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“Just look at it Chakotay. It’s mesmerizing.” Kathryn whispered in awe as she looked out at the city below her.

“It certainly is beautiful.” he responded as he gazed down at his captain. Kathryn caught him looking at her and a soft blush crept up her neck and onto her cheeks.

Kathryn looked back toward the bright lights dancing into the night and gathered her composure. Kathryn looked back at Chakotay and took hold of his hand, “Come on, let’s go explore.”

She led him down a mosaic stairway into the bustle of the square. Music, lights, and delicious smells emitted from various shops and restaurants. Still holding hands, Kathryn and Chakotay strolled down the street occasionally stopping to admire one thing or another, but they quietly focused on each other, enjoying the their time of no responsibilites.

Eventually they reached the end of the street and stopped to collect their bearings. Kathryn looked at the ground and sighed, “I guess we should probably head back.” She looked back up at the man whose hand gently engulfed hers. Their eyes locked onto one another. Kathryn’s heart skipped when Chakotay’s dimples sneaked their way onto his face.

He smiled down upon her, “We still have a little bit of time left before debriefings start. Unless you are getting tired of me…” He looked away attempting a hurt look, but failing as his smile widened.

Kathryn watched in amusement as he looked at the ground, hiding his smile. She thought about playing along, but their time together was too precious right now. She tugged on his arm, silently asking him to look at her, and when he does she leans forward to graze her lips lightly on his.   

He was momentarily caught off guard, but when he felt her start to lean back he let go of her hand to place his hands on her shoulders and plant a more solid kiss on her lips.

Kathryn was surprised by her actions, and his response delighted her. Emotion flowed through her entire body and she felt awakened with a new energy and purpose. She pulled back to look at his face. Her eyes searched his, trying to figure out what he was thinking. His cheeks were flushed as she was sure hers were and his breathing was slightly hitched.

Chakotay was at a loss for words. How does one respond to the fulfillment of a dream other than to take in the moment. He loved this woman with his entire being and his hope that they could share a life together as more than just crewmates, friends, or even partners ignited. He watched as the corners of her mouth twisted upwards, and his heart swelled. He pulled her to him and wrapped his arms around her, letting his feelings flow through the embrace.

She wrapped her arms around his torso, turned her head, and let her cheek rest on his chest. The love she felt from this man was everything she ever wanted during those seven long years in the Delta Quadrant.

Chakotay slowly released her and ran his hands down her arms to take hold of her hands. He gave her a playful smile and began to swing their arms back and forth, “So… does that mean you like me?”

Kathryn giggled and decided to join in on the fun, “That’s what the rumor is at the very least.” She looked down at their joined hands and then back up at his face. There was no doubt about this at all. This is how it was always meant to be.

Chakotay relinquished her hands and wrapped an arm around her shoulders as he guided her back down the street, back to the city. No matter what happens in the debriefings tomorrow, he knew that they would be okay. He learned early on that they were hard to beat together, but now he was certain that they would be unstoppable.