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Don’t make it into a big deal,” Kathryn avoids eye contact, making a beeline towards the mess hall exit.

“I is a big deal… to me,” Chakotay says with a sad resignation, “It doesn’t have to be to you, but the one thing you don’t get to decide is how I feel.”

“You don’t understand,” she sighs, impatiently stepping into the trubolift but leaving room for him to join her.

“Then why don’t you explain it to me,” he asks, “Last night you show up in my quarters and spend what was probably the best night of my life there with me and then I wake up alone and today you want to act like nothing happened.”

“Don’t you see, Chakotay. I can’t have this conversation with you. It can’t be this big deal… or it shouldn’t have happened at all… or it can’t happen again. I can’t tell you what you want to hear. I’m sorry. I thought you understood.”

“Why? Because you regret it? Because you don’t feel the same way?”

“Because there’s some boundaries we can’t cross and telling you what last night meant to me and how I feel about it is one of them.”

“Let me get this straight. You’ve decided you can act on it but you can’t discuss it?”

“Or the reverse, Chakotay. I suppose I should have asked you first which you’d rather have.”

“My answer is what it is always is, Kathryn: your needs come first.”

“I’ll see you tonight then, if you think you can keep from making it a big deal.”

“For you,” he smiled, “It can be as inconsequential as you need.”