Summary: A post Endgame fixer upper for Gilly on her birthday. A little belated but here at last. I hope you enjoyed your day. Happy Birthday, m’dear. Hugs.
Disclaimer: CBS/Paramount owns everything. No infringement intended.
Thanks as always to Kim J for the terrific beta.
Kathryn rolled over and stretched. With a satisfied sigh, she opened her eyes to another glorious Indiana morning.
Her arm snaked out from under the covers and pulled back the curtains covering the window by the bed. Bright sunlight spilled into the room highlighting the newly painted walls and age-old furniture.
Flipping onto her back, she stretched again, and hummed another sigh before she tucked the covers up under her chin and looked up at the ceiling. Well-remembered shadows and reflections danced across the clean white surface. It was a vivid reminder of her childhood and she had to stifle a joyous guffaw of laughter. To add to the delightful jumble of familiar sights and sounds, birds were singing in the trees outside her bedroom window and the delicious smell of her mother’s cooking was wafting up the stairs, enticing any and all comers to follow.
She didn’t know why or how but today, for the first time since their precipitous return to the Alpha Quadrant almost two months ago, she felt good. Not just good, but really good – content and at peace. It was something she didn’t think she would ever feel again.
It had been a trying, and at times, emotionally fraught few months and it was such a relief to at last feel something close to normal. The small black cloud that had followed her from Voyager’s Bridge had finally lifted – the persistent shroud of gloom that had stifled her smiles with remorse, smothered each happy moment with dread and doused every smoulder of joy with regret – was gone. She was back – in every sense of the word.
Damn, it felt good.
Heaving a happy sigh, she threw back the covers and clambered out of bed. The avian chorus outside her window grew louder and she chuckled at the thought of her very own chirping theme music. Until this morning, their cheerful twittering would have had her itching to grab her phaser and do her worst, but today it was music to her ears. The sunlight, instead of making her squint and curse the chronic headache that had plagued her since touchdown, only made her smile; and for the first time in ages, she was genuinely hungry; the grinding fist of nausea – her constant companion for years – had at last disappeared and she couldn’t wait to sit down to a hearty breakfast.
Today she felt as though she was truly home, the oppressive weight of guilt and responsibility was all but gone and she was feeling like her old self again. As Tom would say – ‘she’d gotten her groove back’.
It was a powerful feeling.
After a quick shower, she dressed and wearing a happy smile, trotted down the stairs to the kitchen. She stopped just inside the doorway and watched her mother as she tended the stove. It was another snapshot of her childhood, bracingly familiar and heart-warmingly tranquil – a warm cosy blanket of a moment, the memory of which had brought her such comfort over the years, especially on those lonely nights when it had all seemed so hopeless. Her heart filled with love for the woman across the room and awe at her resilience.
There was no underestimating how consumed by anguish Gretchen had been on hearing of Kathryn’s presumed death. Her abject joy at Voyager’s homecoming was an accurate barometer of her former grief – but such was the strength of the elder Janeway that she’d survived and thrived, becoming the backbone and driving force behind reunions with the missing crew’s families by providing counselling and support for those left behind. She’d forged bonds with the majority of the parents, spouses and children of Kathryn’s crew and over the years had become the undisputed matriarch of all things Voyager.
There were no pips on her collar but Gretchen Janeway had more ‘brass’ than all the admiralty put together; she didn’t need or want the trappings or accolades and Kathryn loved her all the more for it.
Sensing her presence, Gretchen glanced over her shoulder and smiled as she turned towards her holding a large platter piled high with a teetering stack of waffles. “There you are. I was just about to call out the cavalry. How are you this morning, sweetheart?”
“I’m good, Mom.” She took a deep breath and smiled. “Really good.”
Gretchen paused and studied her daughter more closely before she nodded sagely, her eyes brightening with understanding. “So you are. That’s wonderful, Kathryn. I knew you’d find your way back to us.”
Without missing a beat, Gretchen placed the waffles on the table and moved towards her daughter, wrapping her arms around her and hugging her tight. “Welcome home, darling girl.”
Kathryn returned the embrace and closed her eyes, allowing a few happy tears to escape. The fear of losing control – of crying and not being able to stop – had vanished and the gentle catharsis of shedding those few tears was invigorating and reaffirming. “It’s good to be back, Mom, and thank you so much.”
Gretchen stepped away and cupped Kathryn’s cheeks in her warm hands. “You did it all yourself, my girl, and I couldn’t be prouder of you than I am at this moment. Bringing Voyager home was an astounding accomplishment, but getting head, heart and soul together after such an ordeal is truly remarkable. You’re an amazing woman, Kathryn.”
A chuckle bubbled up from deep in Kathryn’s chest. “Well, I come by it honestly. It seems I’m my mother’s daughter.”
Gretchen smiled and kissed Kathryn’s cheek before moving back towards the kitchen counter. As she turned back with the jug of maple syrup and a pot of cream, she gave an indulgent nod. “There’s a lot of your father in you too. He’d be so proud of you.”
“Thank you, Mom. That means a lot.”
Their gazes held for a moment longer before Gretchen blinked slowly and smiled, gesturing towards the laden table. “How does that look?”
It was only now that Kathryn registered just how much food was on offer. Along with the waffles, there was bacon, scrambled eggs, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms and various other condiments and sides.
“There’s enough to feed a small army. As hungry as I am, I hope you’re not expecting me to polish off all of that; I’ll finish up the size of a shuttle and have to replicate a whole new wardrobe.”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing.” The back screen door clattered open and Phoebe Janeway clomped into the kitchen carrying handfuls of herbs and vegetables from the greenhouse. “Shuttle-butt aside, from what I’ve seen of your wardrobe, it’s crying out for an update.”
Kathryn gave her sister a candid once-over, noting the unruly mop of dark curly hair, mud-smudged dungarees and torn flannel shirt. She quirked an eyebrow and gestured towards her. “Yes, it’s obvious you’re the epitome of chic. Since when did you become such an authority on fashion?”
Phoebe stuck out her tongue and blew a raspberry in Kathryn’s direction.
Kathryn rolled her eyes and laughed. “Oh, right. Since you turned two – very mature.”
“If it’s frumpy versus immature, I’ll take immature every time.”
Kathryn snorted. “That’s a given.”
Phoebe smirked good-naturedly but didn’t give up. “Come on, Kathryn; you have to admit that some of those outfits are a touch on the dowdy side. It’s time to frock-up a bit.” She gestured wildly, vegetables waving. “Especially now that all the parties and homecoming celebrations are about to start.”
Kathryn huffed a laugh. “Okay then, Miss Fashionista, you’ve got yourself a job. You’re hereby charged with the unenviable task of updating my wardrobe. But you have to promise you’ll be vaguely sensible about it. I don’t want to finish up looking like an Orion slave girl or a Nausicaan in drag.”
Phoebe laughed. “Now that I’d love to see.”
Kathryn shot a grin her way and then headed for the coffee pot by the stove. “Errr, no you wouldn’t.”
Phoebe dropped the vegetables in the sink, rinsed her hands and dried them on sides of her dungarees as she surveyed the table. She winked at Gretchen. “Wow, Mom, talk about a feast. I hope you’ve told Kathryn she has to leave me some.”
Kathryn swung around at the sound of the familiar voice.
“Tom! What a lovely surprise.”
B’Elanna appeared behind him with Miral tucked into the crook of her arm. “Good morning, Captain. We’re invading – on your mother’s invitation.” She turned to Gretchen. “The door was open, we just let ourselves in.”
Gretchen smiled. “That was the idea. Welcome.”
B’Elanna handed the baby to Tom so she could take a stack of plates from Gretchen and place them on the table. “Harry and the others should be here soon.” She smiled at Kathryn. “According to your mother, she can only make waffles in multiples of twenty and thought you’d need some help eating them, so Tom volunteered for the job – we’re his cheer squad.”
Kathryn gave Tom a wry look. “How very considerate of you; although, you were never one to pass up a free meal, were you, Mr. Paris?”
“Nope, I’m proud to say and with your Mom’s legendary waffles on the menu, there was no way I was going to miss out on this breakfast. You know you can smell them from the transporter station.”
“Mmmm, you sure can.” Harry strolled through the door. “Good morning, everyone, Mrs. Janeway, Phoebe.”
There was a chorus of greetings as cups of coffee were distributed and places taken at the large table.
Everyone began helping themselves, passing plates and bowls back and forth, chatting, laughing and making ‘mmmming’ noises as they ate. Reaching for another piece of bacon, B’Elanna threw in an aside, “Oh, and Chakotay said he’d be here at about half past eight.” She glanced up at the ancient kitchen clock. “Any minute now.”
As though on cue, there was a knock at the backdoor.
Chakotay ducked his head through the entrance and grinned. “Did you know that you can smell those waffles all the way from the transporter station?”
“So we’ve heard.” Kathryn glanced up and gave him a quick smile as everyone shuffled around to make room.
He pulled up a chair next to her just in time to accept a cup of coffee from Gretchen.
Kathryn offered him the plate of waffles. “You’d better have a few before they’re all gone.”
Phoebe looked up and after licking a drip of syrup off her finger, pointed at her older sister. “Yes, you’d better; Kathryn’s been wolfing them down like she hasn’t had a decent meal in years. Didn’t you people feed her out there?”
All the ex-Voyager crew stopped chewing and looked at one another.
Chakotay shrugged. “We tried.”
Kathryn gave them all an exasperated look. “Oh, come on. I wasn’t that bad.”
Chakotay didn’t look at anyone in particular but it was obvious to whom his comment was directed. “Coffee, or derivatives thereof, is not considered a food group.” Kathryn sent deadly glare in his direction and he amended quickly, “But I could be wrong.”
B’Elanna cleared her throat and muttered sotto voce, “It wouldn’t be the first time.”
Kathryn’s eyes darted up to watch the exchange with interest. B’Elanna had been very vocal about Chakotay’s ill-fated relationship with Seven and it didn’t take a genius to figure out that the neatly aimed parry was in reference to that particular – as she saw it – short-coming.
The slightest flush of embarrassment – or perhaps anger – tinted Chakotay’s neck but he bit back good-humouredly, “Watch it, B’E. I know where you live.”
B’Elanna and Chakotay’s eyes met across the table, a silent apology in both their looks. She added gently. “And you’re always welcome.”
Tom – with his unerring ability to defuse situations – sat Miral up a little higher on his lap and boasted proudly, “Speaking of eating, Miral’s just learned to chew her toes. We’re so proud.”
Harry grinned. “So there is some of her old man in her after all.”
Everyone laughed and Tom hugged Miral close and gently placed his hand over her ear. “Don’t listen to them, babe; they’re just jealous of how clever we are.”
Kathryn smiled warmly as she cast her eyes around the table. This wasn’t the first time her crew had joined her for a meal. Since their arrival in the Alpha Quadrant, there had been a constant stream of visitors to her Indiana home, but today was the first time she’d truly felt a part of it all. The strange sense of dislocation and isolation had finally dissipated. Not that anyone would have been aware of her troubled thoughts or preoccupation. She’d hidden it well. Her ability to ‘put on a happy face’ was something she’d become quite adept at in the Delta Quadrant. But whether anyone else knew or not was immaterial; she could feel the difference and for now that’s all that mattered.
It was only moments later that she was obliged to amend that thought. It appeared she wasn’t the only one aware of her improved frame of mind.
Chakotay touched her forearm and lifted the coffee pot, offering to pour her another cup of coffee. Their eyes met for a moment and she could read the question in his gaze, the slight tightening at the corner of his eyes and the studied look. It only took him a moment to recognise the difference in her demeanour and an expression of delight tinged with relief spread across his features as he quietly acknowledged and welcomed it with a gentle smile. Kathryn nodded, her eyes softening as she lifted her empty cup towards him. He refilled it and tapped the pot against her mug in a silent toast. She grinned and turned away.
As she sipped the bitter brew, a warm sense of belonging washed over her. Of course, he would recognise the change – he’d always been able to see past her guises and pretences. Almost from the day they’d met, he’d had an uncanny ability to read her moods.
Suddenly, everything seemed to fall into place and in that split second between sips, Kathryn made a decision. The time had come to stop hiding behind the flimsy facades of protocol and Starfleet codes of conduct and allow Chakotay to see exactly how important he was to her. She’d concealed her true feelings for too long and it had only brought her grief. Even if he no longer reciprocated those feelings, he had a right to know of hers, and as his friend, she felt obligated to tell him.
It was now or never.
Rowdy conversation and laughter surrounded her as she placed her cup on the table and turned towards him. Smiling gently, she held his gaze and opened her heart. She revealed all the love she’d hidden for all these years and waited patiently until comprehension dawned. He smiled broadly, his eyes widening as they reflected joyous realisation tinged with surprise and delight.
If his happy smile was anything to go by, he understood the silent message and wasn’t entirely averse to the concept – much to Kathryn’s relief.
His hand sought hers under the table; she grasped it tightly and gave it a reassuring squeeze. And with that firm clasp of hands, the deal was sealed. Neither of them could hide their happiness and grins spread across both their faces before they turned back to the mayhem around them.
Phoebe was the first to notice the difference. Her finely tuned radar honed in on Kathryn and Chakotay, and looking back and forth between the two, she pointed an accusing finger.
“You’ve done it, haven’t you?! Oh – my – God, you’ve just done it.”
Kathryn looked up, stone-faced and raised one eyebrow. “Done what?”
“You and Chakotay, after all this time, you’ve finally done it.”
“We haven’t done a thing. We’ve been sitting here the entire time.”
“I don’t care where you’ve been sitting; I can tell. It’s plastered all over your faces.”
Everyone stopped eating and stared intently at the pair in question.
Kathryn shrugged nonchalantly. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Maybe you don’t, but the deliriously happy man sitting next to you with the bright pink cheeks and cat’s-got-the-cream grin is a dead giveaway.”
Kathryn slowly turned and met Chakotay’s apologetic smile and guilty shrug. She gave him a quick dig in the ribs with her elbow. “Nice one, Commander. I can’t wait to play poker with you.”
“Is that what they’re calling it these days?” Gretchen chortled.
“Mother!” Kathryn was appalled and glared at Tom Paris, daring him to elaborate on the atrocious pun, but the rest of the table had already collapsed in a riot of laughter.
Chakotay’s ridiculous grin and the contagious hilarity were difficult to resist and finally surrendering, Kathryn laughed along with her family and friends.
After everyone had settled and another round of coffee had been served, a toast was made to the new couple and Phoebe heaved a weary sigh. “You realise that watching you two for the last couple of months has been torture, I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like for your crew. It’s the stuff that mutinies are made of.”
Kathryn huffed. “I’m sure no one was the least bit interested. They had far more important things to worry about.”
Tom, B’Elanna and Harry stared open mouthed at their commanding officers.
Phoebe guffawed and Kathryn did a double take at the look on their faces. “Am I missing something here?”
Tom recovered first and cast a wary glance at Harry, who then shrugged and looked towards B’Elanna who opened her mouth to say something but then grimaced and shook her head.
Phoebe looked at her big sister, spread her hands in a gesture of incredulity and half snorted, “Well, those awkward silences speak volumes. Were you really that blind?”
Kathryn looked towards Chakotay.
He shrugged and added, pointedly, “Not blind so much as preoccupied. We did have a ship to run and a mission to get home.”
“Seven years is a long time to be oblivious.” Phoebe directed her question towards Kathryn. “Are you sure you’re as smart as they say you are?”
The temptation to respond with a raspberry and rude gesture was almost overwhelming – at least her message would be clear – but Kathryn’s training ran deep and she refused to give her sister any more ammunition. However, given her crew’s reaction, she wasn’t sure what else to say.
The unfortunate truth was that she was fairly smart about most things, but her heart had always been something of a sticking point. The reality of her and Chakotay’s predicament probably wouldn’t be news to anyone at the table, so, to be in line with her new undertaking of open disclosure, she shrugged and gripped Chakotay’s hand tighter. “We had our moments over the years but, as all of you know, as captain and first officer, we were forbidden to do anything about it.” Her sad smile told the story.
Phoebe frowned. “Forbidden? I thought it was frowned upon but not entirely against the rules.”
Kathryn let go of his hand and faced her sister. She really didn’t want to have this conversation in front of everyone. It was private and in many ways contentious – she’d had the same argument with herself too many times over the years. In hindsight, having a relationship with Chakotay probably wouldn’t have made all that much difference to her captaincy or the running of the ship, but that was the beauty of hindsight – and the curse. She sipped her coffee to give herself time to formulate her answer. She could feel the eyes of everyone at the table staring and waiting.
Before she could say anything, Chakotay touched her forearm gently and then placed his loosely clenched hands on the table in front of him. He looked around at those present but his gaze came to rest on Phoebe. “It was a decision that neither of us took lightly. At the end our second year, Kathryn and I were stranded on a planet – New Earth – and once alone, it didn’t take us long to realise what we meant to each other,” His eyes darted towards Tom. “And not that it’s anyone’s business, nothing happened there.” He cleared his throat and glanced at Kathryn.
She nodded, pleased that he had taken the floor, circumventing an all-out showdown with her sister.
“We, of course, were rescued, but no matter how we felt about one another, we were constrained by our positions and also Kathryn’s loyalty to her fiancé, Mark.”
She cast a sideways glance at him. She hadn’t realised that he was aware of her dilemma. It made her love him even more.
He continued unaware of her thoughts. “We also lived a precarious and at times downright perilous existence out there and there was no guarantee that either of us would survive the journey – which raised other issues…”
Kathryn glanced at her mother, regretting that she had to hear this, but as a Starfleet widow, Gretchen was sadly well aware of the dangers.
Noting the shimmer of tears in her mother’s eyes, Kathryn’s heart ached. There was no denying the trials and traumas they’d endured, and pretending they didn’t exist or hadn’t happened was pointless in the extreme. Reaching across the table, she gripped Gretchen’s hand briefly and smiled.
“I’m sorry, Gretchen.” Chakotay stopped talking, only in that minute seeing her distress and realising the parallels of what he was saying.
The elder Janeway shook her head. “No, keep going, Chakotay. I think we all need to hear this.”
Phoebe had the good grace to look chastened and reached for Kathryn’s other hand gave it a quick squeeze. Without looking away, she spoke to Chakotay. “Yes, I’d like to hear the rest, please.”
He glanced at Kathryn and she gave him an almost imperceptible nod to continue.
“Taking all of that into consideration and the fact was that neither of us had the time nor the energy to maintain a romantic relationship as well as our command one – it was as simple and, at times, as complicated as that. The crew’s welfare always came first – it was something we both agreed upon. Besides, we had little choice; we were one small ship, stranded alone in a dangerous and unchartered part of the galaxy with no back up and a lifetime’s journey ahead of us. As captain, Kathryn carried a tremendous weight of responsibility and although we shared what we could of the load, ultimately the welfare of the crew and Voyager lay on her shoulders. The constant dangers and potential disasters that loomed around each corner merely added to the load – the Kazon, the Vidiians, the Devore, the Borg, just to mention a few. There were a myriad of other considerations as well and as much as I think both of us would have loved to surrender to our feelings, we had our duty and that always took precedence. We did what we had to do to ensure everyone’s survival and I wouldn’t change a day of it.”
Kathryn smiled. “Neither would I.” She gripped his hand and smiled warmly in thanks. He’d managed to encapsulate the pertinent facts without elaborating too much on the narrow escapes, near death experiences and traumas they’d endured. No one needed to hear about those, particularly at breakfast. However, looking at both her mother and Phoebe, she could see that they’d read between the lines. She would talk to them later and reassure them, but for now, there were happier things to discuss.
It was something she’d been toying with over the last couple of weeks but in light of the morning’s revelations and her new rosy outlook on life, it seemed the right thing to do. “I’ve decided to take six months leave from Starfleet.”
Her mother nodded her agreement. “I think that’s a wonderful idea, Kathryn.”
“Now that the Maquis situation is resolved and everyone’s commissions are safe, each of us is owed several months of accumulated leave and now is as good a time as any to take it. With debriefings finished, there’s nothing urgent that requires our attention or presence. Starfleet sciences are happy to wallow in all the new technology we brought with us, and we’d only be a comm. call away if needed. What do you think?”
B’Elanna spoke first. “I think it’s a great idea.” She looked at Tom and Miral. “A bit of family time sounds too good to miss.”
Harry nodded. “I know Mom and Dad would love to have me around for a little longer before I ship out again.”
Kathryn tapped her knuckles on the table. “It’s settled then. I’ll put in a request to Headquarters for extended leave for those members of Voyager’s crew who want or need it.”
There were smiles all around and another offer of coffee to celebrate. The conversation then turned to the places everyone would like to travel and the merits of each. By the time the waffles were but a dim memory and most of the food was gone, plans had been made for extended leave for all of those at the table.
Kathryn rolled over and stretched. With a satisfied sigh, she opened her eyes to another glorious Alpha Quadrant morning.
Chakotay’s arm snaked out from under the covers and wrapped around her waist, hauling her closer. His lips nuzzled her neck as she sighed contentedly.
Squirming in his arms until she was facing him, Kathryn kissed him full on the mouth before draping her leg over his hips and shuffling closer. His eyes remained closed as she stroked his face but his arms tightened around her to pull her flush against him.
He mumbled against her neck, “What’s it like outside?”
While her fingers played along his backbone, her eyes drifted shut and she indulged in the feel of his warm skin against her fingertips and his hot breath now whispering against her breasts.
“I have no idea and I don’t care. The weather’s fine in here and that’s all I need to know.”
He chuckled and kissed his way back up towards her lips. “We have to venture out sometime soon.”
“I don’t see why.”
“You’re one determined lady, aren’t you?”
“Don’t tell me this is news to you? How long did we work together?”
“Seven glorious years.”
“Hmm, nice save, Commander; you weaselled out of that one… just.”
She’d manoeuvred herself so she was lying on top of him, arms crossed over his chest and her chin on her hands. He lay back, put his hands behind his head and smiled up at her. “It’s a gift.”
Kathryn quirked an eyebrow and chuckled. “One of your many, I presume.”
“You said it, not me.”
“Humility being top of the list, I see.”
He chuckled again. “I wasn’t aware there was a list.”
“There’s always a list.”
“Says me, and my mother – you’re not going to argue with her now, are you?”
“Never. I know my limits.”
“Glad to hear it.”
“So, what did you have planned for today – aside from the obvious?”
Kathryn looked upwards giving it some thought. “Well, seeing as you feel the need to ‘venture out’, I thought we could meet up with Tom and B’Elanna, see what the local markets are like and perhaps get something for dinner.”
“I had no idea you were so obsessed with food.”
“I was never averse to food, just leola root – I had to put on a brave face for the crew. And if you want to know the shameful truth, half the time, I was so stressed, I could barely swallow.”
“It never showed, you know.”
“Good. That was the idea.”
His hands stroked over her hair, tucking a strand behind her ear before his thumb traced her bottom lip. He leant up, kissed her sweetly and then wrapped his arms around her, holding her tight against him.
Her cheek was resting on his chest and his voice vibrated against it as he spoke. “I wish you’d told me. We could have dealt with it together.”
Kathryn waited for the inevitable question as to why, but he didn’t say anything. Curious, she lifted her head and looked at him, the unasked question reflected in her eyes.
He gave her a grim smile. “I understand. I know that you couldn’t show or surrender to what you considered a weakness. But it was never that, Kathryn; you were never weak; you are strong in the very best of ways – your resilience and stoicism held us all together and even in those moments when you faltered, you humanity remained intact. It was a heroic effort; much more so than anyone other than you and I will ever know.”
Her mouth tilted into a familiar crooked smile, before she rested her cheek on his chest again, relieved that she didn’t have to justify herself or her reasoning. It was pointless anyway. “You do me so much good, Chakotay. I don’t know what I did to deserve you.”
He huffed a laugh and rolled her beneath him. “What you did to deserve me?! You’ve got that completely around the wrong way. I’m the one who’s undeserving.”
She grinned. “No hubris here. We could argue about this all day but coffee awaits and I’m hungry. Let’s just agree that we’re perfect for each other and call it quits.” He ducked his head and kissed her until she moaned. “On second thought, let’s just stay here.”
He laughed again. “Oh, no you don’t. Up and at ‘em.”
“Who would ever have imagined that you’d be such a hard taskmaster? Especially since I’m lying under you naked.”
“You’ve been lying under me naked, beside me naked, on top of me naked and elsewhere naked for the last week and a half – we need to get out of bed and see what the world looks like from a vertical position. Apart from everything else – the risk of scurvy, rickets and other forms of malnutrition – your mother must be wondering where we’ve disappeared to.”
“She was the one who suggested this – you can’t blame me.”
Chakotay was out of bed and hauling her to her feet. “You’re as stubborn as a Klingon – you know that don’t you?”
“Yes. You’re going to have your work cut out for you over the next fifty years or so.”
“I think I’ll survive.”
“You’d better. I’ve got plans.”
“You can tell me about them in the shower.”
She raised her eyebrows suggestively and muttered, “Hmmm, the shower.”
He laughed and with his arms wrapped around her and his lips pressed to hers, he walked them crab-like across the room to the bathroom.
As she pressed him up against the shower wall, hot water cascading down their bodies and her hands skimming over his chest, he grinned down at her. “All right, tomorrow; we’ll definitely venture out tomorrow.”
Kathryn nodded and muttered a half-hearted. “If you say so.”
His rumbling laugh was followed by a deep growl as she began to move against him.
As his lips pressed against her neck, she smiled to herself, the adage of ‘tomorrow never comes’ briefly drifting through her mind. It seemed so fitting.
And, of course, one could ever know what wonders the new day would bring.