A Better Way Home aka Well Timed Mistakes… the Prequel

Summary:This is a prequel to my Well Timed Mistakes story. It probably helps to have read that first, but it is not essential. It can be found on this site somewhere. It is the beginning of the journey home, all is in turmoil, including Kathryn and Chakotay’s hearts. Thank you to those people who requested the back story.

Rated NC17

 

 

Disclaimer: CBS/Paramount owns everything. No infringement intended.

 

 


 

Kathryn paced the corridor outside sickbay. Up and down, up and down. She knew she should go in but couldn’t bring herself to step over the threshold. There was nothing she hated more than indecisiveness but here she was taking one step towards the doors and then changing her mind and taking one step back, like some sort of faltering dance.

 

What a ridiculous quandary to be in? ‘Quandary?’ Kathryn snorted to herself. It was a positive nightmare. She really wasn’t sure how she was going to handle this or what his reaction was going to be, but there was no ignoring it. It had happened. Right there on the bridge when he, Tuvok and one of his crewmen had beamed over from the Maquis ship. Bam! Like a bolt of lightening. She never would have believed it if it hadn’t happened to her.

 

Love at first sight.

 

He’d been angry when he’d first materialised on the bridge and, armed with a phaser pointed right at her, their eyes had met. His aim had been true. His look shot right to her heart.

 

When Tuvok had introduced himself as her Chief of Security and their deception had been revealed, she could see Chakotay’s outrage surge to the surface, only barely contained. Tom Paris’s appearance had only made matters worse and reading Chakotay’s body language accurately, she’d predicted that he was about to lunge at the young man. To stop him, she’d stood in front of him, their bodies almost touching as she’d placed her hand on his chest to hold him at bay. She’d told him in no uncertain terms to ‘back off’ but she’d barely been cognizant of the words she’d spoken. Her blood was pounding so loudly in her ears and her heart was galloping so wildly in her chest that they’d drowned out the sound of her voice.

 

The strange sensation in her belly had done nothing to reassure her either. She’d recognised the feeling immediately and as much as she tried to ignore it, it wouldn’t go away. He’d taken a few steps away from her, but the connection was still strong and she’d felt his gaze drilling into her from across the command deck. Her eyes had flicked towards him. His look was wary but heated and it had made her mouth go dry.

 

She’d had to put all these awkward feelings aside. There was work to be done. They had to find out where Kim and Torres were, and then find a way to get back to the Alpha Quadrant. She’d suggested that they work together and had paired herself with him. Managing to justify it to herself with the convincing internal argument that she needed to keep an eye on him, but deep down she knew exactly why she’d partnered herself with him. It was simple – she wanted to be near him. She shook her head at the pathetic adolescent yearnings.

 

They’d beamed over to the array to see if they could find Kim and Torres. She’d been intensely aware of his proximity, not to mention the fact that he kept touching her – a helpful hand on the middle of her back, gentle but firm fingers on her elbow to guide her. It all seemed innocent enough, but with each touch a heated jolt shot through her and she’d known he was aware.

 

She’d been horrified to find herself aroused by his constant touches and seemingly unable to do anything about it. But she was not the only one. One look into his eyes revealed a yearning and a heat that he was obviously having trouble controlling.

 

She shook her head at the insanity of it all.

 

Their mission to rescue Ensign Kim and B’Elanna Torres from the Ocampan home world had been a harrowing experience and they’d only just managed to survive, after dealing with the Kazon, and the dying Caretaker.

 

She’d been so relieved to see Paris drag Chakotay from the tunnel to the surface of the planet. From there they’d been beamed directly to sickbay….

 

And now, here she was – pacing up and down the corridor outside sickbay, doing her bizarre door dance.

 

Priding herself in her ability to tackle problems and dilemmas head on, she gritted her teeth and turned determinedly towards the sickbay doors. It was how she’d learned to deal with issues, and this was no different. So, taking a deep breath, she stepped forward and triggered the doors, striding through the opening and straight up to his biobed.

 

She nodded towards him and patted his shoulder. It took a good deal of self control to pull her hand away. She curled it into a fist and shoved it behind her back, but it didn’t stop her eyes from caressing him. He returned her look and she felt the blush rising up her neck and staining her cheeks. She couldn’t believe it. How on earth had this happened? It was crazy.

They’d almost been killed on the Ocampan planet, they were still in deep trouble, and all she could think was, thank God he was all right.

 

This was all so wrong.

 

Voyager and the Liberty were now on the way back to the Array to try and find a way home. Chakotay was having his leg mended by the officious and personality challenged EMH and Kathryn was trying to convince herself that she was just paying a courtesy visit, one captain to another. But they both knew better. It was written all over their faces and she couldn’t stop her hand from hovering and then stroking gently down his arm.

 

“How are you feeling, Chakotay?”

 

He smiled. “I’m, ah… almost fixed. The Doctor has one more treatment to go and then I’ll be ready to go back to my ship.”

 

Kathryn nodded, but her gut clenched at the idea of him leaving. Again she chastised herself and tried to look away. Her eyes kept being drawn back to his and she frowned.

 

 

 

Chakotay watched as she pursed her lips and frowned. He knew exactly how she felt. The feelings were almost overpowering. How could this have possibly happened? It was laughable. She was his enemy first and foremost not to mention the person who had been sent to capture him, but all he could see were two blue eyes that seared right into his very soul. And her feelings were written plainly on her face. They were both floundering – caught in a situation that neither of them could control nor comprehend. The Doctor cleared his throat and looked down at their hands. Kathryn snatched hers away, not realising that she’d been standing there with her fingers entwined in the Maquis captain’s.

 

Her voice snapped like a whip. “When will he be ready to leave, Doctor?”

 

The Doctor raised his brow, but didn’t comment at her tone, answering in his pompous drone. “Captain Chakotay is almost healed. I have repaired his broken leg and other abrasions, but I would appreciate it you would try and convince him to stay here for another hour while the final layers of callus and bone are laid down. I cannot guarantee how well the bone will hold if he leaves too soon.” He waved the osteo-regenerator over Chakotay’s leg as Tom Paris entered and after nodding towards her, he moved to the biobed where Harry was resting.

 

Kes was also there and Kathryn noticed the young Ocampan studying her and Chakotay. Kathryn met her eyes and Kes smiled. Kathryn had a feeling that the little pixie faced alien knew exactly what was happening between her and the Maquis captain.

 

Kathryn stepped away from the biobed as she was paged from the bridge. It was Rollins informing her that two Kazon vessels were approaching the array. There was no time for this emotional navel gazing now, she headed for the bridge and Chakotay and B’Elanna, and the rest of the able crew followed.

The Doctor could be heard pleading for everyone to stay where they were, but to no avail.

 

Chakotay and Kathryn’s eyes met at the turbo lift and he gave her a brief nod as he headed towards the transporter room. He had to get back to his ship and she didn’t know if she would see him again. Her heart ached but there was no time to indulge those feelings now.

 

Over the next few hours they engaged the Kazon in battle. While she and Tuvok returned to the array to try and convince the dying Caretaker to return them to the Alpha Quadrant, Voyager and the Liberty fought side by side against this new Delta Quadrant enemy. Chakotay’s ship was lost. In a courageous move he sacrificed it to save Voyager by ramming the lead Kazon vessel. He was beamed out of the exploding vessel with barely seconds to spare.

 

Kathryn and Tuvok tried to convince the Caretaker to send them home, but he was too weak and Kathryn was forced to make a decision that would irrevocably change all of their lives. After the Caretaker died she and Tuvok beamed back to Voyager and destroyed the array.

 

She’d saved the Ocampa from the vicious Kazon, but in doing so, she’d stranded Voyager, its crew and the Maquis in the Delta Quadrant, over 70,000 light years from home.

 

Their battered ship and crew had limped away from the remnants of the array knowing that they’d made an enemy of the Kazon and had a lifetime of travel ahead of them.

 

And so at the end of the day, here they were – a mixed crew of Starfleet and Maquis, stranded seventy five years from the Alpha Quadrant with the Borg and God knew how many other unknown perils, between them and home.

 

Kathryn heaved a sigh and looked towards her replicator. She wished she could have a cup of coffee, but they were on strict rationing, the bulk of their energy was being routed to Engineering to maintain shields and replicate spare parts for repairs. She ordered a glass of water and stood by the viewport in her quarters and looked out at the unfamiliar stars. Tears began to well, but she swallowed them and turned her back on the disturbing view.

She couldn’t stay in here. The walls were closing in around her, so dumping her glass into the recycler she left her quarters and strode up the corridor. A tour of the ship was what she needed to clear her head. It would also give her an opportunity to see how her crew were dealing with the reality of their situation and get a feel for their state of mind.

 

She found herself giving captainly smiles to crewmen as she walked past them. They would smile in return, but she could see the shock and despair behind the forced platitudes. Everyone was devastated. Families had been torn apart. Fathers and mothers torn from children, husbands and wives from partners, sons and daughters from parents, it was a catastrophe on a grand scale and she was only now truly grasping the monumental task ahead of her. It was almost overwhelming and with that thought she staggered slightly, her legs almost going from under her. She had to lean up against the bulkhead on the observation deck to stop herself from falling.

 

Keeping herself steady by holding onto the window ledge she stared into the darkness. Her eyes closed as she tried to gather herself, his face appearing in her mind’s eye. She trembled. She shouldn’t be thinking of him now. But his face brought with it a sense of peace and calm. Something that she was in dire need of, at the moment.

When her legs were steady again, she pulled her shoulders back and marched off to check on the bridge and engineering.

 

It wasn’t just their isolation that was a problem, there were other concerns as well. She needed to deal with the Maquis crew. She wasn’t sure what they wanted to do, but the truth was, she needed them. She had only the barest minimum of crew and she hoped they could be persuaded to join with her Starfleet crew and together they could find their way home. It was a gamble. There was much animosity and very little love lost between the crews, but under these circumstances she hoped that their Alpha Quadrant acrimony could be put aside for the benefit of all.

 

The bridge was in order. Tuvok had everything under control. It was at times like these that she wished she was blessed with some of that Vulcan logic. Although, she wasn’t foolish enough to think that he wasn’t affected by what had happened. He’d been torn from his bondmate, T’Pel and there was no way of knowing how the distance would affect her Vulcan friend.

In Engineering, Lieutenant Carey was coping adequately, but he looked harassed. He wasn’t her first choice as chief engineer, but she was very limited and he was the most senior of the surviving engineers. That thought gave her pause.

 

Survivors… all of a sudden that’s what they were. Survivors. So many lost. It was awful.

 

The lift deposited her back on deck three and she keyed in the code for her door. She stepped over the threshold with her head down, the weight of responsibility almost driving her to her knees, but catching a movement out of the corner of her eye she looked up and jolted to a stop.

 

“Good evening, Captain. I brought you something to eat. It’s only a ration pack, but I have tea. Sorry, no coffee.”

 

She shook her head. “How did you get in here?”

 

He blinked. “The door.”

 

“But, my code..?”

 

“I’m Maquis, remember, and I didn’t think you’d mind. How are you? You look a little shell shocked.”

 

Kathryn quirked her eyebrow. “That’s probably because I found an intruder in my quarters.”

 

He smiled and looked behind him over each shoulder. “Where?”

 

Kathryn tried to look stern but his smile was infectious… and damn handsome…. Her mouth twisted into a small grin.

 

He pulled out a chair at her table. “Come on, Captain. You need to eat and we have some things to discuss.”

 

“That we do.” She took a seat. “Thank you, Chakotay, but in future, I’d prefer that you didn’t just let yourself into my quarters.”

 

He gave her a blank look and inclined his head slightly. It wasn’t really an affirmation, but it was the best she would get out of him for now.

 

He handed her a plate loaded with some sort of casserole and rice.

He was eating something similar. She took a tentative mouthful and grimaced. Even in the 24th century vacuum packed meals still tasted like something between salty cardboard and old socks, but she forced herself to eat. It would do no one any good if she became ill and, besides, she needed her wits about her to deal with the man in front of her.

 

A compelling individual, and without even realising it, she found herself quietly studying him. He had dark, slightly salt and pepper hair that was probably softer to the touch than it looked, a broad forehead with that sexy tattoo. She shook her head and looked down at her meal, chiding herself for having such thoughts, but it wasn’t long before her gaze drifted upward again. She studied his nose. Strong and forthright but slightly crooked, probably from some brawl with Cardassians. Her eyes dropped to his lips and there was a delightful tug in her lower belly as she watched him take a mouthful of food, sliding the fork from between the most gorgeous set of lips she’d ever seen. They smiled and her eyes shot up to meet two amused brown orbs.

 

“Look all you like, Captain. I’ve been taking stock of you too.”

 

She cursed her fair skin as she felt a blush rise up her neck, and opened her mouth to refute his accusation then realised how ridiculous that would be. It was obvious that she was attracted to him, just as it was obvious that he was attracted to her. What they were going to do about it was the question of the moment?

 

Taking a sip of water to wet her dry mouth, she concentrated on her meal again. After a few more mouthfuls she pushed it aside and sitting back with her arms crossed, stared at her dinner companion.

He took her plate and his, and dumped them in the recycler then brought over the pot of tea. He poured them both a cup and raised his in a toast. “To co operation, friendship and home.”

 

Kathryn touched her mug against his and sipped. The tea was strong and sweet. It didn’t bolster her as a coffee would but it was an adequate substitute with the added advantage that it kept her hands busy.

 

“What are you thinking, Captain?”

 

Kathryn looked at him. He was disarmingly straightforward. She liked that. She did an internal eye roll. Of course she did. There wasn’t much about him that she didn’t like. He was everything she admired in a man, rolled into this handsome and exotic bundle. Strong, physically as well as in character, dependable, earnest, forthright with a quirky sense of humour that tickled her fancy. He was also not intimidated by her which was something that happened rarely. He would be a worthy partner. She jolted with that thought and spilled her tea.

 

“It’s obviously something frightening. Here.” He passed her a napkin from the table and she dabbed at her uniform.

 

“I was thinking about you… and yes, it was a bit frightening.” She tossed the cloth on the table and stared right at him. “What is this?” She waved her hand between them. “It’s not something that has ever happened to me before and I’m not too proud to tell you, I’m a little lost.”

 

“Finding your soul mate is a little disconcerting at first, but I’m sure we’ll work it out.”

 

Her mouth hung open for a few seconds and then she snapped it shut and stuttered. “My… soul… soul mate.”

 

He nodded very matter-of-factly. “We should be very grateful that we found one another. It doesn’t happen as often as you’d imagine.”

 

Kathryn shook her head. “I’m sorry, but I don’t believe in that sort of thing. I’m sure it’s just the stress of the situation and it will pass. I’m engaged to be married for God’s sake; I’m already in love with someone.”

 

He was unperturbed. “Not like this, you’re not.”

 

She frowned. “You’re very sure of yourself.”

 

He shook his head. “Not really, but I’m very sure of this.” And with that he moved around to her to stand beside her and taking her cup from her hands he placed it on the table and pulled her into his arms. She didn’t make a sound or move against him and she was cursing herself for her weakness when his lips met hers and … that was it.

 

If she’d thought touching him was something out of the ordinary, then kissing him was close to an epiphany. It felt as though a large and vital piece of her gently slotted into place and she was whole for the first time in her life. Kathryn Janeway, the Starfleet captain and scientist, the independent woman, who had never needed anyone, was now joined soul to soul with this man in her arms and it felt perfectly wonderful.

 

He pulled away slowly and ran his fingers over her cheek. “See what I mean?”

 

All she could do was nod and stare at him wide eyed. When she’d gathered her wits a little, she stepped away from him and heaved a deep sigh. She shook her head in disbelief. “I would never have believed it. Not in a million years, but there’s no denying it.”

 

Chakotay shrugged. “I knew the moment you touched me. It took me some time to come to terms with it as well.” He tilted his head to the side and gave her a wry smile. “You see, I’ve always had a thing for blondes.”

 

“Yes, well, I’ve always had a thing for the tall scholarly types.” He laughed and she chuckled and picked up her tea again. “So we have a problem.”

 

“Do we?” He kept touching her, which was very distracting.

 

“We can’t do anything about this. Regulations and protocols state that as captain, I can’t have a relationship with anyone under my command.”

 

“Ah, but you forget, Captain. I’m not under your command. Not yet anyway.”

 

Her eyes brightened but she frowned in question. “What do you mean, ‘not yet’?”

 

“Come on. Let’s sit down. I’m exhausted and I need to rest my leg.” He took her elbow and steered her over to her couch. Sitting down beside her, he draped his arm around her shoulders and plonked his leg onto her coffee table.

 

She sagged against him and then stiffened. It all seemed so natural and she had to keep reminding herself that it couldn’t be. She was the captain, she was engaged, he was the enemy… he tugged her closer and her head dropped onto his shoulder and she moulded into his side like she’d always been there. Oh, hell.

 

He spoke quietly, his breath feathering across the top of her head. “I have a proposal.”

 

She nodded.

 

“I’m going to be your First Officer. I’ll step down as captain and become your exec. That way we can work together and utilise all the crew. Both Starfleet and Maquis.”

 

She looked up at him. “I was hoping to find someway of convincing you to do just that. What will your crew think of you becoming my First Officer? I’ll insist on running the ship as a Starfleet Vessel. Being this far from home, means that we’ll have to be even more vigilant and adhere to the edicts of the Prime Directive. I won’t compromise.”

 

He smiled. “I didn’t think you would nor would I expect you to. And yes, I agree, the ship should be run as a Starfleet vessel. But I have a few requests to make on behalf of my crew.”

 

She gave him a sideways look. “I knew there’d be a catch.”

 

He ignored her. “I want them to be given equal consideration for positions on Voyager. They’ll give you their all if they know they’re on an equal footing with the Starfleet crew.”

 

Kathryn considered this for a moment. “That’s fair enough, but I reserve the right to give your people extra training if need be. I don’t, for one minute, expect them to slot right into Starfleet life but if they’re willing to try, I’m happy to accommodate.” She looked at him. “Anything else?”

 

“No, not for the moment. I’ve arranged quarters for them in amongst the Star Fleet crew. I decided that integration was important and if we started right at the beginning then it should go a lot smoother.”

 

“Well, it seems I have a First Officer too. You’ve been doing the job all afternoon.”

 

“We’ll make a great team, Captain.”

 

She pulled right away from him and sat sideways facing him. “Since we’re going to be working so closely together, I think it would be appropriate for you to call me Kathryn.”

 

“Since we’re going to be lovers, I think that would be entirely appropriate, Kathryn.”

 

His words sent shivers down her spine and the way he said her name made her melt. “Um, where are your quarters, Chakotay?”

 

He looked over his shoulder, then indicated with a jab of his thumb towards the wall behind him. “Just there.”

 

“Do you think that’s wise having the Captain’s and First Officer’s quarters so close? What if this section was destroyed in battle?”

 

“I wouldn’t want to live without you, Kathryn. So dying together would suit me just fine.” He looked at her with those earnest brown eyes again and an unseen hand reached into her chest and clutched at her heart. She felt herself weakening.

 

She shouldn’t be thinking like this and there was going to be a disaster if she didn’t get him out of her quarters forthwith.

 

Extricating herself from his hold and leaning forward, she slapped her knees and made to stand up. “Well, I’m exhausted and really should get some sleep. I’ll see you in the morning, Chakotay. Thanks for the meal and tea…” He was looking at her with gentle eyes and the bluster left her voice. “It was very thoughtful of you to do that.”

 

He stood and leaned forward and kissed her sweetly on the lips. “Anytime, Kathryn. Sweet dreams.” His hand stroked down her arm as he turned away. He moved towards the door. She trembled and felt an intense sense of loss as he passed through the open doors. He turned and smiled at her as they shut.

 

Kathryn dropped back onto her couch with a grunt and rubbed her eyes with the heels of her hands until she could see stars behind her eyelids. Her head then flopped over the back of the couch and she stared through the speckles at the ceiling. What was she going to do?

What the hell was she thinking? She couldn’t do anything.

Regulations and protocols were clear, but Voyager and her crew were in circumstances never before encountered. Seventy five years. Could she last that long without having someone in her bed? She didn’t think so and it wasn’t as basic as that. It wasn’t the sex, really. It was the intimacy and the closeness of having someone who could offer comfort, love, shared joy and sadness and all the things that having a significant other entailed. She was by nature an independent woman and professionally she was confidant of her abilities. She wouldn’t have made it to Captain if she hadn’t been, but in private she wasn’t all that much different to the next woman. She wanted to love and be loved.

 

She looked towards their shared wall and thought about the handsome man next door. Here was an opportunity to share her life and her command with someone who was equal in strength and commitment as she. It was a ‘marriage’ made in heaven. That thought made her huff out a laugh.

 

Moving over the wall she listened to the sounds of her neighbour moving around in his room. Without really thinking about it she knocked on the wall. The noises stopped. She knocked again.

She could imagine his face… breaking into a sly smile. Groaning inwardly she wondered what the hell she was doing, but this Pandora’s box had already been opened and there was no way to shut it now. They would just have to make the best of their circumstances.

 

There was an answering knock close to where her head was leaning against the wall. “Kathryn?” His muffled voice came through the wall.

 

“Yes.”

 

“Did you want to talk?”

 

“No, not really.”

 

“You knocked, Kathryn.”

 

“Yes, I know.” She was quiet for a while and he waited. Her voice was resigned. “I’ve been thinking.”

 

“Hmmm?”

 

“Seventy five years. It’s a long time.”

 

“A lifetime.”

 

“It’s a long time to be alone.”

 

“A very long time.”

 

“I don’t think I can do it.”

 

“Do what, Kathryn?”

 

“Be alone for that long. I think it would kill me. Especially with you there beside me everyday.”

 

There was no answer. She waited and wondered. Perhaps she’d overstepped.

 

“Chakotay?”

 

“Yes.” She swung around. He was standing in her doorway, silhouetted against the light of the corridor.

 

She pursed her lips to stop herself from laughing and leant back against the bulkhead and crossed her arms. “Why don’t you come in?”

 

He stepped forward and the doors snapped shut behind him. He grinned at her and slowly her face softened and she returned his smile.

 

They were at a stalemate, standing on opposite sides of her quarters, smiling at one another. Kathryn waited. Chakotay waited. Their eyes locked and the tension built. Kathryn could see his breathing quicken and in the name of synchronicity hers did too. His eyes were dark in the shadowed light of her quarters. Her mouth opened slightly and her tongue darted out to moisten her dry lips. He groaned and in three strides he was upon her.

 

Pressing her into the bulkhead he kissed her hard, his hands winding their way into her hair and pulling it loose from its clips.

 

Oh God, it was magnificent. His hard body pushed her into the wall and she could feel him hard and hot against her. He hoisted her up a little higher and slid his leg in between hers. She slid down his thigh and her centre throbbed. As his tongue plunged into her mouth to tangle with hers, she felt herself become liquid with want. Grinding against him, she was unable to stop herself moaning and gasping. He was groaning in counterpoint. It was going to be a wild and noisy coupling. To prove a point she yelped as he pinched her nipple through her uniform. They were bullet hard and after spending the day so aroused, they were ultra sensitive. Oh God his touch. Her knees were weak from arousal. This had never happened before.

 

He was pulling at her jacket and she was tugging at his clothes. They weren’t having much luck removing anything so she pushed him away from her and collapsing against the wall, panting, she unzipped her jacket and tossed it on the floor. Her tee followed and kicking off her shoes, she shimmied out of her pants and underwear.

Chakotay stood and watched with eyes wide with wonder. Kathryn ran her palms over her erect nipples and nodded towards him. “You’d better hurry, or I’m going to start without you.”

 

That spurred him into action. He reefed off his clothes. Smiling all the while as Kathryn watched and smiled. Once he was a naked, they just stood and stared at one another for a full minute. He shuffled a little closer to her and she held up her hands, placing them on his chest to keep him at bay for a moment. “Before we take this step. You have to know that we can’t tell a soul. We’ll have to be discreet to the point of lying to the crew. It won’t be easy, some of them are your friends. Can you do that?”

 

“Not a problem. I understand the repercussions. I’ll even take the blame.”

 

“Blame for what?”

 

“For not having an affair with you.”

 

“I don’t understand.” Kathryn was frowning but her hands were curling into him and her thumb was unconsciously stroking over the soft skin of his shoulder.

 

He moved a little closer and his hot breath wafted across her cheek. “They’ll know.”

 

“No, they can’t.”

 

“They’ll be able to see what’s between us, Kathryn. We won’t be able to help it, but I have a solution.”

 

She moved a little closer, her lips feathered across his shoulder and she felt him tremble. It triggered a matching tremble in her belly. She had to concentrate. “What solution?”

 

“One of us has to stand firm and appear to not give in to the attraction. I’m happy to do that if you like.”

 

“No, I can’t be seen as the weak one, hankering after her first officer. You’ll have to pine after me.”

 

“Good point, but if I do that, it would make me look weak as well.”

 

Their lower bodies were rubbing together now and their lips were hovering only millimetres apart. Kathryn’s hand stroked up over his shoulder and toyed with the fine hairs on the back of his neck.

 

He whispered against her lips. “We could toss for it.”

 

“Toss what?”

 

“A coin?”

 

She nipped at his lower lip. “I don’t seem to have one on me at the moment.”

 

Draping her arms around his neck, she hoisted herself up and wrapped her legs around his hips. Her moist centre settled over him and he groaned almost collapsing against her and the wall. He kissed her neck and husked against her. “That can be easily fixed.” Placing his hands under her buttocks, he walked over to the replicator and leaning her against the wall there, he kissed her neck again and spoke to the replicator. “One American dime, circa the year 2000.”

 

The coin shimmered into existence and picking it up, he held it in his hand as he hoisted her a little higher and slid into her. Kathryn threw her head back and groaned and shuddered. Her fingernails bit into his shoulders and her legs tightened around him. He thrust against her, pushing her hard against the wall, and knocking the breath from her body with every lunge. She gasped and ground herself against him, tightening her inner muscles until he began muttering in what she thought were words, but could have been anything.

 

It was hard and a little rough but perfect. He pummelled her and she could feel her orgasm roiling up from her toes. Then he stopped and she opened her eyes with a gasp. He was staring at her and she could feel him throbbing inside her, or maybe that was her throbbing around him, she wasn’t sure anymore. Not sure of anything. Where he started or where she ended. All she knew was that he had to finish. She needed to come. Desperately.

 

She tried to thrust against him but he wouldn’t be moved. He tossed the coin in the air. “Heads or tails, Kathryn.” She watched as if in slow motion as the coin spun in the air. He thrust against her and his hand came down to where they were joined and his thumb pressed against her clitoris. “What’ll it be, Kathryn.”

 

He was panting close to his climax as well. The coin hit the ground and spun on its side. Chakotay flicked his thumb across her clit a few more times and her eyes widened as her climax slammed into her. With the last remnant of sanity she yelled. “Tails.” And then she was lost. Her body shuddered and jerked against him and with one last powerful thrust he heaved a guttural groan and came.

 

Kathryn opened her eyes and found herself looking into Chakotay’s loving face. They were sweaty, dishevelled but sated. She smiled.

He swung around so his back was towards the bulkhead and slowly slid down the wall to sit on the floor. Kathryn was now sitting astride him and leaned forward and kissed him. “I love you.”

 

He grinned and cupped her face, kissing her eyes, nose and lips. “I love you too. But we’d better see who’s going to be the cold hearted bastard.”

 

They both leaned over and looked at the coin on the floor beside them. Kathryn’s head thunked against his shoulder. “Never been a gambler.”

 

He chuckled. “I get to be the poor heartsick First Officer, pining for his aloof but desirable Captain.”

 

She rolled her eyes. “Don’t expect this to be easy. I’m going to have terrible trouble keeping my hands off you.”

 

“I’ve noticed that. That will of course make it all the more poignant. Having you toy with my affections.” He grinned.

 

She whacked him, lightly. “Don’t be so smart. You’re not much better. All those helpful hands on my back and touches to my elbow. Don’t think I didn’t know what you were up to.”

 

He thrust against her and waggled his eyebrows. “It worked didn’t it? I’ve got you right where I want you.”

 

Kathryn’s eyes sparked and she tightened her inner muscles. The smug look melted from his face as he groaned and shuddered. She leant forward and ran her tongue along his lips and felt him thicken inside her. Clamping her muscles around him again she watched with satisfaction his eyes widen and darken. He was at her mercy and biting his lower lip, he had an almost pained expression on his face. She grinned and whispered huskily. “Yes, you’ve got me right where you want me.” She began rocking against him and as he raised his hands to her breasts she grasped them and held them with one of her hands, above his head against the bulkhead. With her other hand she stroked over his chest, lightly scraping her nails across his abdomen and flicking at his nipples. She leaned forward and nipped his sexy lower lip before she muttered against his mouth. “Right where you want me.”

 

He groaned, fighting the urge to grab her and thrust into her. Instead he let her press his hands into the wall and ride him mercilessly. He couldn’t tear his gaze away from her. She had determined glint in her eye and wore an almost ferocious grin as she undulated and slammed herself against him. Staring at her through half lidded eyes, he was more than happy to let her have her way with him.

 

Her eyes drilled into his as she pummelled herself against him. He slicked in and out of her with a sweet wet friction and it wasn’t long before she felt the familiar waves of her orgasm fluttering in her belly. His climax was close also and just before her muscles clamped down on him again, he pulled his hands from her hold and grabbing her hips, slammed into her once, twice and with a roar, came in great throbbing thrusts.

Kathryn gritted her teeth and let out a guttural moan as the waves of bliss carried her away. After endless moments, she slumped against him, hot and sweaty, but sated and incredibly happy.

She opened one eye and looked down at the coin on the floor beside them. Tails. She should have known.

 

Kissing his fragrant skin, she snuggled against him and prayed to whatever gods were watching over them, to keep them safe and to let her get them all home safely.

 

 

The next morning, she stood on the command deck of Voyager with her new First Officer by her side and a scattering of her combined crew standing at parade rest around the bridge. She’d spoken to Tom Paris earlier and he sat at the helm as Voyager’s new pilot.

 

They were a rag tag group, but after a quick look into the eyes of her lover, she took a deep breath and walked around the bridge as she addressed them. “We’re alone in an uncharted part of the galaxy. We’ve already made some friends here,” she smiled at Neelix and Kes, “and some enemies. We have no idea of the dangers we’re going to face, but one thing is clear. Both crews are going to have to work together if we’re to survive. That’s why Commander Chakotay and I have agreed that this should be one crew. A Starfleet crew.” She came to stand in front of Chakotay and held his gaze as she continued speaking. “And as the only Starfleet vessel assigned to the Delta Quadrant, we’ll continue to follow our directive to seek out new worlds and explore space. But our primary goal is clear. Even at maximum speeds, it would take seventy five years to reach the Federation, but I’m not willing to settle for that.” She moved away from him and looked at the starfilled space on the viewscreen. “There’s another entity like the Caretaker out there somewhere who has the ability to get us there a lot faster. We’ll be looking for her, and we’ll be looking for wormholes, spatial rifts, or new technologies to help us. Somewhere along this journey, we’ll find a way back.”. She could feel his eyes on her and it imbued her with strength. She took a deep breath and said with steel in her voice. “Mister Paris, set a course – for home.”

 

With a quick glance at one another, Kathryn and Chakotay took their seats as Voyager dropped into warp and shooting forward they began they’re long journey home.

 

Together.

 

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