“20th Century Southern California? An interesting choice.”
Kathryn turns to glance back at Chakotay, standing just slightly behind her as always. Around them, the holographic rendition of a bustling and sunshine filled beach town hums with activity.
“So, can you figure out why I picked it for today’s holoprogram?” he grins, half pleased and half sheepish.
“Because you are impossibly nostalgic and sentimental,” she teases fondly, walking her fingers down the front of his shirt.
“You know, even though we were almost stranded there, it’s still one of my favorite away mission memories,” Chakotay smiles softly and brushes a stray strand of hair that the coastal breeze out of her face.
“Oh really… and why is that?” she asks even though she knows the answer.
“Because the two of us got to go off on our own, without our Vulcan chaperone and in a situation where neither of us was grievously injured. There were moments where it almost felt like-“
“A date,” she finishes, “So where exactly are we? This isn’t Los Angeles, right?”
“No,” he confirms, “We’re somewhere in Orange County. Tom didn’t tell me exactly where, and knowing him it is probably not exactly a specifically historically accurate location so much as a pastiche.”
“Well then, shall we see what’s here to be seen?”
She holds her arm out to him, but instead he wraps his arm around her shoulders and whispers, “We are explorers, aren’t we?”
His breath against her skin sends a little shiver down her spine and she finds it difficult to focus on their surroundings rather than the company. She refuses to be the first one to cave, though, not again.
“It is beautiful here, isn’t it?” she turns to look out towards the ocean, and spots a railed staircase down to the beach and heads towards it.
“Kathryn Janeway, are you digging for compliments?” Chakotay bites his lip temptingly, “Because you are the most beautiful thing here and I don’t mind telling you so, but that does seem beneath you.”
“Maybe I just thought it would be cruel of me to deprive you of the chance to use a cheesy line like that, given how much you love doing so,” she evades, slipping out from under his arm and heading down the stairs.
“I’m sure that’s it,” he laughs, following behind her.
The stairs are a little steep and she has to focus on them for a minute, so she doesn’t reply, but then she makes it down to the bottom and stops short; the view is breathtaking.
“Like it?” Chakotay asks, coming up behind her and wrapping his arms around her.
“Well played,” she concedes, staring at the gentle curve of the coastline, which has created this idyllic little cove.
She laces her fingers with his and they walk alone the damp sand left by a higher point in the tide. It is relaxing to lean against his big reassuring body. When she is with Chakotay, Kathryn always has a certain feeling of safety, even in a war zone.
It doesn’t take long to get to the edge of the cove, but waiting there is a sight distracting enough that she forgets all about the date aspect of the moment and instead darts forward to explore.
“Tide pools!” she cries in delight, turning around to find Chakotay smiling fondly at her.
“I should have figured that sea urchins and hermit crabs would be more fascinating to you than I am,” he says but his dimpled expression tells her he is pleased with her excitment.
Chakotay joins her and they disagree about the proper names for the creatures they find, until the tide begins to come in and they have to retreat to the safety of dry sand.
“What do you say we take a drive?” Chakotay suggests, as they trudge back up the stairs, “The Pacific Coast Highway is supposed to have beautiful views and knowing Tom I’m sure he programmed in some fun cars.”
“I’m driving,” she teases, knowing he will understand it is a dig at his shuttle record.
Back on the street, Kathryn spots a storefront labeled the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.
“Did you tell Tom who you were running this program with?” she laughing, pointing the name out to Chakotay.
“Of course not,” he shakes his head, “But I suppose that it’s a sign that it is here.”
Kathryn knows that the holographic caffeine isn’t real, but she still enjoys it, basking in the comfort of coffee and Chakotay and the leisure to enjoy both.
“You know, we can always run this program again,” she decides, relaxing into the warmth of the coffee and the sensation of Chakotay gently massaging her leg under the table, “Let’s save the drive for another time and see if we can’t find somewhere a little more private.”
The next couple clocks are commercial, but finally they reach a hotel, not the fanciest, but Kathryn couldn’t care less. It’s been a long week and they only have so much holotime. She doesn’t even care about losing and letting Chakotay pick the program again next week.
They barely get the door open to the room, before giving in to the urge to let their desires overwhelm them. Chakotay’s hands are everywhere and she’s pressing him against the wall and then suddenly he lifts her up and slows the pace down, kissing her leisurely and thorough and holding her close.
“Chakotay…” she groans, pulling at his clothes.
“Patience,” he tells her, setting her down on the bed and covering her body with his own, as he kisses her neck.
“No,” she tells him firmly, “Patience is for everywhere else. This is the one part of my week where I refuse to be patient.”
He doesn’t respond in words, but she’s halfway naked before she knows what’s happening and his mouth is doing things that could very well qualify it as a deadly weapon they are so pleasurable.
“I wanted to do this, then,” he murmurs, “I wanted to find somewhere quiet and spend hours getting to know each other’s bodies. I wanted to pleasure you until you couldn’t remember let alone care what century it was.”
He’s got her naked now.
“I almost gave in then,” she confesses with a moan, “I almost gave in an pulled you into some alleyway and-“
His mouth crushes against hers in a quick fierce kiss, before she continues working his clothes off.
“I felt that. I could have sworn you wanted me then, that you were thinking about it.”
His naked body presses against hers and she shudders in enjoyment and anticipation.
“I wanted you that first day,” she can’t hold back, “You were my enemy and I was an engaged woman, but I wanted you the moment I set eyes on you.”
“Spirits help me, Kathryn. I did too.”
She pulls him down into her, clutching him close and words are lost in a flurry of kisses and caresses and the impossibly good feeling of being joined together like this.
The sound of the wave crashing below echoes the frenzy of their movements, the wind seeming to pick up as their pleasure builds.