Cap\’n Kate

DISCLAIMER: The plot is mine (and Mary\’s), but the characters,
along with a vast part of the universe as we know it, belongs to
Paramount and its affiliates.

************************************************************

\”Capin\’ Kate\”

************************************************************

by emmyodd@aol.com

************************************************************

Humbly dedicated to:

Mary Moore
(mgmoore@facstaff.wisc.edu)
for her wonderful plot idea, and unerring support,

Michelle Green
(tigger@cais.com, thepooh@aol.com)
for her continued inspiration to me, as well as countless other
writers,

and

Joan
(Jaeti@aol.com)
for helping me over a major bump in this story

************************************************************

\”Ok, Captain, you wanted a better holonovel: here you go,\”
said Paris devilishly as he whipped the blindfold away.

Janeway looked around at the holodeck. The salt air stung
her face, and the wooden deck rocked beneath her feet. She
stared at Paris. \”What is this?!?\”

\”A pirate ship!! Pretty amazing, huh?\” he said gleefully.

Janeway was too struck by the surroundings to speak, and
Paris patted her shoulder, striding toward the doors with a
careless, \”Now, don\’t be surprised if you see some familiar
faces: I programmed in some of the crew as characters. Enjoy!\”

Janeway, still strangely awestruck by the ship and its
rough crew that surrounded her, walked towards a rough-hewn door
to the Captain\’s quarters. Once inside, she found a pair of
leather pants, a soft, pale silk shirt, and gladiator boots.
Smiling somewhat to herself, she put them on, unpinning her hair
and pulling in back in a looser tie.

She felt a surge of adventure boil up in her blood as she
stepped out onto the deck of the ship again, the balmy breezes of
the Gulf stroking her face and rippling through her hair and
loose shirt like a caress.

She turned to the man hunched over the huge steering wheel,
asking, \”Where are we headed?\”

The man turned to her, his face strangely like Tuvok\’s, and
then again, strangely not. He croaked in a decidedly non-Vulcan
voice, \”We be headin\’ for the Spanish Main, Ca\’pin\’.\”

\”Excellent,\” grinned Janeway, thrilled to the tips of her
toes by the words \”Spanish Main.\” She turned to the helmsman
again, asking, \”What ship will we be attacking?\”

\”The pride of the Spanish fleet, La Dama de Oro. She\’s
rumored to have \’er weight in gold onboard, as well as a thousan\’
chests a rubies an\’ diamonds in \’er berth. A lovely gift to the
people of Ireland, eh, Ca\’pin\’?\”

Janeway frowned. \”Won\’t such a ship be guarded?\”

The man bowed deeply before her, almost touching his nose
to the deck. \”Nothing you, \”La Bella de Mar\”, canna handle, me
lady,\” he said.

\”When will we meet them?\”

\”A few hours, nae doubt. If\’n the wind picks up a bit,
maebbe less.\” Janeway was unused to such a vauge estimate, but
she nodded and went off to explore the rest of the ship.

************************************************************

The sun swung low in the holographic sky when Janeway
reappeared on the top deck. In the fading glimmer of the
gorgeous sunset, she could see a shadow of a far-off island, and,
closer to them, a glorious ship from which waved a Spanish flag.
\”La Dama de Oro!\” she whispered, her words echoed by the youthful
voice in the crow\’s nest high above her. She looked up,
squinting, and found a grimy version of Harry Kim grinning down
at her. \”Captain! She\’s but a few minutes away now!!\”

Janeway spent the next ten minutes in breathless
anticipation, watching as they bobbed ever nearer to the ill-
fated ship. Then with a primal cry, the ship dropped anchor, the
rag-tag crew swinging over like a human wave upon the poor Dama
de Oro. Blood poured into the salty sea, and the ship was
stripped bare of its booty. They lifted anchor, and Janeway
threw her head back as they sped from the ravaged ship.

A lusty cry began, swelling up, higher and louder as more
and more voices joined in the makeshift chorus. \”Hurrah for
Captain Kate!! Hurrah for the Irish Angel!!\”

************************************************************

The next day, as Janeway stepped onto the bridge, Paris
grinned over his shoulder to the Captain. \”Did you get to my
twist yet?\” he grinned.

\”What twist?\” asked Janeway.

\”Trust me – – you\’d know,\” he smirked, with a sideways
glance at Chakotay for no apparent reason.

Harry\’s voice interrupted them. \”We\’ll be ready for the
tests of the sight-to-sight transporters in a few hours,
Captain.\”

\”Good – – Commander, you\’re in charge of them,\” she nodded
to the Commander.

************************************************************

Later the same day, Janeway, back in her pirate garb, was
barking orders once again, reveling in the thrill of being a sort
of female Robin Hood on the seven seas. Suddenly, Harry\’s
smudged, disheveled face reappeared from the crow\’s nest, and a
stream of loud, harsh, unlovely cockney poured from his mouth:
\”Cap\’in Kate, we\’re being followed by a ship – – it looks like
one of the Armada.\”

\”The ARMADA?!\” said Janeway, running to get a better look
with her spyglass. It was one of the Spanish Armada all right,
and it looked like they wanted a fight. *And they\’ll get one*
she thought, grinning. \”Cannons at the ready, fire on my
command.\”

\”Aye.\”

The ship drew nearer, and she could see the figure of a man
standing at the prow of the ship, but the sun glinting off the
water blinded her for a split second, and his figure disappeared.
*Must have gone below,* she thought.

************************************************************

\”Here you go, B\’Elanna,\” grinned Paris oddly, handing her
the hand held transporter.

B\’Elanna passed it to Chakotay. \”Here, all you have to do
is enter the coordinates of the place, or the name of the room on
the ship, into the computer, and it will transport you to that
place.\”

\”All right. Here goes nothing.\” Chakotay disappeared in a
shimmer of blue, and B\’Elanna went to the console.

Harry turned, hearing a strangled gasp issue from B\’Elanna.
\”I… I can\’t find him, Harry!! He must be somewhere on the
ship, but I can\’t pinpoint his location!\”

\”We\’ll have to do a search of every room on this ship – –
it could take hours!!\”

B\’Elanna stared at Harry, seemingly unaware of a strange
gleam in Tom\’s eyes. \”Then that\’s exactly what we\’re going to
do.\”

************************************************************

*KA-BOOM!!* A huge explosion rocked the ship, nearly
blowing the entire side away. \”Cap\’in! We\’re gonna sink!!
We\’re all gonna die!!\” cried a crewman.

\”No,\” said Janeway, \”We are NOT going to die. We\’re going
to surrender.\”

\”WHAT?!?\”

\”Trust me!\” she snapped, and she stood on the prow of her
decimated ship, her chin held high. Even if her plan didn\’t
work, the safeties would save her from getting killed… or doing
something that was totally insane.

************************************************************

She heard gasps, Spanish and Irish alike, from all sides as
she grabbed a rope and swung aboard the ship, alighting far
enough from the elaborately dressed captain for her not to
discern his features, nor he hers. She heard murmurs of \”La
Bella de Mar!\” echoing around her as she walked forward, bowing
deeply just before him.

\”I am Captain Kathryn Janeway. I humbly surrender myself
and my crew to your just hands,\” she said grandly.

She looked up, finding herself staring into dark eyes,
uncharacteristically cruel, of her first officer. *TOM!* she
thought, realizing the impertinent twist Paris had inserted so
deviously into the holonovel.

The man with Chakotay\’s face growled, \”I am the Marquis de
Chakotay, and you are as good as dead, La Bella de Mar!\”

************************************************************

Chakotay shook the fog from his eyes, finding himself on a
ship, but definitely not Voyager. It was a large boat, circa
1700. He glanced around, and he saw a sinking ship before the
one he stood upon. An Irish flag flew, tattered, from the
cracked mast, and dozens of ill-clothed men were boarding the
ship, then being led below by men wearing sparkling uniforms,
like the one he now wore.

He looked down, and found a startlingly beautiful woman
kneeling before him. Then, she looked up at him with a fire in
her eyes. It wasn\’t until she said, \”I will gladly die for my
countrymen, Marquis de Chakotay!\” in a
passionate timbre that he recognized his Captain.

He repressed a desire to gasp as he recognized Kathryn
Janeway\’s face, uncannily tinted in a surreal flush, and he set
his face even more psuedo-stonily. \”And so you shall – – when we
get back to Spain.\”

************************************************************

Janeway wasn\’t so deeply involved in the holonovel that she
didn\’t see the irony of the situation that appeared before her.
A faint glimmer of a smile quirked her lips as she knelt proudly
before him. SHE was the rebel now, willing to sacrifice her life
for her people, and he was the Captain, only less forgiving. Her
eyes opened, finally understanding the man she\’d worked with for
so long. She pulled on her loose collar, suddenly uncomfortable.
She opened her mouth to command the end of the novel.

************************************************************

Chakotay stood, seeing the words forming on her lips,
unable to do or say anything to halt the words that would reveal
his identity to her. He held his breath silently, but Janeway\’s
voice was cut off by a louder one over the comm system.
\”Captain, there\’s something you should know.\”

\”Yes?\”

\”Commander Chakotay is missing,\” said B\’Elanna a tad too
recklessly.

\”MISSING?!\” gasped Janeway, leaping up, looking at
Chakotay, who was stock still. \”What do you mean?\”

\”He was testing one of the new site to site transporters –
– but now we can\’t find him. We\’re doing a search of the entire
ship, but it\’s still going to take a while.\”

\”I\’m on my way… Computer, show door.\”

The door remained hidden.

\”Computer, show door!\”

The door was still invisible.

\”B\’Elanna, why won\’t the doors to the holodeck open?\”

\”I don\’t know, Captain: it\’s probably just a computer
error, but you\’ll just have to sit tight until we find Commander
Chakotay.\”

\”That\’s fine – – make finding him your top priority.\” said
Janeway, with a soft glance in Chakotay\’s direction that made his
heart stop.

\”Yes, Captain.\”

Janeway sighed, slumping back to the deck with a resigned
air. \”Computer, freeze program.\”

\”Unable to comply.\”

Janeway rubbed her head. \”Guess there\’s no going back
now.\” she sighed, and resumed her defiant pose before Chakotay.

************************************************************

Chakotay breathed an inward sigh of relief – – he had
sucessfully dodged detection for now. But the more present
danger was Janeway – – and whatever she was planning to do. He
knew Janeway well enough to know she wasn\’t going to give up so
easily. But Chakotay was under the masculine impression,
undaunted by Seska\’s wiles, that he could take whatever she
dished out.

************************************************************

A few hours later, Janeway found herself alone in a cold,
damp brig below the rocking deck. She stretched out on the musty
straw that lined the floor, eyeing the metal bars that slashed
the dim lantern light that poured from an unknown source outside
of the room. She closed her eyes, attempting to rest, but a
clank and a turn of a key echoing through the hollow brig brought
her to attention. A Spanish officer picked his way through the
dingy room, and he yelled, \”Up! The Captain wishes to see you!\”

************************************************************

Janeway followed the officer meekly into a palacial room.
She stood, awestruck by the gorgeousness of the room, her eyes
roving the room until her gaze rested on the \”Marquis\”\’s
impressive form behind a ornate mahogany desk. She wanted to
smile at the familiar face, but it was so alien at the same time
that she only nodded. \”You wish to see me, sir?\”

\”Marquis\” Chakotay stared at the lovely woman, her face
clouded with an undiscernable emotion, her thick curls clouded by
a film of dust and straw. He gathered his wandering thoughts,
and drew his brows together. \”Yes… we have decided you will be
more useful to us guiding us out of the Gulf than below in the
brig. Unless you wish to remain a prisoner…?\”

\”Very well,\” said Janeway, an idea springing into her mind,
\”I will assist you. But what do I get in return?\”

Chakotay attempted to smile villianously, but in \”Capin\’
Kate\”\’s view, it was overwhelmingly charismatic. \”My word that
you and your crew will be pardoned by the Spanish when we
return.\”

\”And why should I belive that?\”

\”I\’ve given you my word – – that\’s all I have.\”

\”I don\’t buy it.\”

\”Fine – – here,\” he said, pulling a finely-wrought chain of
silver, from which dropped a small stone of brilliant blue, from
around his neck, and handed it to her, his eyes strangely
transfixed on her. \”This is my pledge to you that you and your
crew will go free. If not, you may keep it. It\’s worth all the
gold on this ship.\”

\”Very well, sir. I accept your offer.\”

************************************************************

And so Janeway found herself installed as a sort of first
mate upon the ship. Janeway shuddered a bit whenever she thought
of her new title… *dreadful pun!* It was a bit interesting to
toy with the idea of really serving under Chakotay – – even if it
was on a very different ship, with very different crewmen. She
almost found herself relishing having to report to someone else –
– but then again, she could always go back to being the Captain,
and Chakotay was stuck serving under her for the rest of his
life…

Nevertheless, during the hours she spent on the holodeck
working for Chakotay, she found herself respecting, trusting, and
understanding her first officer more implicitly as she worked
beside his image \”day\” after \”day.\”
She wondered why nothing happened, although she wasn\’t bored, she
was getting a little apprehensive.

Her apprehension proved fortuitous. The very next \”day,\” a
cry arose from above. \”Marquis! There\’s a storm off the port
bow!\” cried a Spanish sailor from the crow\’s nest.

But it was too late for warning… the storm was on them
seconds later, tossing the ship on the huge waves that had swept
up. \”Hurricane!\” cried the crew.

The white uniforms of the crew became rain drenched as they
scurried to steer the ship to safety, but they were unsuccessful.
Chakotay turned to Janeway desprately. \”You know these waters…
what do we do??\”

\”You\’ll have to trust me… and let my crew help!\” yelled
Janeway, tossing her hair from her face.

\”Fine! Here\’s the key – -\” he yelled back, pressing the
large ring of brass keys into her palm. \”Hurry!\”

Janeway dashed below to the brig, freeing her crew with a
hasty, \”Hurricane!\”, which explained everything. The crew ran to
their posts, aiding their enemies in this time of crisis.

Janeway rushed above, yelling to her crew in an instinctive
fashion, although they didn\’t hear a thing she said in the
horrible roar of the wind and waves. She hustled around, adding
her strong arms wherever she could. Suddenly, a huge wave tossed
the ship into the air, sending it crashing into the sea
violently, shoving Janeway to and fro on the deck. Janeway had
never been so tired — she had been operating automatically, her
brain in a fog. Through her exhaustion, she heard Chakotay
order, \”Take her to my quarters to rest.\” Too tired even to
protest, Janeway staggered after the crewman to the quarters, and
collapsed on the bunk – – instantly asleep.

************************************************************

A few hours (or was it days?) later, Janeway sat up, very
concious of her location and of a splitting headache. She
groaned, grasping her head as she tried to look around. A pair
of arms pushed her back down onto the soft sofa gently, applying
a compress, horribly clammy and wet, onto her forehead, which
eased the intense pain somewhat.

The compress shifted, and Janeway slowly opened her eyes,
and found herself face-to-face with Chakotay. For a split second
she was in a haze, wondering how Chakotay had gotten into her
holonovel, as well as conciously resisting the desire she found
boiling up to call his name. Then the fact that it was only a
program with Chakotay\’s face came crashing down, and Janeway
groaned miserably.

Chakotay mistook this for pain, and he lifted the compress
from her head, murmuring, \”How are you, Kathryn?\”

\”Terrible.\” she sighed, realizing she was very cold and
horribly wet at that moment. She shivered, sitting up.

\”Here,\” said Chakotay, handing her a steaming mug as he sat
down beside her on the sofa.

Janeway\’s face was warmed by the heat radiating from the
cup, but her insides revolted, and she shook her head tiredly,
her head drooping onto the opposite arm of the sofa.

\”That can\’t be comfortable, Kathryn, lean on me.\” Even
coming from a seemingly psuedo-Chakotay, the words rang true of
their entire relationship. Janeway had always elevated herself
from her crew, even Chakotay, despite his arguments that it was
unecessary, even unhealthy. Whenever she\’d been down, he\’d
offered a shoulder to cry on, but no matter how she wanted to,
she had always refused. But this time, she could find no reason
to resist. She closed her eyes, now very warm, wondering why
she\’d spurned his friendly advances before. As she sat there,
she realized: it wasn\’t rank, it wasn\’t Mark, it was that she\’d
wanted more than friendship, and in all appearances, he didn\’t.

************************************************************

How wrong, for once in her life, Janeway was! As Janeway
had slept, and as she leaned on him now, Chakotay had had a
thousand thoughts crowd in his head. He had totally fallen for
her – – when he wasn\’t quite certain – – but as she lay there,
only a few meters from him, her hair damp against her face and
neck, he realized he couldn\’t go on not knowing how she felt
about him… even having her laugh in his face was better than
this hopeless musing.

Janeway opened her eyes, finding Chakotay staring down at
her. She sat up, asking \”Yes?\” a trifle dazedly.

Chakotay edged nearer to Janeway, who was breathtaking even
in, or perhaps because of, her disheveled pirate garb. He opened
his mouth, and the words he\’d kept inside for as long as he\’d
served under her poured out like a dam breaking. \”I\’ve fallen in
love with you, Kathryn.\”

************************************************************

Janeway\’s wan smile faded. \”What?\”

\”I\’ve fallen in love with you, Kathryn.\” repeated Chakotay,
an eerie echo of another holonovel: one she wanted desprately to
forget. She looked at the eyes of the magnetic face, a mirror
image of a man she was so attracted to in reality. But the
nagging memory of the horrible Lord Burliegh repulsed her, and
she shoved him away desprately.

She stood up, suddenly angry. \”You can\’t love me! You\’re
just a program Tom put into this stupid holonovel that I can\’t
get out of! The real Chakotay isn\’t madly in love with me, and
never will be! It isn\’t possible, it isn\’t even thinkable!\”

Her cheeks burned in humiliation at her stupidity, and
anger, which was worse, mainly because it was directed at an
unfeeling, unseeing, unthinking projection of light and energy
that had manipulated itself into this intimidating form that she
had fooled herself into thinking really was Chakotay, really was
in love with her, and that she was in love with him… She sank
to the floor, burying her face in her hands, wishing this would
all end soon, not hearing the murmured command, nor the shimmer
of the disappearing holoprogram dissipating around her.

A hand slipped across her shoulders in a familiar touch,
and a familiar gust of breath cooled her hot face, stained with
ignored tears. She looked up, and she saw the grid of the
holodeck around her, back in her uniform, and the real Chakotay,
back in his own crimson uniform, looking down at her, smiling.
\”But Captain, I AM real – – and I do love you.\” he said, stroking
her face with real, human tenderness.

\”You mean, they were searching all over for you… and you
were here all along?? And I… and you…??\” she sputtered.

\”I couldn\’t find my comm badge to contact B\’Elanna, and I
sure as hell wasn\’t about to use yours – -I nearly decimated our
chance for this once – – with Seska – – and I was not going to
throw away this one.\”

\”This?\” she asked, quite aware of what \”this\” was, but
wanted to hear him say it.

\”This,\” he whispered, drawing her close to him.

After the longest moment of her life, Janeway felt
something press against her neck, and found the delicate silver
chain was still there. \”This chain… it should have disappeared
with the rest of the holonovel.\”

\”No, it shouldn\’t have,\” said Chakotay, his hands over
hers, fingering the tiny glistening stone pendant. \”It\’s mine…
or rather, yours.\”

\”I\’m afraid I don\’t understand…\” murmured Janeway.

\”I\’ve kept it with me, around my neck, since my mother died
in the first attack on our planet… it was hers, and my father
gave it to her years ago… I never showed it to Seska – – she
even knew I wore it – – but somehow, when I found myself with you
in that holonovel, I knew that I should give it to you.\”

His words struck a chord in her heart, and she looked up at
him, the beam in her eyes drowned slightly by a film of budding
saltwater. She didn\’t know quite what to say – – words just
didn\’t seem appropriate. Luckily, Kathryn Janeway was blessed
with the God-given gift of startlingly eloquent blue eyes that
said everything her numb lips could not. She blinked slowly,
delibrately, jewels of shining water droplets splashing down on
her pale cheeks and the vivid crimson of her uniform.

The dark spots on her shoulder reminded her that B\’Elanna
was still looking for Chakotay. It wasn\’t until Janeway twisted
a bit away to tap her comm badge that she realized how intimately
they had been sitting on the holodeck floor, and how cool the
room actually was. Her dark voice rang through the room like a
bell, shattering the gorgeous moment like a beautiful hammer.
\”Janeway to Torres.\”

\”Yes, Captain?\”

\”I seem to have found the Commander,\” murmured Janeway with
a strange inflection in her serene voice.

\”Yes, Captain?\”

\”Well, it would appear that Commander Chakotay was beamed
into the holonovel, and I wasn\’t able to find him until just
now,\” she continued, her hand finding Chakotay\’s in a gentle
squeeze.

\”What?!?\” B\’Elanna cried, trying to maintain total shock in
her tone.

\”I can\’t explain it either,\” she said.

\”Well, it would appear that his comm badge was off-line – –
his location just showed up, Captain,\” said B\’Elanna.

\”Well, now that we\’ve fixed this, can you open the holodeck
doors?\” asked Janeway, suddenly very tired.

\”Yes, Captain.\”

With this, the heavy door slid open, and the bright light
of the corridor shone into the dim gridded room. Janeway stood,
striding towards the passage way, as if to deny everything that
had taken place like one waking from a dream.

She had her foot over the threshold when a hand grasped her
shoulder, enveloping it completely in its grasp. She turned, and
found herself staring into Chakotay\’s unfathomable gaze.
Something in the depths of his eyes bored into her, making her
slightly afraid. For some reason she couldn\’t explain, she found
her heart thrashing uncomfortably in her chest. And yet, she
couldn\’t turn away.

In a thick, raspy baritone so low she could barely hear it,
Chakotay said, \”Must you go?\”

Janeway was at a loss. Her head spun at the thought of
what effect her words might have. She looked at Chakotay.
\”No… yes… I don\’t…\”

She finally realized she couldn\’t make a fool of herself
anymore – – her pride simply wouldn\’t let her – – so she just
shook her head, slipping from his grasp and rushing from the room
at breakneck speed.

************************************************************

Janeway plunged down the empty corridor, dodging all
crewmen – – except the hapless Tom Paris. In five seconds they
were sprawled on the floor in a heap. Janeway, very near an
undignified self-implosion, lept up shakily. She resumed her
path to the nearby turbolift, where Tom caught up with her and
followed her in before she could protest.

She groaned inwardly, trying to keep herself together for a
few more minutes. Tom noticed the Captain\’s worn face, and
asked, \”Didn\’t you like the holonovel and the twist?\”

Janeway looked as if she could murder poor Tom on the spot.
\”LIKE?!? How DARE you put Commander Chakotay in that
holonovel?!?\”

\”It was a little joke, Captain…\”

\”Some joke!\” she growled.

\”It was in your best interest, honestly! B\’Elanna and
Harry agreed…\”

\”Agreed about what?!? That I\’d benefit from some stupid
program that included an image of my first officer?!?\”

\”IMAGE? You mean we didn\’t put the real Chakotay in the
holonovel…?\” Tom knew he\’d blown it the minute the words came
out of his mouth.

\”That wasn\’t an accident?!? You PLANNED this?\” said
Janeway murderously.

Tom backed into the lift\’s wall, blubbering, \”Captain,
I…\”

\”Save your stupid excuses, Tom! As facsinating as my love
life and the Commander\’s are, we certainly don\’t need the likes
of you toying with them!!\” she spat, the lift door opening,
leaving Tom, ashen-faced, staring at the lift door as it closed.

************************************************************

Janeway paced her room for an hour, gradually shedding hair
pins and uniform, donning a robe and nightgown as she stalked the
long room. She clenched her fists, ramming her long fingers
through her hair. *Chakotay was probably in on it too – – didn\’t
mean a word of it – – one big joke on the Captain!* she thought
angrily, cursing herself for even imagining – – hoping – – that
Chakotay – –

She was still raging when a beep signaled her door. She
turned to confront it, snapping, \”Come.\”

The door slid away, revealing Chakotay, just off duty,
slightly agape at what he saw. He\’d never seen the Captain so
insensed, nor so lovely as at that moment. But why? He stood
still, almost afraid to step forward. \”What\’s wrong, Captain?\”

\”What\’s wrong? What\’s WRONG?!?\” snapped Janeway. \”Don\’t
pretend you weren\’t in on that whole big setup, Commander!\”

Chakotay was genuinely baffled. \”What?\”

Janeway\’s crossed brows relaxed a bit. \”You mean, Tom and
B\’Elanna didn\’t tell you they were going to beam you to the
holodeck and lock the door?\”

Janeway knew from the rage that immediately sprung into his
eyes that she hadn\’t a clue about this. \”THEY DID WHAT?!?\” he
roared.

Janeway shook her head, smiling a little. \”They set us up,
Commander. They shoved us in that holodeck and set us up.\”

Chakotay ran a hand through his hair, shaking his head in
mild annoyance, his sense of humor gradually coming back. They
both looked at each other, and laughed, hers warm and mellow,
striking a warm harmony to his deep booming one.

They laughed for a few minutes, and Chakotay sobered,
looking at the Captain with serious eyes, very much like the ones
he had looked at her with in the holodeck. He took her hand, and
with the other lifted the pendant from her neck. \”But does that
make THIS any less real?\”

Janeway dropped her eyes, bowing her head a little, the
coils of loosened amber hair catching the light of a nearby lamp.
\”I suppose not… I was afraid that it was all a joke… that you
didn\’t really…\”

Chakotay stooped a little to look up at her through her
veil of thick hair. \”I never joke about anything when it comes
to my feelings, especially with you, Kathryn.\”

Janeway lifted her head, her eyes hazy. He called her
Kathryn… totally unasked yet totally appropriate, totally…
right. Chakotay smiled. \”Do you feel the same way I do,
Kathryn?\” he said, his repetition of her name thrilling her.

She looked up, her eyes bright and sparkling. She slipped
a hand around the curve of his chin, resting it on his shoulder.
She inclined her head slightly, only a whisper of an inch, but
that was all he needed. With a sudden influx of pure adrenaliyn,
he drew her face to his, and kissed her. This was no joke… it
was the real thing. She felt an awesome wave of happiness, like
nothing she\’d ever experienced before, break over her as he held
her.

************************************************************

The next day, as Paris was working on the Bridge, he felt
two pairs of hands descend upon his shoulders, one pair light and
slender, the other pair strong and huge. Paris turned around,
finding Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay smiling strangely
down at him. He swallowed hard, and said, \”Yes, ma\’m?\”

\”First, I want to thank you for the holonovel – – it was –
– informative,\” smiled Janeway, eyeing the Commander sweetly.

\”Gee, I\’m glad you liked it.\”

\”BUT, I didn\’t like that you kiddnapped the Commander and
had him intrude on a private holonovel. The punishment for both
offenses is very heavy, Mr. Paris.\”

\”But Captain, everything DID turn out alright?\” sputtered
poor Tom.

\”That\’s beside the point, Tom.\”

Tom\’s gaze darted fearfully between the two senior
officers. \”So what are you going to do to me?\”

Janeway got up very close to Tom\’s face. \”You\’ll find out
soon enough,\” she murmured ominously. Then she stood aright
again, and grinned strangely at Tom. \”Good night, Mr. Paris,\”
she said, linking arms with Chakotay and striding towards the
turbolift. Chakotay looked over his shoulder at Tom and grinned
fearfully, like a well fed Bengal cat.

************************************************************

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.