He woke when something nudged him in his side.
His head was pounding, and he realised that he lay face down, and completely spread-eagled on a bed that wasn’t his own.
“Oh God,” came a groan, and whoever had rolled into him promptly rolled away again.
He gingerly lifted his head and turned it to the other side.
She was lying on her back, in full dress uniform, her hair in complete disarray.
Despite his pounding headache, he couldn’t help but chuckle.
She turned her face towards him, brushed the hair away so she could see, and looked at him through half-closed eyes. Then she grinned, too.
“Commander, what the hell happened here?” she croaked, and he let himself fall face first into the mattress again.
“You got wasted, Captain,” he said, having to bite the inside of his cheek.
“Oh, please don’t suppress your laughter on my behalf, but if I wasn’t feeling like death, I’d throw something at you.”
He full-out snorted.
“Shut up, Chakotay.”
“I’m sorry, Kathryn, but you have to admit, it’s a bit funny.”
“I’m glad one of us is enjoying themselves,” she whispered, blindly fumbled for a pillow, and put it over her face.
He turned his head again to look at her.
Just when he thought she’d gone back to sleep she grabbed the pillow and threw it on the floor.
“Commander, damage report.”
He shifted so he, too, was lying on his back. “Okay, let’s see,” he said and cleared his throat. “We were having a lovely time planetside, we ate the food, we mingled, we laughed, we danced, and then we made the fatal error of accepting a nightcap.”
“Fatal sounds about right,” she whispered and rubbed her temples.
“I only had a few sips, but you drank the whole thing, and I’m afraid to say you were legless, Captain, so I had them beam us straight to your quarters.”
“And then what happened to you?”
“I decided to stick around in case someone needed to hold your hair back.”
“How gallant of you.”
“Truth is, Captain, I must have passed out when I put you to bed.”
She covered her face with her hands. “What was in those drinks?”
“I’ll have Tuvok beam down to enquire before we leave orbit,” he mumbled and wondered if she knew he was only joking.
“Will you get my phaser from the top drawer and shoot me? I’ll record a statement to make it clear it was a mercy killing and not a mutiny.”
“Maybe you should get some more sleep.”
“No, everything’s spinning. I need a shower. With hot water.”
“Or that. I’ll go. Just give me a minute,” he mumbled, turned away from her again, and buried his face into her sheets.
“It’s alright, Chakotay, you’re welcome to stay,” she said and looked around. “All this takes me back to my first week at the Academy. I thought I’d learned my lesson then, but apparently not.”
He felt her get off the bed, heard her take off her uniform.
He wondered briefly why she was so blatantly unbothered by his presence, but he figured she was simply too hung-over to care.
He heard the shower being switched on, and thoughts of her, all naked and wet and hot made him smile, and he must have dozed off again, because the next thing he remembered was the bed dipping again slightly where she sat down, and her smelling delicious.
She was wearing nothing but a top and underpants, and water was dripping from her still-wet hair.
“I’ll go to sickbay and get you a hypospray,” he said and sat up, too. “Let me just splash some water on my face.”
“Feel free to have a hot shower,” she said quietly. “My rations. As a repayment for rescuing me.”
“It is my job,” he said. “But thank you, I won’t say no.” And before he had really thought about it, he found himself under the hot spray.
When he was done, he put his dress uniform minus the jacket back on, and walking back into her bedroom, he found her curled up on the side of the bed she’d slept on.
“Kathryn,” he said and sat. “Anything else apart from a hypospray you want me to bring you?”
She looked up at him.
“Don’t go to sickbay. I hate to waste ship resources on something so stupid.”
“We don’t have to tell anyone.”
“No, I’ll get over it, thank you, Chakotay.”
He nodded and regarded her face.
“A hangover suits you, Captain,” he said.
“If you’re using my rank to make fun of me, it’s not appreciated, Commander,” she said, then groaned and rolled away from him to lie on the middle of the bed, face down.
“I’ll get you an old Earth hangover remedy from the replicator.”
“I actually think I’m still drunk, Commander,” she mumbled, and he laughed.
He walked to the replicator and ordered a glass of tomato juice. He’d never tried it himself, and he had to admit, the smell was positively revolting, but he was determined to make her drink it anyway.
She’d turned over again and was looking at him as he entered the room.
“What did you mean when you said you thought you’d learned this lesson?” He asked.
She smiled and squinted up at him.
“At the Academy, did you have welcome drinks with Admiral Hawkins?”
He laughed out loud. “Oh, yes. ‘Enjoy yourselves, Cadets, eat, drink, and be merry, but remember that everyone who doesn’t show up at class tomorrow will no longer have a place at the Academy.’ Luckily I’ve never been a very big drinker.”
“That was the first time I got really drunk,” she admitted. “And I mean, really drunk, Chakotay. I woke up in a bed with three others in my friend Neyla’s quarters twenty minutes before class, feeling like death.”
“Three others, hey?” he asked.
“Oh, shut up, you know that’s not what I meant.”
“I made myself throw up during every break, but for some reason it didn’t make me feel any better. I think I must have poisoned myself. That was the worst day of my life.”
“I thought the worst day of your life was when we got stranded here,” he enquired and put the glass down on her bedside table.
“The day I met you?” she asked and looked at him.
“Here,” he said, ignoring her comment. “Drink this.”
She propped her head up and reached for the glass.
“What is it?”
“Tomato juice,” he said. “It’s rich in antioxidants. It’ll help.”
She took a sip.
“Dear God. That’s disgusting. You sure this is from Earth?”
“I’ll have half. You can have the rest.”
“Always the negotiator,” he said, but took the glass from her and obliged. “It tastes like cold soup, actually.”
“Who told you about this concoction?”
“Hand me my phaser, Commander.”
He laughed, and she plopped back down and stared at the ceiling.
He looked at her face, so he didn’t end up looking at the rest of her, but still, his breath hitched. Maybe it was the alcohol, maybe the hot shower, but her cheeks were flushed, and she had never looked more beautiful than right in this moment.
And she didn’t have a clue.
“I should go,” he said.
“Yeah,” she whispered. “What’s the time?”
“It’s only o-three hundred. You’ve got hours before we’re due on the bridge. Maybe try to get some more sleep, Captain?”
“Did I make a fool of myself?” she asked.
He smiled and shook his head. “No, you were dignified until you passed out on me. And the crew had already left.”
“I honestly don’t remember getting back to the ship.”
“I had to help, but since we’d been all over each other all evening, I don’t think they thought anything of it.”
“I wasn’t all over you,” she said. “It was my duty as Captain to save you from the vulgar advances of the ambassador’s wife.”
He laughed. “She was only being friendly.”
“Chakotay, you’re so oblivious sometimes it’s infuriating. She looked at you like you were dessert.”
“She wasn’t my type.”
“She was exactly your type.”
“Oh yes? And how would you know about that?”
He watched her choose the right answer in her head, and there were a million emotions rushing across her face at once.
“Because I am not oblivious,” was what she settled on.
“I see,” he said and didn’t let go of her eyes, which seemed to fluster her, and he watched her cheeks reddened again. “Well, thank you, Captain, for saving me from myself,” he whispered.
He made her suffer a moment longer, and in the end, it was she who broke their gaze.
“Do you remember when hangovers lasted merely hours, or maybe a day?” she asked, looking at the ceiling.
“As I said, I was never a big drinker, but yes, these things don’t exactly get easier with age.”
“I never usually drink during official engagements. I should have known better than to try that stuff. Thank you for rescuing me.”
“Anytime, Captain,” he said.
“My head is killing me.”
“Do you feel sick?”
“No, I don’t. Surprisingly. Maybe I really am still drunk.”
“At least you’re not the one doing the driving,” he smiled, then held up three fingers.
“How many fingers?”
“Oh, stop it,” she said and reached up to grab his hand.
They had a small scramble, and their hands ended up entwined, and she smiled up at him, happy and unguarded. “And why aren’t you feeling like death?”
“Because there’s a lot more of me than there is of you, and as I said, I only had a sip.”
She put her free hand over her eyes and groaned. “I’m never drinking again,” she said dramatically, and rolled herself onto the other side, not letting go of his hand, and therefore, taking him with her. The angle was awkward, and he had the options of getting out of her grip or lying down behind her. She’d closed her eyes again, and so he made a quick decision and got back onto the bed. “You should have dried your hair,” he whispered into it.
She didn’t reply but brought their joined hands to her mouth and kissed his fingertips.
“And you shouldn’t do that,” he added.
“I know,” she said, but did it again.
“Kathryn,” he whispered, “I’m never sure anymore if you tease me because you know I’d never overstep that line, or if you tease me because you need me to.”
She let go of his hand then, but surprised him when she turned over, so they were almost nose to nose.
“I’m not sure anymore either,” she admitted, and he could see in her face that this admission didn’t come lightly.
And maybe the effects of the alcohol were making her feel raw and fragile, but she looked almost miserable saying it.
“What do you want, Kathryn?” he asked.
“I want,” she started and took a deep breath. “I want for this headache to go away, and I want to be able to relax for five goddamn minutes, and I want to get this damn ship home, and I want to be able to tell women like the ambassador’s wife where to stick it without having to have an existential crisis about why I feel that way.”
He felt warmth spread from his belly all through is body, making his skin tingle all over. He felt a smile tug at his lips, but he wouldn’t allow it just yet.
“I see,” he said and brushed wet hair out of her face.
“I’m not that oblivious.”
“You’re pretty oblivious.”
“Kathryn,” he said softly, tracing her lip with his thumb. She closed her eyes and inhaled sharply. “All you have to do is ask.”
“But how can I ask if I don’t even know what exactly I’m asking for?”
He took her small hand in his and held them over her heartspace.
“I want to know what’s in here.”
“I love you,” she stated, like a truth that was as undeniable as gravity.
For a moment everything stilled, and he heard and felt nothing at all, not even his own heartbeat, and all he could see were her deep blue eyes, and just when he was sure he was drowning in them, he took a deep breath and pulled her, in one swift motion, to lie completely on top of him.
He wrapped his arms around her and just held her. Pulled her forever closer. Slid his hands under her top so he could feel the naked skin on her back.
He felt her press her warm lips against his throat, and her heartbeat against his chest.
Bliss, he thought.
Complete and utter bliss.
“You aren’t going to say anything, are you?” she enquired after a while.
He chuckled. “I’m waiting for you to apologize and walk away,” he mumbled into her hair.
“But I won’t want to let you go again.”
“You won’t have to.”
“I’d better cancel breakfast with the ambassador’s wife then,” he said, and she pushed herself up and looked at him.
Saw the grin that was tugging at the corners of his mouth.
Slapped his arm.
“I spurt out that I love you and you joke?”
She slapped him again and he laughed out loud and rolled them over so that he was on top of her.
He looked into her eyes.
Traced her mouth with his index finger.
Licked the dip of her collarbone.
He looked at her again.
“What?” she whispered.
“I need to know what you want to do about your statement.”
“I want to do you,” she said, and as if she was embarrassed about her own courage to just come out with it, her whole body blushed, which made his chest ache and his cock twitch. She watched him carefully and continued: “And I want you to do me. And then I want us to do it again. And again. And maybe again, and then tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.”
“We’re here as equals.” It wasn’t a question.
“Yes. We’ll always be equals when we’re like this.”
“You are not going to go back on this tomorrow?”
“Or when your headache is gone.”
“And in a moment, when I touch you all over, with my hands and my mouth, you’ll tell me what you like?”
She blushed scarlet and he groaned.
“Get the hell naked,” he said and tore at her top, lifted it over her head and threw it to the floor. She shimmied out of her underwear, and he shed what little he was wearing of his uniform in no time.
He lay down again, covering her little body with his, and when he noticed his hands were shaking, he didn’t know if it was from lust or sheer terror.
“Kiss me,” she whispered, and he realised she’d been watching him.
He licked at her lips, felt her warm breath against his mouth, and heard her moan softly. Then he went in open mouthed and completely.
Her skin was soft as anything, and he felt dizzy with want.
His desire for her had been like a steady pulse that accompanied his every heartbeat for so long, but to find her now, so unexpectedly, in his arms, ignited a passion he hadn’t expected. Pandora’s box, he thought. Everything he’s ever wanted to have, and know, and learn about was his to explore, and it was almost too much.
He broke their kiss only to lick her nipple, take it into his mouth, and suck gently.
“I want to taste you,” he whispered, and glanced up at her. She looked at him with a mixture of embarrassment and acute arousal, and he thanked the spirits he never knew she would be like this, because he would have died of longing years ago.
He kissed his way down her body, stuck his tongue into her belly button, which made her chuckle, then he traced it with his fingertips and tried to remember its details. This is mine, he thought, all of this is now mine. To cherish every day.
“Kathryn,” he whispered, and swallowed a lump in his throat.
He continued his gentle exploration down her body, and when he reached his destination, he felt her shiver all over. She let out a soft moan and spread her legs wider for him.
He licked at her once, just to get a first taste.
She was soaking wet already and smelled divine.
He covered her with his mouth and sucked.
“Oh God,” she whimpered, but pushed up into his face.
He grabbed her by her hips to hold her in place.
Pressed his tongue down on her.
“Oh God, that feels so good,” she said, and he saw her gripping the sheet.
He felt adrenalin rush through is system, blurring his vision.
Get a grip, Chakotay, you’ve done this before, he tried to remind himself.
Yes, but never with her.
The prime object of your desires, the protagonist in your deepest and darkest phantasies.
He pushed two fingers inside her, felt her inner muscles tense, flutter around him, then relax and pull him deeper.
She groaned and stretched, and he looked up at her.
“Are you enjoying this?” he asked.
“No, I’m losing my mind,” she whispered back, flushed, and breathless. “I didn’t know this could feel so good. Oh God, please, you have to make me come, I can’t take much more.”
He chuckled against her and licked gently, gently.
“Oh God, I think I’m going to pass out. God!” she complained and grabbed the sheet tighter, but he wasn’t having it. Not just yet.
He was going to give her an orgasm to remember, and so he continued his tender approach for just a while longer.
“Please, Chakotay, please,” she begged. “Harder, don’t stop.”
She became more fidgety, her body now desperate for release, and he eased his grip and allowed her to thrust against him the way she needed to.
He sucked her harder, and suddenly she stilled, and he felt her coming inside and out.
She grabbed his head and pulled him closer, all the while muttering a string of obscenities. Then she lay there, completely spent.
He moved up next to her, lay half on top of her and traced her lips with the fingers he’s had inside her. She licked them, and then pulled him into a deep kiss.
“Happy?” he asked quietly.
“Fucking hell, Chakotay,” she whispered hoarsely, and then laughed. “I thought I’d died for a moment then. The things you can do with your mouth. My God.”
“I’m glad to be of service,” he said, and yes, he was utterly pleased with himself, and maybe he would have said something, but the next thing he knew was her hand on his cock, and all blood left his brain.
She stroked him steadily up and down, and he couldn’t look at her and closed his eyes.
“Do you like this?” she asked.
“What else would you like? What do you want?”
“I,” he said and took a deep breath. “I want to be inside you. I’ve dreamed of being inside you for so long. I’ve wondered what it would feel like. What you would feel like. All around me. Hot. Wet. Tight.”
He kissed her.
She moaned deep in her throat.
Then she shifted and pulled him to lie on top of her.
Spread her legs, took his cock in one hand, and guided him inside her.
He shook with anticipation and had to steady himself to go slow, and not to push into her in a brainless craze.
He could see in her face that she was uncomfortable at first, and when she caught him scrutinising her, her deep concentration changed to amusement.
“It’s like the very first time all over again,” she whispered and stroked his face.
“I hope not,” he said. “Unless your first time was mind blowing.”
She laughed. “Not quite. Nothing to write home about, actually. Not an orgasm in sight.”
She blushed slightly, which made her eyes sparkle even brighter, and he kissed her.
“We definitely couldn’t have that,” he whispered and started moving inside her.
“Oh God,” she said and bit her lip. “No, apparently we cannot. Oh my God, are you going to make me come again?”
“You tell me.”
“Oh God, just, God, keep doing that. Oh God. Oh. God.”
He fucked her gently, changed their position a couple of times to see which way she preferred, his arousal so intense he had to remember to breathe.
He felt her coming a split second before she announced it to him, and he let go with a deep groan and pounded into her until he exploded inside her, with his face buried in her neck.
“Spirits,” was all he managed to say as he caught his breath and closed his eyes.
“Chakotay,” she whispered, and he felt her shift before she kissed his mouth.
He smiled. “Hm?”
“Are you falling asleep on me?”
“My headache is gone,” she said, kissed him again, and he could feel her smile against his lips.
He opened his eyes and looked into hers.
“You’re welcome,” he said.
“I love you.”
“I love you.”
“I love you,” she said again.
“I love you,” he replied, and happiness bubbled up in him like a volcano, and he grabbed her and hugged her, and held her and kissed her and laughed.
Her breathing was slowing down and becoming deeper, and he positioned them so he was spooning her. He snuggled into her and was just about to close his eyes and surrender to sleep himself, when a thought came to him.
“Computer,” he said. “Set a reminder for the first officer send flowers to the Ambassador’s wife.”
“Computer, belay that order,” came her sleepy command. “Set a reminder for the captain to send flowers to the Ambassador’s wife.”
“And I don’t want to hear another word about that woman. Ever.”
“Yes, Captain. I mean, darling.”
“Baby?” she said and giggled. “How old are we? Fifteen?”
“You’re the love of my life, you know that, right?” she asked.
“And you’re mine,” he said and kissed her just behind the ear. “Baby.”
She laughed then, and he couldn’t decide what was better, making her come or making her laugh.
Luckily, he’d have the rest of his life to work it out.