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Kathy Loves Chuckles

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“Really, Kathy my dear? You are still holding out on poor Chuckles here?”

Chakotay rapidly gained a newfound appreciation for whatever was on the PADD he was holding. Kathryn was relatively sure that her look of indignation masked her face perfectly, but she still was glad not to have to meet his eyes.

“What do you want, Q?” She sighed, rolling her eyes sarcastically. Internally, she hoped that Q was going to get to his point sooner, rather than later.

“I’m worried about you, Kathy. You are so tense.” Q reached to touch her shoulder.

She batted his hand away. “Maybe that’s because, once again, you are ignoring my request to stop interfering with my ship.”

“Don’t be so petulant. When have I ever done anything that endangered your precious crew?”

“Should I list them alphabetically or chronologically?”

Chakotay’s eyes darted up to meet hers in amusement for a moment, before drifting back down. She found herself suppressing a smile. She turned back around to find that Q had vanished… and so had the door to her quarters.

“Q!” She demanded, “You put my door back right away…”

Q’s voice came from thin air. “Not until you stop being unreasonable. It is obvious that you and Chuckles here have things to work out, and I am not letting you go anywhere until you do.”

“Janeway to Tuvok.” No response. “Janeway to the Doctor.”

“It looks like Q has cut off communication to the rest of the ship.” Chakotay suggested.

“I am pretty sure you are right.” Kathryn sank down onto the couch across from him. “I don’t suppose you have any suggestions as to how to get us out of here.”

“Nothing springs to mind.” Chakotay replied, with an obvious disingenuity. Q apparently had decided to play matchmaker, so pretty clearly it either an emotional or physical demonstration that he was looking for. Chakotay knew that as well as she did.

Kathryn thought about it. She was a good actress, she was capable of faking a declaration, but couldn’t bring herself to. If you pretend the truth, is it still pretending? She was sure Chakotay would let her explain it away as a ploy to get Q off their backs, but they’d both know the truth. It wasn’t as if that reality didn’t already lie too close to the surface. That left the other option. Was it more revealing to speak or to act? Would Q be satisfied with a kiss or would be he expect full consummation? Was she just looking for an excuse to break her own rules?

She found she didn’t care.

“Chakotay…” Her voice came out odd. He looked at her quizzically.

Then she wrapped her hand around the back of his head and pulled him to her. She sucked lightly on that tempting bottom lip, drawing it between her teeth, before releasing it and pressing both her lips against his, enjoying the feeling of his hesitance giving way as he opened his mouth to her. His tongue met hers as the kiss intensified, the heat of him sending a similar warmth down her body.

This was why they had not done this. She’d known, she was pretty sure they both had, that it would be like this. Imagining kissing her first officer was one thing, but knowing the reality was even better than the fantasy… that was fatal.

Out of the corner of her eye, Kathryn noticed the door to her quarters had reappeared. She renewed the vigor of her assault on Chakotay’s mouth, the urge to pretend she hadn’t noticed overwhelming. She savored a brief moment more, tasting him, before she finally pulled away, breathless.

“It looks like Q has accepted our tribute.” She did her best to sound steady rather than lusty.

“I guess you were very convincing.” Chakotay backed up and looked down and to the side. The tension hung in the air and for a moment it seemed inevitable that one of them would give into it.

“You were pretty persuasive yourself.” She smiled, allowing a hint of teasing into her tone.

Chakotay stood. “I guess we’d better get to the bridge.”

“I suppose so.” She stood to join him and they walked side by side down Voyager’s corridors. She tried to push the memory of his kiss away, but it seemed burned into the forefront of her mind.

Damn you, Q. She thought. You knew exactly what you were doing.

She barely made it ten minutes on the bridge before retreating to her ready room to replicate a cup of coffee. If nothing else, it would wipe the ghost of his lips from hers. She hadn’t even finished the second cup halfway before the door chimed. She knew it would be him.

“Enter.” She called, seating herself safely behind her desk.

Kathryn had an even harder time than usual not fixating on those lips as Chakotay walked in and took the seat across from her. Her mind was traveling wildly in directions she needed it not to.

“Can I get you anything, Commander?” She asked, retreating over to the replicator.

“Tea, thank you.” He replied, watching her carefully from his seat.

She crossed back to him, tea in hand. Their hands brushed and it felt like electricity coursing through her body. This was worse than when they had just returned from New Earth, pulling back from the precipice they’d almost tumbled over.

They sat in silence, neither sure what to say to the other. Kathryn forced herself to look away from his mouth, only to get lost in his eyes. She pulled her gaze away from his face, only to land on his hands and find herself wondering how they would feel exploring her body.

Get yourself together, Janeway. She reprimanded herself.

“Commander…” she hesitated, “Thank you for playing along. Q is mercurial and I hope his actions didn’t cause you discomfort.”

Her words were a shield made of lies and they both knew it. Damn Q!

“I am always happy to be… of assistance.” Chakotay’s eyes didn’t match his neutral expression.

“I appreciate that, Chakotay.”

She couldn’t help it. Her expression softened as their eyes met and his name slipped out, instead of the rank she’d been so careful to use in its place during this conversation.

“I’ll leave you then. I just wanted to check in.” He put his cup in the replicator to be recycled and headed towards the door.

“I’d better get out there as well. Just let me replicate another cup of coffee and I’ll join you.” She felt unsteady, but forced herself to follow through on her words and together they walked out onto the bridge.

She cupped the mug of coffee in her hands, acutely aware of Chakotay’s presence to her right. She could have sworn that she could feel the heat emanating from him from across the console.

Get a grip! She mentally commanded herself. You are a Starfleet Captain, not some hormonal teenager who has just had her first kiss.

She went to set her coffee cup down and it toppled over onto the ground.

Tuvok raised an eyebrow. “Captain, your motor control seems impaired. Perhaps you should visit sickbay.”

Kathryn realized she did feel a little light headed. She stood to leave and wobbled dangerously. Chakotay was at her side in a flash, arm wrapping protectively around her waist.

“I will escort the captain. Tuvok, you have the bridge.”

She didn’t have the heart to protest, so she allowed Chakotay to guide her out of the bridge and into the turbolift. Once inside, she allowed her head to slump against his shoulder.

“Kathryn, don’t take this the wrong way but… have you been drinking?” She was startled out of her stupor. “You sort of smell like a distillery.”

Kathryn held her hand up to her mouth to smell her own breath and lo and behold she did.

“Q!” They both exclaimed at the same time.

Kathryn pulled out a tricorder and scanned her blood alcohol level. It was through the roof. Then she heeded an impulse and scanned Chakotay. His was lower but still evident.

“He must be interfering with the replicators.” She thought outloud.

“I guess our earlier performance didn’t satisfy him as well as we’d hoped. Though, how you didn’t notice such a high level of alcohol is beyond me.”

“I was distracted.” Kathryn accidentally confessed.

“I guess I am just lucky I only had one cup of tea.” Chakotay did her the favor of not commenting on the admission.

“Well… I don’t suppose I really need to go to sickbay to have the doctor diagnose me as drunk, but I’d say we are both off duty until we sober up.”

“I concur. We also probably need to consider the best approach to this Q situation.”

He was right. As much as she’d planned on drawing a hot bath and probably giving in to indulging in the fantasy, they needed to come up with a solution.”

“I suppose we can head back to my quarters and put our heads together.”

Almost as soon as the words left her mouth, she realized the inadvertent implications of her phrasing but knew that pointing them out would only make it worse.

They returned to her quarters to find that Q had replaced all of the furniture with a giant satin covered bed. Kathryn didn’t have the will to do anything other than flop herself down on it. Chakotay carefully placed himself sitting on the opposite edge.

“Q isn’t big on subtlety is he?” Chakotay commented.

“Right now I don’t even know what to say. I have no idea why he is doing this. I’m just so tired, Chakotay…”

“Rest then.” He told her. “Take a nap and when you wake up the alcohol will have worn off and we can think this through with clear heads.”

“Normally I’d argue, but I simply don’t have the energy right now. You should get some rest as well. I have a bad feeling we are both going to lose some sleep before this is resolved.” He stood to leave, interpreting her words as a dismissal. “You might as well crash here on this monstrosity. Who knows, Q might decide to take further action if we try to separate again.”

Chakotay nodded and sat back down. Unlacing his boots and removing them, he laid back carefully with his hands behind his head. Kathryn had to resist the urge to curl up close against his warm, reassuring frame. It was the alcohol, she told herself.

She awoke to find Q sitting at the foot of the bed.

“Q!” Kathryn exclaimed, “You need to stop this.”

“I have to admit, you do look more rested, Kathy. This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for this bed, though. What? Did Chuckles here not have the nerve?”

Kathryn pressed her forehead against her palm.

“What Commander Chakotay and I choose to do or not do is really none of your business, Q.”

“I’ve chosen to make it my business. I am concerned.” Q looked hurt.

“Your concern is duly noted. Now, put my room back the way it belongs, leave, and stop messing with the replicators. If you are really trying to play matchmaker, you should know that your presence here would be a deterrent to any sort of intimacy I might want to seek out.”

“Always so stubborn, Kathy.” Q smiled. “Very well then. I wash my hands of this.”

He snapped his hands and he and all of his embellishments vanished. She and Chakotay were lying in the middle of the floor. She looked over to his sleeping form and felt a wave of emotion wash over her. Even if Q was really going to let it be this time, his interference had brought feelings bubbling to the surface which had been carefully buried.

Chakotay’s eyes opened and met hers. She smiled before remembering not to.

“Q is gone for now,” she told him, “hopefully for good.”

“Do I want to know what you said or did to get him to leave?” Chakotay asked, propping his head up on his elbow to face her.

“I pointed out that, if you or I wanted to start something, his presence would be a deterrent.”

If. They both knew it wasn’t a question of whether either of them wanted it. Every inch of her longed to press her body against Chakotay’s and lose herself in his embrace. Of course, the intensity of this desire was one of many reasons she couldn’t allow herself to act on it.

“Do we need a backup plan, or are we hoping he will stick to his word?”

Kathryn allowed herself to gaze at Chakotay for a moment, drinking in the sight of him. Was it any better, really, spending all this time and energy being distracted by not being able to to act on this? Maybe, she could get him out of her system instead. Kathryn knew that last thought was rationalization. If she closed the gap between them, if she gave in to their desires, Kathryn knew she would never be able to give him up. She couldn’t bring herself to care.

“I do have one idea.” She smiled.

“Oh?” He looked intrigued.

She rolled over to where he lay and pressed her lips to his, pulling the rest of her body hard against him. The warmth of his body firm against her set all of her nerve endings on edge. Yes, this was what she wanted to do. The feeling of his heart beating against her and his sharp intake of breath told her she wasn’t wrong in assuming he felt the same.

“Kathryn…” he breathed, forehead pressing against hers. “Spirits!”

Then his mouth drove back against hers and his hand came to rest at her hip as she pressed her pelvis against his. Her hands wandered to his backside, curving down from his shoulders to his back and then still lower, tracing the planes of his body she’d watched often but not had the chance to explore with her hands.

He groaned into her mouth, his free hand drifting up her side until it came to rest at the curve of her breast. She found she was deeply resentful of all of the layers of fabric between them. That Starfleet material and the infernal pips needed to go the way of her inhibitions. She sat up, tugging at her uniform. When she’d finally gotten down to her bra, and her vision was no longer obscured by clothing being pulled over her eyes, she found Chakotay staring at her; the hunger she felt inside was written all over his expression.

“Are you going to do something? Or are you going to just lay there?” She smiled, a dare and a permission.

He lifted himself up to meet her, knees coming to rest between hers as they knelt on the carpet. He traced the edges of her face with his hands, fingers meeting at her chin as he swooped in to claim her mouth with his own. Her hands found the hem of his uniform jacket, yanking it upwards. Their lips had to part as she divested him first of the jacket and then the lower layers, until she could press against his bare chest, skin meeting everywhere her bra wasn’t interfering. Both of their hands drifted across unfamiliar flesh, his touch setting her skin on fire.

She reached around behind her to unhook her bra, longing for more direct contact, and he kissed along her neck. His mouth was soft and sensuous, teasing, rather than plundering. He moved his way downwards, hands caressing on either side of wherever his lips traveled. As she pulled away the offending garment, he claimed her newly exposed breasts, cupping one in each of his large hands and kissing the valley between them.

A moan escaped her mouth, as he made contact with her stiff nipples. Her head rolled back in enjoyment, letting him continue to explore. His hands stayed in place, massaging gently, tantalizing but not overwhelming. His mouth left tingling trails of desire all across her skin until he reached the waistband of her pants.

She put her hands on his chest and pushed him backwards onto his back, as she moved to straddle his hips. She looked down at him, his familiar face and the less familiar expanses of his smooth, honey skin. The context made even his well known features seem in some way new. She realized that in some ways she never allowed herself to look fully at Chakotay, even when her eyes looked directly at him, if was as if she enforced some sort of perception filter between them. That was another coping mechanism it was time to toss by the wayside. She spent another moment, enjoying the sight of him lying there under her, staring up at the sight of her poised above him, before she gave into the desire to feel rather than just see. Pressing their bodies together, Kathryn recaptured his lips, enjoying the unobstructed contact from the waist up.

There was a comfort mixed in with the arousal that was her reaction to him. This felt right. His body was meant to be pressed against hers; her mouth was supposed to be devouring his. The only mystery was how they’d gone this long without giving it to the inevitable.

She stared into his eyes, tracing the contours of his face with her fingers, mouth moving to suck on his earlobe and kiss where it met his neck. She’d watched him fidget and longed to do this too many times to count. His face nuzzled against hers and she felt him continue to react under her, as she began to make her way down his body, determined to map him with her mouth the way she had already done mentally.

She was dragging her tongue under the edge of his uniform pants, hands moving to open them, when her comm badge chirped loudly.

“Tuvok to Janeway. The Doctor says you never arrived in sickbay. Do you require assistance?”

Kathryn cursed and reached over to grab her comm badge from her discarded uniform jacket.

“Janeway to Tuvok. I do not require assistance. The source of the earlier… issue turned out to not be medical in nature. I’ll brief you when I arrive at the bridge.”

“Understood. Will that be soon, captain?” Kathryn could almost hear Tuvok’s eyebrow raise. She watched tension and a searching look spread across Chakotay’s face under her as he tried to analyze her expression.

“I’ll be right there, Tuvok.” She sighed and watched disappointment overtake Chakotay’s face as that same feeling swept through her.

Still, she had a job to do. If she avoided her responsibilities on the bridge now, she’d only be proving the voice that always counseled restraint right. She forced herself to move away from him and gather up her discarded clothing.

“I had almost forgotten that we were in the middle of a shift.” She tried to laugh, not meeting Chakotay’s eyes because she was afraid if she did she would lose her resolve.

“What are you going to tell him?” Chakotay’s voice was tight, restrained, and Kathryn turned to find him also pulling back on the rest of his uniform.

“I’m not entirely sure. I suppose that it was a replicator issue. If I mention Q, he will want to know what Q’s purpose is…”

“Well, we couldn’t have that.” Chakotay almost snapped, standing.

“Chakotay…” She started, but didn’t really know what to say.

“You don’t have to tell me.” His tone was quiet, suddenly reserved and almost cold.

She didn’t have time to figure out what he meant. She didn’t have time to try and come up with some of the words buried somewhere under years of suppression. A part of her knew she was being unfair, but she didn’t have time and surely he’d felt the meaning behind her actions today. They’d always been able to communicate largely without talking.

“Provided everything doesn’t go sideways before then, dinner here tonight?” She said simply, as she straightened her uniform, pips firmly back in place.

“As long as you promise not to cook.” His grin seemed forced, but he flashed it anyway.

“Where’s your adventurous spirit?” She teased, relieved to fall into their usual casual banter as the door slid open and they moved out into the corridor.

Still, she had a hard time not thinking about where they had been when Tuvok had called and where they might be right now if it hadn’t been for that comm. She had to be the captain though. Surely, after all this time she could put this aside for a few more hours.

“I am going to go see if B’Elanna has sorted out that issue from earlier down in Engineering. Nineteen-hundred hours?”

Kathryn wondered whether Chakotay’s decision to head to Engineering instead of the bridge sprung from similar thoughts. He was facing away from her though, so she couldn’t read his face.

“That’s perfect. I’ll see you then.” Then the turbolift doors opened and it was time for her to step out. She risked a glance back at Chakotay before they closed and found his face solemn but full of some emotion she couldn’t quite place.

“Tuvok!” She barked, entering the bridge, “My ready room… now.”

She didn’t wait to see if he was following before proceeding in that direction, trusting her friend and second officer to adhere to her orders. A part of her wanted to confide in the Vulcan, but the stronger part had a powerful aversion to the idea. Was she worried that he’d disapprove, cock his head slightly to the side and cite logic and protocol, or was she scared that he’d do just the opposite?

“Captain?” Tuvok’s tone might have seemed neutral to an outsider, but Kathryn knew him well enough to discern an underlying hint of worry.

“I am fine Tuvok. I didn’t mean to concern you. I simply discovered it was an issue with my replicator and not my health while on the way to sickbay.”

Tuvok would notice the vagueness of her statement, but she hoped he wouldn’t press.
“Should I alert Engineering?” He said simply, allowing the statement to pass.

“No. I believe I have taken care of the issue. I simply got caught up and forgot to comm you.”

“Very well…” Tuvok looked as though he was thinking about saying something else, but did not.

She considered saying more herself. She wasn’t sure what she even wanted to say though. She could tell Tuvok about Q and see where the conversation led, but she wouldn’t.

“I guess we’d better get back on the bridge before the crew starts worrying about what has all the senior officers closeted up today.”

Tuvok nodded almost imperceptibly and they returned to their posts. She found herself daydreaming more than focused on working, but no one seemed to notice. As the end of her shift drew near, Kathryn felt anxiety rising, as she became certain that some new danger was going to arise and require her attention somewhere other than her quarters tonight. The idea was unfounded, but held her in its grip nonetheless. She realized how much when she finally handed off the bridge for the day, found herself safely ensconced in the turbolift, and felt the relief wash over her

She found her thoughts wandering to how the last time she’d been here Chakotay had been with her and she’d longed to press him against the walls of it. She found herself remembering the look on his face when she’d kissed him earlier, the feeling of his skin against hers. This only led to more thoughts about his hands and his mouth and everything she didn’t have any more will left to deny wanting any longer.

She had just enough time when she got back to her quarters to exchange her uniform for something less official, before Chakotay was due. She stood in front of her image, assessing what she saw there. It had been too long since she’d looked at herself as a woman instead of a captain.

Chakotay arrived on time, in uniform, and before the doors even closed she wanted desperately to push him up against the bulkheads and strip him out of it. He seemed surprised to find her in a dress.

“You didn’t mention casual dress.” He smiled cautiously, standing just out of the door sensor range with his hands carefully interlaced behind his back as he considered the sight of her.

“I thought it was implied… given the context.” She let the flirtation free in her voice as she closed the distance between them.

“I figured that you’d want to have a conversation about… parameters.”

“How is this for a parameter?” She breathed, grabbing him by the front of his uniform to pull him down as she raised onto the balls of her bare feet to kiss him deeply.

His hands moved to grip her waist, pulling her up against him as he backed them against that bulkhead she’d been thinking about pressing him into, and she wrapped her legs around him. Kathryn never wanted to stop kissing him. The press of his mouth against hers was neither rushed nor hesitant, but complete. How many kisses like this with him have I missed out on for no good reason? she asked herself. The answer was too many. Never again! she promised silently.

She snaked her hands up under his uniform, wanting to feel the skin underneath but loathing to separate even for the moment it would take to remove some of his clothing.

“Kathryn…” He murmured against her lips, “Where does moving this to your bedroom fall in terms of those parameters?”

“Well within the scope.” She gasped, feeling his warm strong hands grab hold of the back of her thighs and mentally urging them up and inwards.

Instead, he used them to steady her against him as he guided them across her quarters. He had to pull his face away from hers to look where he was going, but kept darting in for smaller kisses as often as he seemed to think he could get away with without running them into the furniture.

Setting her down on the edge of her bed, he knelt down on the floor and ran his hands down her legs, lifting one leg up until her ankle was next to his face and beginning a new trail of kisses starting right there and leading up her calf to the back of her knee and beyond. His hands massaged gently in the same direction and Kathryn leaned back on her elbows, content for the moment to enjoy the feeling and sight of him working his way up her leg towards where her underwear were already soaked through. Images of immediate impassioned fucking gave way to more leisurely ideas.

She shuddered in anticipation as Chakotay sucked lightly on the sensitive flesh of her inner thigh, inches short of the edge of her panties, his eyes moving up to meet hers. Then he moved over to the opposite leg, ghosting past the junction between them, and began a slow pathway downwards and she groaned in impatience.

She could have sworn she felt him smile against her skin in response.

By the time he reached the far ankle, warm lips finding places Kathryn hadn’t even realized were sensitive, she was practically squirming against the mattress. Pulling him upwards and crushing his mouth with her own, she went to work on his uniform, impatiently pulling at the unforgiving fabric. He got the hint, pulling off all his layers in one fell swoop, and leaned in to kiss his way down her neck and across her collarbone, gently pulling the straps of her dress to the side to kiss her shoulders.

Her hands spread across his chest and then gripped his broad shoulders, drawing his head down against her breasts as the dress slid down, leaving only her bra covering them. She guided his hands to the clasp at her back and let out a deep sigh as they were freed from its confines. His mouth closed over one nipple, tongue flicking against it tantalizingly as a thumb circled against the other and she lowered one of her hands down to his pants to work on opening them.

As she closed her hand around his thick length, his free hand slid up under the dress bunched around her waist, and rubbed her through the damp cotton, sliding upwards until he found her clit and began gently teasing in time with her own movements.

“Pants off.” She almost growled, enjoying his quick acquiescence and shimmying free of her dress as she watched him finish stripping for her. She was about to do the same with her last piece of clothing ,when his hands met hers as her hips.

He knelt back down between her legs, slowly lowering her panties down her legs, staring at her naked body with an intensity that might have frightened her on someone else’s face. She went to pull him up against her, but instead he buried his head between her legs.

A moan escaped her lips, as his lips softly brushed her clit, and then another as he ran his tongue down along the lips of her opening. Any protests of impatience died before being uttered, driven off by the pleasure of his tongue working inside of her and his hand against her throbbing flesh.

Kathryn clenched her fingers in his hair, arching her hips up against him, and felt herself dissolving into a pile of pleasure and need.

“Chakotay!” His name came out more are a moan than the word. “I need to feel you inside of me… now!”

He lifted his lips slightly to suck on her clit, something between a moan and a whine escaping her in response, before he looked up to her face, smiling and his jaw glistening. He lifted himself up to her level, kissing her deeply. She could taste herself on him as his arousal pressed against her.

She put her hands on his hips as she shifted her own, guiding him into her in one fluid motion. Holding him deep inside of her, she rocked her hips against him and found herself shuddering around him within moments, already having been so close to the edge.

As her shaking receded, she relaxed her grip slightly, moving more slowly and with deliberation, giving him room to do the same. His hands found her breasts, supporting them as their pace slowly built, gentle thrusts giving way to more passion. The way he was angled, their pelvises pressed together, adding fuel to the fire that was building inside of her as each thrust rubbed just the right spot.

They resumed kissing, his hands gently rubbing her breasts as they frantically circled against one another, each movement against her still sensitive inner thighs causing her to cry out into his mouth, until he finally collapsed against her, the warmth of his release causing her to clench hard around him once more in ecstasy.

As if on cue, her comm badge chirped, “Tuvok to the Captain, there is an unfamiliar vessel on the sensors.”

They both sighed, and he pulled himself from her. Kathryn groaned and reached for her comm badge, placing one last kiss on Chakotay’s lips before rising to gather her clothes. “Janeway here. I will be there right away.”

She turned around from grabbing her bra and found herself face to face with Chakotay, who pressed her up against the wall, kissing her deeply, before handing her the pants she’d been looking for. Part of her wanted to tell Tuvok to just deal with the situation, but that was irresponsible and she knew it. Still, that didn’t make it any easier to leave the wonderfully naked man who’d just blown all her fantasies about him out of the water and go confront a possibly hostile new alien race.

They both dressed in silence, the uniforms coming between their newfound intimacy dramatically. By the time they reached the turbolift, neither of them was meeting the other’s eye. Of course, that was when the damned thing decided to get stuck and communication went down again.

“Wait a minute…” Kathryn said out loud, realizing this was all a little too convenient, “Q… is this you again? What do you want now?”

The look on Chakotay’s face when she turned around made her stomach drop.

“Is that what you are going with?” He asked with an undertone of bitterness, “Q made you do it?”

“What are you talking about?” Kathryn didn’t know what he was so upset about but she didn’t have time to deal with it.

“Are you really going to act like that was just to get Q off your back?” He snapped angrily.

“I’m not pretending anything…” Her train of thought was interrupted by Q’s sudden appearance in the turbolift. “Q. What are you up to now?”

“More relationship counseling, Kathy my sweet.”

“What’s the problem now. I am sure you’ve been spying and-”

“And I am so glad you and Chuckles here worked on the whole sexual tension situation, but you are still failing at the talking thing.”

“Q, for the last time… we are fine. We don’t need to discuss what is already obvious.”

“Maybe you don’t, but I sure could use some clarification, Kathryn. It is probably obvious to you that I am willing to let this be whatever you want it to be… but at least do me the favor of telling me what that is so I can play along.”

“What I want…” Kathryn was genuinely confused. She could tell that something was bothering Chakotay. Was it really possible that he hadn’t understood her decision? She’d been so sure that he did a few moments ago.

“Just tell me… Was it a one time thing for you… get it out of your system and all that? If it was, I will do my best to accept that. I just need to know.”

Suddenly she realized that she hadn’t made herself clear to Chakotay at all. She’d done a complete one eighty when it came to handling their relationship and she had expected him to be able to tell, but now that she thought about it, she realized how unfair that had been. She’d been putting up barriers between them for years, never allowing the natural chemistry to flourish. It was only natural that he thought she’d put up those walls again, when she hadn’t said anything to him about changing her mind.

“Oh,Chakotay...” She placed her hand on his cheek, “I guess I somehow expected you to just know. I don’t want to push you away… not ever again.”

“Please, tell me exactly what you mean. I don’t want to leave any more room for miscommunication.” His eyes searched hers.

“I love you.” She didn’t really intend for those words to be the ones leaving her mouth, but once they did she realized that they were true, and she wasn’t the least bit sorry to have said them. “I have loved you and wanted you for such a long time, though I’ve tried to deny it, and now that I know what it is like to let ourselves be together… I don’t ever want to go without you again.”

The enormity of what she she’s just admitted, to them both, hit her and for a moment Kathryn worried she’d gone to far. She thought Chakotay loved her back, even if he hadn’t as much as told her in words in the past, his actions seemed to say it, but maybe she was reading too much into simple attraction.

Then a smile spread across his beloved face and he pressed her against the wall of the turbolift, holding her close. Kathryn noted that they were alone once more.

“I can’t tell you how relieved I am to hear that. I honestly didn’t have any idea how I was going to go back to trying to act like I don’t love you.”

“Did you really think we could not do that more than once?” A wave of affection spread over her. She was going to enjoy showing Chakotay just how she felt about him.

“I hoped not. I had to be prepared though. How else do you think I resisted just sliding off your underwear and taking you against that bulkhead? If it was just going to be the one time, I didn’t want to regret wasting it.”

Kathryn grinned, remembering how she’d initially had that same vision of them fucking against the bulkhead. She was looking forward to finding out what other fantasies they shared.

“And now that you know otherwise…” She teased, circling her hips against him. Unfortunately, the turbolift chose that moment to begin functioning again, and they had to spring apart before the entire bridge crew witnessed the command team dry humping against the wall of the turbolift… or worse.

“You know…” Chakotay grinned, his dimpled face mischievous, “We are going to have to find a way to thank Q.”