covers he’d thrown back hung over the far side. He stood there looking down at it in indecision and then finally sat on the edge. She murmured in protest as he twisted his body to lie on his side, carrying her with him. As he settled her onto the mattress beside him, she straightened her legs to accommodate him, and they lay face to face, her arms folded between them, her hands clutching his shirt. He reached over her to pull the blanket over them and wrapped his arm around her back again.
He lay there stiffly holding her, wondering if he’d misread how deeply she’d been affected by her experiences. From personal experience, he knew that the voices were undoubtedly more insistent when she was relaxed in sleep. Even though she’d come to him, he had serious doubt that she’d accept waking to find herself in his bed. He quit worrying about her reaction when another dream assaulted her. She cried out and started kicking frantically until his voice reached her and she quieted again.
He dozed fitfully, waking each time she shifted in her sleep or made a sound indicating that she was dreaming. When the dreams caused her to move fitfully, he held her, murmuring reassurances until she subsided into quiet again. Then he’d lay there, her scent filling his nostrils as he wrapped himself around her warmth, and his body would respond to her in ways he’d only dreamed about before. He was helpless against her pull on him. It was only his respect for her, bolstered by the hard won discipline of years in Starfleet, that kept him from kissing her awake.

Kathryn woke in stages. The warmth surrounding her gave her a sense of peace and security and she resisted leaving that feeling. A gentle snore pulled her to wakefulness with a start. As she tried to move, an arm tightened around her waist, pulling her against the hard chest at her back. She felt a large hand flatten against her stomach and she stiffened in response. The body behind her froze and then the arm lifted, allowing her to roll to her back.
She turned her head to look at the face just inches away from hers. Black eyes searched hers, his expression guarded until he knew what her reaction was going to be. She searched for the outrage that should have been there, but instead found only a sense of rightness. She’d come to him needing his forgiveness and understanding. He’d given her that and he’d provided a shelter from her own doubts and regrets.
She turned again to lie face to face with him, and watched as he tried to figure out a way to explain their present circumstances. He swallowed and started to speak. “Kathryn, I — you –” She reached over to stop him, pressing her hand to his face, her thumb over his lips.
“It’s all right. I think I understand.”
He lay very still as he searched her eyes. Not finding any anger there, he relaxed a little. He was still uncertain of her acceptance and held himself in check. His breath caught in his throat when her thumb began to trace across his lips in a gentle caress. Her face blurred as she moved forward to press her lips to his, her hand sliding to hold his head behind his ear. His eyes closed as soft lips played with his. She nibbled at him and he trembled but he couldn’t release the hard-won control over his passion.
She stopped her assault on his senses and lifted her face away from his. His eyes remained closed as he fought the primal urges raging through his body until she murmured his name.
“Chakotay?”
He opened his eyes to find her searching his face. She looked through windows of his eyes into the turmoil of his emotions. “What is it? What’s wrong?”
“Are you sure about what you’re doing? If we do this, we can’t go back again.”
She stopped to search her convictions. In that moment so many things became clear to her. What he needed from her, what she wanted and needed from him.
He’d been there for her for a long time, offering everything, but giving only as much as she was willing to take from him. And she’d refused so much of what he offered. She realized he’d already become important to her as a friend and on many levels her supporting strength. It had been little more than stubborn pride that kept her standing alone. He was the rare individual who could be strong and still let her be strong as well. Her strength hadn’t been enough this time and she was tired. Instinctively she knew that her’s alone would often not be enough.
“No, we can’t go back. I need you with me not behind me.”
When she leaned forward again, his arm lifted to wrap around her and their bodies moved to fit themselves to each other. His lips opened against hers and her sigh entered to mingle her breath with his. Her tongue brushed his lips and his darted out to meet it. Her hand pulled on his head and he increased the pressure of his lips. He tasted her for the first time when his tongue followed hers back into her mouth. She hummed as it brushed the sensitive spot behind her front teeth. Their tongues danced and then he retreated again, drawing her into his mouth. As her tongue brushed his lips and gums, his body gave a faint shudder as he fought to hold onto the hard won control of himself.
Her hand sliding down his neck to flatten against his chest inside his shirt was nearly his undoing. She’d used the gesture so often, but she’d never actually touched his skin intending to give pleasure before. He took a quick intake of breath as her hand flexed over his nipple.
He rose onto his elbow over her, causing her to roll to her back under him. His eyes examined every feature, his finger tracing each one in turn as if to memorize it. Then he retraced her face with gentle lips, moving over it with light brushes of his lips over her skin. Her eyelids fluttered as he passed over them and her hand flexed against his skin when he pressed a kiss against her temple. She shivered when his breath filled her ear with a moist heat and his teeth gently grasped the earlobe. He nibbled and licked along her jaw line from one ear to the other until he was able to grasp that lobe in his teeth. Her sighs of pleasure ignited him as he traveled down her neck to the depression above her collarbone. He was stopped there by the fabric of her shift.
She felt abandoned when his warm breath and lips left her skin. Her eyes opened when he moved to sit up and he held her gaze as he removed his shirt. She studied his broad smooth chest and then sat up to run her pale hands across his skin. His nipples pebbled when she carefully raked her nails across them and his belly quivered as they descended toward the waist of his pants. Her fingers slipped under the edge to brush curls hidden there.
He needed to distract her before she undermined his tenuous control. He stilled her hand by reaching to untie the shift. Drawing out the process, he pulling ever so slowly as he held her gaze. When the string released, he leaned forward to nudge the neckline aside with his nose and bury it between her breasts. As he nuzzled her, she threaded her fingers through his close-cropped hair, massaging his scalp with her fingertips. His breath on her skin triggered shivers of anticipation to run down her spine.
When he seemed far too content to stay there humming is appreciation of her scent and taste, she pushed his head back and reached for the hem of the shift. Her face disappeared into its folds and then reemerged as her arms lifted high over her head to allow him to lift it free of her. He dropped it behind him as she settled back against the pillow again. His hands skimmed lightly over her exposed skin to descend her body and help her out of the leggings. He tossed them to the floor, and then quickly stripped his pants as well.
Her pale skin stood out in the low light and he studied her curves and hollows. She was thinner than she should be, her ribs standing out in sharp ridges under her small, well shaped breasts. There were bruises across her right side and he winced at the deep purple color. As he brushed his fingertips across them, he asked, “Why didn’t you have the doctor do something about these?”
She shivered under his touch and grasped his hand to stop him. “It’s just a bruise. The doctor’s far too busy to be concerned about something like this.”
“It looks like it hurts.” As she shook her head in denial, he pulled his hand from hers to plant it on the bed beside her and leaned forward to kiss the darkened skin. Her ribs rose once and froze as his lips traveled to cover the entire bruised area with gentle kisses. When he moved upward to the underside of her breast, she released her breath with a rush and gasped as his lips locked onto her nipple. He felt it tighten into a hard point under his tongue and he widened his lips to pull it all into his mouth with a gentle suction. Her hands locked onto his head as she encouraged him.
Kathryn groaned as the tugging at her breast triggered an associated ripple much lower. She felt the rush of moisture as her entire body responded to him. The left breast tightened in protest at being ignored and her hands guided him to it. His skillful mouth lavished it with equal attention until she was almost growling with need.
Her hand skimmed down his belly and he took a quick inhale when it settled in his lap and grasped him firmly. He had to grit his teeth in concentration when her thumb spread the droplets of moisture she found there. The exquisite torture of it started a buzzing in his ears.
He shifted his position to kneel between her legs and she bent her knees and hips to accommodate him. As he leaned over her to return his mouth to her breasts, the scent of her arousal reached her own nostrils and her breath quickened as that same scent drew him down her body. Her hands roamed restlessly over his head and shoulders as he kissed and licked his way downward. Stopping just below her navel, he sat up to watch her face as he touched her intimately for the first time.
Her hands and arms had flattened against the bed, rigid and motionless, but her hips rocked restlessly, driven by the intense need building deep within her. As his fingers parted her slick cleft and slid upward, her neck stiffened to push her head back into the pillow. Her mouth fell open with a gasp as his fingers circled that sensitive point at the top. He watched her face contract with concentration and need.
His own need was building to a painful level and he increased the stimulation to her sensitive flesh. Her hands clenched the sheet as they close into fists and she rocked faster, his hand increasing its rhythm to keep up. As he slid a finger deep into her, she lifted her hips completely off the bed and groaned through her teeth as her inner muscles tightened around it.
Her body jerked spasmodically as the shattering sensations of her climax erupted in a flash of light and motion. She was barely aware of him until he entered her and sent a fresh eruption coursing through her. Her arms and legs wrapped around him and she matched the rhythm of his hips driving him deep against her womb.
Chakotay barely had time to revel in the feeling of being enclosed inside her as she accept him. The rippling contractions around him milked a powerful climax from him and he plunged himself so deep he felt he was being sucked in completely. His shout as it exploded from him was muted by her hair and the pillow beneath her head. He rode his climax furiously to the end and then collapsed atop her.
Kathryn’s ribs protested at his weight, but she held him tightly as he pressed her into the mattress. Her hips rolled under him to accept the flood of his shuddering release and her inner muscles clenched repeatedly. He answered with another push deep within her. She wanted to hold him there forever.
When he was again aware of his surroundings, he remembered the condition of the slight woman he was crushing beneath his weight. He lifted himself off her chest and looked at her in concern.
“Are you all right?”
She brushed a hand down his face and smiled. “I’m perfect.”
His face lit up with an answering smile before he planted a kiss on her hand and then lifted his hips and one knee over her leg to drop beside her. He pulled her to his chest and drew the blankets over them both. Legs intertwined and hands brushed across heated skin in slow motion. Murmured declarations were interrupted by long, slow kisses. Gradually their bodies relaxed and their hands slowed as they fell still, feeling sated and lazy.
Kathryn smiled to herself when she recognized the low rumble in his chest as a snore. He’d fallen asleep. Happily, she nestled her head on his shoulder and listened to the sound. For a while at least, the voices had been shut out.

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