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Sitting on the bridge, Kathryn sighed. A long, drawn out, exasperated sigh. It had been a long seven years. But as she scrolled through her padd, she looked up at his face. Her first officer sat next to her in his usual spot. She looked at him closely. He looked tired, but for some reason, he looked happy. His hair was longer than she had seen before, but it looked handsome on him. She could at least admit that much to herself.

It had been so long since she had looked at Chakotay, really looked at him. She hadn't been able to look Chakotay in the eye since, well; it had been a long time. For once she let herself openly look at him, after all it was a quiet day on the bridge, just routine really. He looked intensely at the padd in front of him, and Kathryn allowed her eyes to wander over his face, eventually settling on his eyes. They were dancing, almost sparkling with life and energy, and she wondered if the rumors were true. She turned away from him and resumed reading her padd, thinking about what she had heard in the mess hall that morning.

It wasn't like she could blame him if was, she told herself. After all... It has been a long seven years and Seven-

"We can switch PADDs, if whatever is on there is making you make that expression." Her thoughts were interrupted by Chakotay's teasing offer and she shook them off and turned back towards him with a smile.

"It's nothing - just your evaluation. Let's say, it's less than satisfactory. " She teased back, trying to force herself to smile at him. He laughed. It had been a long time since she had heard him laugh around her. And she couldn't quite figure out where or when they had slipped into monotony and dullness and lost what they had together - whatever that might have been.

"Is it so bad that I can't persuade you to go over it with me over dinner tonight?" He grinned at her, that winning smile in full force.

"If you are sure you don't have plans." She quipped back tightly, resisting the urge to either make a snide comment or give in to the power of his charm.

"No plans that I can't adjust. For the sake of my unsatisfactory evaluation, I better have dinner with the captain." He smiled at her again and she couldn't decide if she was furious with him for being so glib with her on the bridge, or if she enjoyed his banter.

"I hope you are planning on cooking." She remarked, turning away from him slightly.

"Naturally." He replied, leaning in over the console conspiratorially, "And I happen to have a special bottle I've been saving for the right occasion."

"The occasion of trying to bribe your captain?" She teased, unable to resist their natural conversational rhythm. Why should she, she thought. After all, he was the one suggesting dinner which they had shared a hundred times before.

"I'd prefer to think of it as persuading."

"I don't know if the captain will be persuaded. It depends on what is in this special bottle." She grinned at him as she spoke. Truth be told, she hadn't wanted to smile at him, in fact she hadn't wanted to engage in any form of conversation with him. Not since she found out, by overhearing a conversation, that he was seeing Seven. But here she was, talking to him, nearly flirting with him, and that certainly wasn't her intention.

"You can't stand it can you? You're like a little kid." Those words. She wasn't sure if he had said them intentionally, but they hit her like a punch to the gut.

"Well apparently that's something you are into these days!" She snapped without meaning to, and instantly wished she could take it back. Chakotay seemed surprised and she wasn't sure whether he was surprised she knew, or surprised by her reaction. Either way she knew she was behaving badly.

She wanted to get away from the situation as fast as possible. "I"ll be in my ready room; you have the bridge commander." She was pretty sure she ran off the bridge, and she was also sure she looked furious when she left. She needed to her a hold of herself. She was letting her emotions get the better of her, and that was unacceptable.

She got less than five minutes alone. When the door chimed she knew it was Chakotay. She was tempted to send him away, but realized that would be slipping further down the path she was on: a path she wanted to get off as soon as possible.

"Come in." She sighed.

"Captain, have I done something to offend you?" He asked, once the doors slid shut, standing a safe distance from her with his hands laced behind his back.

"Offend me... no." She replied, doing her best to keep her tone even. "What would you have done to offend me?"

"If you don't mind me saying so, you seemed angry just now, and I'd like to know why."

"There's a lot of things we'd all like to know, commander." She replied, turning away from him to her screen and intentionally not using his name. She told herself that once the information had time to settle she'd be fine. Surely, it was just the surprise that was setting her off.

She stared intently at her screen, not really reading anything that was on it. Admittedly, she was fuming inside and she could not even concentrate on the words in front of her.

"Kathryn..." His use of her name startled her. It had been so long since anyone had used it, let alone him. She looked up and met his eyes. "Why don't you just tell me." He said, almost sounding hurt.

"The better question is why you didn't tell me." The words just slipped out. "After all this time I thought we were at least friends and now I had to hear about you and Seven, secondhand, from some gossiping ensigns!"

She pressed her lips together tightly, as if she could suck the words back in if she tried hard enough and watched the realization of what she was upset about dawn on his face

"Excuse me?" His eyes turned dark with what Kathryn suspected was anger. "We can talk about this over dinner. Which, is incidentally when I was going to tell you, Captain." His tone was curt and she knew he was certainly angry with her.

Rubbing her temples, Kathryn sighed. "Dismissed commander."

Her chest felt so tight she thought it would collapse. Kathryn realized she had been hoping he'd deny it, tell her it was idle gossip. Again, she knew she was being unfair and that, since she was without rank, Seven was logically the least problematic person he could have gotten involved with. She's also young and beautiful a bitter voice within her insisted on adding.

She realized she was shaking slightly. This is exactly why she could never have filled that role in Chakotay's life, she tried to remind herself. She was the captain and she couldn't afford to let her control or judgement be compromised by her feelings for anyone.

She stared at her screen for a good ten minutes more before she gave up and went back to the bridge. It was quiet. And she didn't know if it was just her, but she could feel the tension. It was palpable. All she could think was about what she was going to say at dinner. How was she supposed to react? She couldn't be unhappy for him could she? She had given up any right to any of his feelings years ago. She tried to tell herself that she was just hurt to be the last to know, or better yet, that she was feeling protective about Seven. After all, Seven was her protegee and inexperienced. Chakotay had her at a serious disadvantage. Maybe he didn't tell me because he suspected I would disapprove, she considered. It didn't make her feel any better, though.

She thought that maybe Seven sought his guidance, maybe that's how they connected. She couldn't actually recall an instance where they seemed to be friends, let alone have a strong enough connection to be lovers. Not that her connection with Chakotay was something to brag about these days. She had hardly seen him outside of their weekly dinners, on the weeks when they managed to have them. She felt a dull ache in her chest begin to well up. She wanted him to be happy, but she wasn't sure how she felt about him being happy without her.

She needed to stop thinking about this, and yet it seemed almost impossible. She picked up a discarded PADD and glanced over its contents without absorbing any of the information. She wanted to scream in frustration but, like always, that was not an option for the captain.

Her shift passed so slowly. She was quite beyond distracted, and thankfully, nothing happened, because she was certain she would have not been thinking clearly if it had. As she retreated to her quarters, she wanted nothing more than a soak in a nice, big bathtub. Too bad that wasn't an option. Chakotay would be here soon, and she would be forced to listen to him talk about his new girlfriend. She clenched her jaw in anger. Perhaps, she thought, I should skip the candles for dinner tonight.

She wanted more coffee, but she was already high strung enough; she wanted a strong drink, but she couldn't afford to compromise her inhibitions. It was too bad she didn't have time to go punch something on the holodeck. She needed to figure out how she was going to react. Were they having this conversation as captain and first officer or were they having it as Kathryn and Chakotay? She wasn't even sure of that.

Truth be told, it had been a while since they were Kathryn and Chakotay. Or it seemed like it. There had been moments, one in particular, after he told her some nonsense about the temporal prime directive and they had shared cider, that she thought they were back on track. Or at least back to who they were before. She could have sworn he flirted with her. She also could have sworn, after 2 bottles of cider, that she wanted to kiss him. But all that didn't matter now. She ran her hand through her hair, and waited impatiently for the door to chime.

When he finally showed up (on time but it felt like an eternity had passed), she could see the apprehension in his eyes. Why did he suggested this damn dinner if he didn't want to come, she complained to herself inwardly. She knew that was unfair. He was clearly trying to mend fences and after her earlier reaction she could understand why he might be anticipating this being unpleasant.

He produced a bottle from behind his back and she was thankful that he had brought alcohol. She certainly could use a large glass of it, especially before they started any form of talking.

She suspected in an attempt to break the tension, he spoke first. "Can I tempt you into sharing this with me?" He smiled at her, but she noticed the smile didn't quite reach his eyes.

"Let me grab some glasses." She smiled back, realizing her own smile must look forced.

She saw him look around and notice the lack of candles on the table.

"It didn't seem appropriate." She stated blankly.

"Well.. we couldn't have that." He snapped back quickly and harshly before he could remember his controlled smile. "Is that what this is then, a refresher on appropriateness, captain?"

The intentional use of her rank stung. She had to admit she didn't want to be Captain Janeway right now.

"Or, better yet, is it a refresher on protocol captain?" The way he looked at her made Kathryn feel like he had punched her in the gut.

"No commander." She tried to steel herself against his gaze. He was looking at her with a fire she had long thought was gone between them, and she felt stifled, like she couldn't breathe.

"What is this then?" He demanded. "Is this a captain dressing her first officer down for fraternizing with the crew? Is it about not being the first to know? Are you playing the protective mentor, protecting Seven's honor? Or is it..." He stopped suddenly, his passionate anger finally caught up to by his usual restraint.

"Or is it what, Chakotay?" She couldn't stop herself from asking, forgetting that they were hiding behind rank and letting his name slip from her mouth. The way he was looking at her made her hope he would spit it out.

"Or is it because you are jealous that I've got someone?" She wasn't expecting that answer. It hit her like a ton of bricks. She felt like she couldn't breathe.

"Jealous?" She scoffed at him. He took a step closer to her and then another.

"Yes, Kathryn. You heard me."

"What am I supposed to say?" She turned her face away from him. "Is that what you want to hear? That it drives me crazy to think about you and Seven together?"

"I want to hear the truth... whatever that is!" He grabbed hold of her shoulders and turned her back towards him.

His hands stayed on her shoulders as they stood face to face. She could hear her heart hammering in her ears. Their eyes stayed locked on each other's, and for a long moment they stared at each other. His hands loosened their grip on her shoulders and one inched upward, toward her cheek.

She couldn't tell him, she just couldn't, not now. Not until they were home, even if by then it was too late.

"I can't, Chakotay." Her voice was barely a whisper.

"You can't?" He demanded. "You can't tell me because it isn't true? Or you can't because-" He broke off and stormed away.

"You know why." She felt like she was choking.

"Actually, I don't. I guess I never will." He paced behind the couch, aggravated.

"I know I have no right." She managed. "If I ever had one, I've long since given it up."

"That's a cop out and you know it." He told her, crossing back towards her.

Kathryn could feel the tears threatening to escape her eyes as she swallowed painfully.

She clenched her jaw tightly. There was no way she would let the tears escape.

"I don't understand what you mean Chakotay." She tried to stave off the feelings threatening to overflow. "It's not a cop out. It's the truth. Didn't you want the truth?"

She watched as he smacked his hand against the wall in frustration.

"Damn it, Kathryn. For once, can't we just stop, can't you drop the pretenses, just for one evening? Hell, just for a few minutes?" He rubbed his hand and it occurred to her that smacking it open palmed against her wall had probably hurt.

"Do you love her?" She wasn't sure how she managed to get those four words out, but she did.

"What?" He looked flabbergasted.

"Do you love her?" Somehow it was easier to say the second time but it did nothing to alleviate the tightness in her chest. "It's a simple question."

"Why are you asking me, Kathryn? This morning you just found out I was dating Seven, and now you want to know if I love her? Why do you even care?" His eyes had hardened in anger, and Kathryn thought maybe she had pushed him too far.

"I just need to know, Chakotay."

"You have no right to even ask, captain." He shook his head in anger and walked hastily toward the door.

She couldn't let him leave, not like this. So, for the first time in a long time she reached out and touched his arm. He looked back at her like the contact had burned him.

"I wasn't asking as the captain." She hold him, holding the eye contact. "And I already admitted I have no right. You told me you wanted me to be honest, though."

" You won't tell me why you care but I am supposed to lay my feelings out on the table? So now you want to be honest... but only when it costs you nothing!"

Kathryn swallowed hard. "It costs me a great deal to even ask, and your answer might cost me even more."

"And here we are again, Kathryn." He shook his head and ran his hand through his hair, clearly exasperated with what she had said.

"I don't understand." She honestly didn't. She didn't know what he wanted from her. She couldn't ever give him more than she had right now. Not while they were still so far from home.

"You always circle around it, you never completely come clean with me Kathryn. There are days when I think I'm imagining things, that I've made the whole thing up, just because you won't admit to yourself, or anyone else what I know-or I think I know-you are feeling."

She was furious. How dare he presume to know what she was feeling. How dare he come in here, and say that to her. She felt her cheeks turn red. "Get out." She spat.

"No." His defiance infuriated her even more.

"Dismissed!" She almost shouted.

"You made it clear this was a personal conversation." He snapped back, reaching towards his collar and methodically removing his pips, tossing them violently across the room. "You wanted to have this conversation so we are having it and I am not leaving until we are both finished."

"You don't get to tell me what I do or don't feel!"

"If you don't want me theorizing then tell me!" He half demanded and half begged.

"By all means, theorize. Since you've already decided how I feel." Her voice dropped lower, and she turned away from him. She couldn't look at him. If she did, she knew her eyes would betray her.

"No, not this time Kathryn. I will not. You can at least tell me. After all this time, I think you owe me that."

"Owe you?" She realized she sounded shocked, and so she kept her back to him. "I don't owe you anything."

He made a long sigh, and she felt like the air had been sucked out of the room. A long moment passed before either of them spoke. He was the first to break the silence.

"Then" he said, sounding defeated, "Since you owe me nothing Kathryn, you just have to let me go. No more. I can't."

"Let you go... Who said I -" Kathryn knew what he was saying and part of her knew that he was right but she couldn't bring herself to do what he was asking.

"Cut the crap. I'm not asking for much, except for you to tell me this one thing: Tell me if you don't want me dating Seven, and do it as Kathryn, and not the captain."

"I am in no position to tell you who you-"

"No. I want an answer not an excuse."

"It's not an excuse, commander." She tried to reign in her feelings by using his rank but it wasn't working.

"Right now, I'm not the commander and you're not the captain." His hands were gesturing rather emphatically. "Just for five minutes, hell... five seconds, be Kathryn."

"I -" she looked at him, really looked at him. He looked so hurt. "I can't answer you Chakotay." It was better this way, she could cut the cord and he could run.

"You can, you just won't."

"Won't what? Tell you that I don't want you with any other woman on this ship, or anywhere else for that matter?"

"Is that an answer or a hypothetical?" She could see the hope creeping through the sadness and anger in his eyes as he looked at her.

"It wouldn't be fair of me to tell you that." She insisted. "What right do I have to keep you from finding happiness just because I-"

"I didn't ask you to be fair. I asked you to be honest." His voice was serious but had a reassuring undertone to its hard edge, an undertone that hadn't been there before.

She knew she should lie to him. She should tell him that he was wrong to think it. She should tell him some lies about her anger having nothing to do with feelings for him. She should let him go. She couldn't though. She may have perfected the art of lying by omission over the years, but she couldn't look Chakotay in the face and tell him she felt nothing.

"How can I ask you to give up the possibility of a life with someone else, when I can't-" She stopped short, realizing what she had been about to say.

He looked straight through her, or at least that's how Kathryn felt. His eyes were so focused on her that she felt like she wanted nothing more than to tell him, and run into his arms. Truth be told, fighting her feelings and moreover, concealing them, had exhausted her. She wanted to be honest with him, she just couldn't figure out how to be.

She stood frozen as he walked over to her. "Kathryn" he said her name with so much reverence and tenderness, she thought she was going to break. "What can't you do? Please, tell me."

“I can’t offer you anything. I can’t… not matter what I feel I can’t act-”

“The only action I am asking for is you telling me how you feel… just this once.” His whole face entreated her, and for a moment, she thought she could find the courage to tell him. She spoke before she could stop the words from coming out of her mouth.

"I can't imagine my life without you in it."

He put his hands on her upper arms, not exactly grabbing them but making gentle contact. "You told me something similar once before."

"And then I ignored your advice and you defied my orders." She felt a sad tired smile creep across her face. The memory of a time where she felt so much more sure of her place in his heart and he in hers was painful and reassuring at the same time.

"We got through it." He reminded her. "Just like we got through every other conflict that threatened to tear us apart."

"This isn't like fighting the Borg... It isn't a command disagreement."

"No. It's not." He agreed. "Which is why I'm going to ask you what I wanted to then but couldn't: Kathryn, is it your friend and first officer you can't imagine losing? Or is it..." He hesitated for a moment, clearly afraid of pushing too hard and having her throw up her walls again. "The man who once made up an ancient legend?"

Kathryn felt herself coming up with deflections, ways of responding which were evasions, and she felt a strong urge to hide behind rank. That was what had gotten them here, though.

"All three." She half whispered, almost convinced that she was imagining the words leaving her lips. "I can't stand the thought of losing any one of them."

Slowly, Chakotay raised one of his hands to the side of her face. "I don't love Seven, Kathryn."

She closed her eyes and relished in the gentle touch of his hand against her face. His thumb ran gently along her cheek and she felt herself exhale, letting out breath she didn't realize she was holding.

"You don't?" She whispered into his hand.

"No. You know that for a long time my heart has belonged to someone else. But, I just need to know how she feels about me." His hand slipped from her face and Kathryn felt bereft from the missing contact.

"She..." Kathryn paused, struggling to find the words "I, I don't want to lose you."

She heard him let out an exasperated breath. "Are you incapable of saying it Kathryn? Is that what it is?" He took her arms again.

"Say what? That I love you so much I can't breathe when I think about it?" The words had spilled out. She hadn't meant for it to happen, but it had. She searched his face for any sign, but for once, she couldn't tell what he was thinking.

It was like time stopped in that moment, while she waited for him to respond. It couldn't have been more than a few seconds but it seemed like forever. Just a moment ago she'd been sure that he still loved her, that he'd always loved her, and yet now she illogically worried that he was going to laugh in her face and tell her it was too little and too late.

"Do you have any idea how long I've wanted for you to tell me that, Kathryn?" He almost whispered.

"I thought you knew." She breathed.

"I hoped." He looked at her so intensely she felt as though she would catch on fire.

"I do, Chakotay." She said with a sob, unable to hold back either her words or her tears any longer. "I tried not to but I have never been able to stop loving you."

"Oh Kathryn" he moved his hands to her face and gently wiped away the tears running down her cheeks. "I hoped for so long, that one day you would tell me. There were so many times when I was certain you loved me, and so many others I was certain you hated me."

"I never hated you. I could never hate you." She covered his hands with hers, longing for some form of physical contact with him. "I tried so hard and for so long to stop loving you, but it never seemed to work." She looked up at him and saw a small smile tugging at his lips.

"You know, it would have been nice to know you had started to love me. Because then, I would have never let you stop." She turned her lips into his palm and placed a soft kiss against it.

"That's why I didn't." She admitted. "I was afraid..."

"That it would impact the ship?" He finished. "Did it ever occur to you that in all these years of loving each other without saying it we never had a problem, and that maybe just maybe-"

She suspected that she knew what he was about to say but she would never know because Kathryn lost the last of her control at that moment and grabbed hold of the back of Chakotay's head, dragging his face down towards hers and kissing him like she was drowning.

The force with which she grabbed him pushed their bodies close together, and she wound her arms around his neck. He kissed her back, quite forcefully and she felt that if she hadn't been holding on to his neck, she would have fallen backwards. His tongue thrust deep into her mouth and she lost all sense of time and place. Seven years of pent up passions seemed to be poured into this kiss. Before she knew it, he was moving her closer to a wall, and her back hit it, as his lips moved from her lips to her neck.

Her hands found their way up under his uniform jacket as she ground her hips hard against him, a moan escaping her lips. His mouth on her neck felt like it was setting her skin on fire. Her emotions had been all over the place today and right now it felt like somehow the switch had been flipped completely to desire and she needed to make up for all those years of passion. She yanked aggressively at his uniform, wanting to see the torso which felt so good against her hands.

He pulled her hands away from his body, and held them at her sides. His mouth continued to work on her neck, his kisses passionate, his tongue licking the skin he found exposed. She spread her legs slightly to allow him to step in between them and he ground his hips against her front, and she could feel his erection through her uniform. She wanted to touch him, needed to touch him, so she pushed her hands from under his grip and into his hair.

He used his newly unoccupied hands to run up her uniform and cup her breasts through the unforgiving material. She felt her whole body respond to his touch. She wanted his hands on her bare skin and everywhere.

She moaned, taking one of his hands in hers and guiding it up under her uniform.

He moved his hand along her breasts and he cupped them in his hands. His hands then moved to her shoulders and removed her jacket and he looked at her grey turtleneck like it was the most offensive piece of Clothing he'd ever seen. His hands tugged it up over her head and as soon as it was over her head and on the floor, he spoke. "You are truly the most beautiful woman, Kathryn."

"Chakotay..." She didn't know what to respond. She knew that she wasn't the most beautiful woman on board even. No, that title belonged to Seven- She cut herself off mentally, unwilling to think about Seven and how she was going to feel about all of this.

She crushed her mouth against his, kissing him hard with her tongue pressing against his lips to slip between them into his mouth. She clutched the front of his uniform hard, holding him against her. She worked his uniform jacket off, and as she moved to pull his grey undershirt over his head, he pulled her against him and kissed her hard. She knew her lips would be swollen tomorrow, but she didn't care. She needed to feel him against her, in every way possible. She pulled his shirt off and broke the kiss. She bit her bottom lip as she took in his body. He was so tan, and he looked so strong, and so perfectly masculine. Why he thought she was beautiful, she would never know.

He interrupted her thoughts by pulling her undershirt off and pressing her tight against him, only her bra interrupting the glorious skin to skin contact. They kissed deeply, tongues meeting one another. She could feel him hard against her and she reached down to undo his pants, wanting to be rid of all the barriers between them.

He pressed himself against her hands as she moved to undo his pants. She slid them off, marveling at how incredible he looked. She could stop the next confession that slipped from her mouth. "I can't believe I waited seven years to get a glimpse of your body." With those words, she felt him press her hard against the wall, his lips crashing right back down onto hers.

His hands reached around and unclasped her bra, sliding it off her body, his eyes raking over her newly exposed breasts. He bent down and placed kisses across them, before lowering further to press his tongue against her already stiff nipples. His hands reached down to work her pants open as he continued to lavish attention against each breast in turn.

She wound her hands into his hair, pulling on it slightly as he sucked on her nipples. His hands worked to free her from her pants, and soon, they were on the ground. His hand then moved over her panties, and she was certain he could feel how absolutely soaked she was for him.

"Gods Kathryn, you are so wet for me." He groaned into her chest, his body pressing even more onto hers, pushing her hard against the wall.

"Does that clear up any remaining questions you had?" She asked.

He responded by dropping down to his knees, holding her tight against the wall and sliding her panties down her legs, placing fervent kisses along her thighs before pulling them apart to bury his head between them. She threw her head back as she felt him place a long, slow lick all the way down her clit. It had been a long time since anything but her own hand had been between her thighs. Admittedly, she had fantasized about Chakotay too many times to count, and her particular favorite fantasy involved him licking her clit till her knees buckled from the intensity of the orgasms he gave her.

"I've been imagining doing this for so long." Chakotay murmured against her skin, placing a gentle kiss against her inner thigh before licking her clit again, only to move down and plunge his tongue inside of her. She realized her legs were already shaking.

He circled his tongue inside her and she moved her hands to his shoulders. She could feel her legs giving out. His tongue moved inside her quickly, driving her close to the edge. Just as Kathryn felt herself about to careen over the edge, he moved his tongue out of her and sucked on her clit, hard. Kathryn moaned, frusterated, but then he plunged his tongue back inside of her, swirling it inside of her and she felt herself tumble over, legs quivering and his name escaping her lips.

She pulled him up her body to kiss him, tasting herself on his lips, as she moved to divest him of the last of his clothing, both of them kicking away their pants and shoes.

Kathryn looked at the man before her, and watched him as he moved toward her, picking her up and carrying toward her bed. She wasn't one to be manhandled, but the way he scooped her up, with so much lust and desire in his eyes, Kathryn felt herself melt into his arms. He put her down on the bed, pulling her forward, and spread her legs. He moved his face between them again, and quickly licked her swollen clit.

Kathryn moaned, enjoying the feeling and the knowledge that yes he did want her. There was even a temptation to let him continue to set the pace and lie back and enjoy the results. There would be plenty of time for that though; they'd waited long enough, almost too long.

""Chakotay..." She breathed. "I don't want to wait anymore."

He looked up into her eyes from his position between her legs, and whatever he saw pleased him. He kissed his way up her body until he reached her lips. She felt his erection against her thigh and reached her hand down to readjust them so that he was lined up with her entrance.

He kissed her hard, and thrust his tongue into her mouth almost at the same time he thrust his cock into her. She cried out at the feeling of him inside her. He felt so incredible. He pulled her up off her back, pressing their chests together.

"You have no idea how long I've wanted this." He whispered into her ear as he thrust into her, hard.

"I can't believe we waited this long!" She moaned, arching up into him, as her hands gripped his shoulders.

His mouth found hers again, adding to the already overwhelming contact of their upper bodies and the feeling of him deep inside of her. How many times had she woken up from a dream like this, sweaty and needy, alone in her bed? She’d had more dreams of this than she cared to admit. But her dreams didn't do the actual thing any justice. The feeling of him inside her, his body against hers was better than she ever imagined it could be. Though, she had assumed he would be a magnificent lover, and so far, she was correct.

She held on to him tight, as every thrust brought new waves of pleasure. Their lips found each other again, and Kathryn moaned into his mouth. She couldn't believe she'd almost let this go, let him go. His hands moved to her breasts and his palms rubbed her nipples to a peak. He then trailed his hands with his lips and took one of her nipples in his mouth. He teased it with his tongue and she felt a fresh jolt of arousal shoot between her legs. He was just as good with that mouth as she thought he would be.

She pressed up into his touch, enjoying every bit of him and it. She wanted to close her eyes and focus on the sensation, but she didn't want to stop looking at him. She wanted to be reminded that it was really Chakotay and not her imagination. She reached up to his face and ran her fingers over the tattoo that accented his face so handsomely. She had always wanted to run her fingers over it. She felt him pull her flush against his body and kiss her, his tongue thrusting into her mouth. He moaned her name into her mouth.

He rolled them both over, pulling her on top of him, and Kathryn was glad for the opportunity to be the one setting the pace as she circled her hips, grinding down hard onto him. She leaned back, and as she did, his hand moved to her clit and he rubbed his thumb against it. She was already incredibly stimulated, and his hand running along her nub elicited a loud groan from her. She ground herself down on him harder, grabbing onto his biceps as she continued to ride him.

The way he was looking at her was so intense and she realized that all these years he'd been muffling the force of his stare when he looked at her. For all the times she'd caught him gazing, he'd never been completely unguarded. Neither had she, of course. Some part of her relaxed that she didn't even notice had been tensing and she pressed against him harder, impelled to let the full weight of her desire free.

She was partially glad he had never looked at her like this on the bridge, but she had seen that look once. On New Earth, when she had called to him after spotting the monkey in the woods. The way he stared at her, while she was only in her towel had nearly set her on fire. She could have, and in retrospective probably should’ve, fucked him in her bathtub, right then and there.

Her speed increased as she rode him with a neediness she had forgotten she'd possessed.

"Easy Kathryn..." He murmured, trying to steady her with his hands against her hips.

"No." She responded, grabbing his hands and guiding them up over his head, her fingers lacing with his as she braced herself with them. She knew he could have resisted her, but he didn't. She kissed him hard, their bodies rubbing against each other with each thrust and he moaned something into her mouth. She didn't want to slow down or let up. She didn't want to hold back anything. She felt him grip her hand tightly, and she leaned down, kissing him hard. She ground her hips onto him and enjoyed the feeling of every thrust. She refused to let up, it had been so long, and it had been so many nights that she fantasized about him. Leaning forward she kissed him again, his name slipping from her mouth.

She felt herself getting close, each thrust bringing her ever nearer to release. She let go of his hands and he moved them to her rib-cage and the sides of her breasts as he continued to kiss her, her hands winding into his hair. Mine. She thought, angling her hips up, and felt her climax overtake her.

As she clenched tightly around him, he sat up, putting her on her back. He leaned over her, looking deep into her eyes, kissing his way from her lips, to her neck and to her breasts. She was overwhelmed by the sensation of him on top of her. She loved the feeling of his weight on top of her body.

"I love you, Kathryn." He told her as he pushed deep inside of her, drawing a delighted moan from her. "I love you. I'm not going to take this back or let you take it back."

His thrusts were a mix of control and desperation, as he clearly wanted to hold on to this moment but was nearly overcome by his desire.

"I love you, Chakotay." She drew out his name, as he drew more pleasure out of her. His thrusts became more erratic and she felt him grab onto her tightly as he spilled inside her. "I never want to take it back." She told him as he collapsed on top of her, careful not to crush her.

She held his face in her hands and kissed him softly. She loved him so much and she couldn't believe she'd thought she could ever let him go.

"I'm glad you didn't go." She told him.

"I'm more than glad Kathryn. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love you." He pulled her close to him and she rested her head against his chest. She listened to his steady heartbeat and she couldn't recall a time when she felt more at ease, or more comfortable. For now, everything else could wait.