Impossible to Forget. Rated NC17

Rated NC17

Summary: A ‘Remember’ episode addition. It is not only B’Elanna who appears to be affected by the Enarans’ telepathic abilities. A birthday story for Pook. Happy birthday me old mate. I hope you had a good one. Hugs.

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

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Kathryn pinched the bridge of her nose and squeezed her eyes shut. The headache that had been meandering around inside her head since last night’s encounter with the Enaran minister, Jor Brel, had now found a new home – thudding dully behind her eyes. Taking a deep breath, she tried to will it away, but finally admitted defeat and sat back in her chair with a sigh.

Keeping her eyes closed, Kathryn emptied her mind and concentrated on encapsulating the pain. It was one of Tuvok’s meditation techniques and it sometimes worked, although she had a feeling that today wasn’t going to be one of those times. Massaging her temples eased it a little and stretching her neck and back also helped, however, it was a different to her usual headaches and it seemed she was just going to have to grin and bear it for now. It was almost the end of her shift and Chakotay was due soon with the daily reports. If she could hold out until then, she’d be fine. He was a healthy distraction and, as if on cue, the chime sounded.

She sat up straight and ordered. “Come.”

The doors hissed open and Chakotay strode in, carrying a small stack of PADDs. “Good afternoon, Captain. Today’s departmental reports.”

With a grim smile, Kathryn held out her hand and took them from him. “Thank you, I think.”

She shuffled through them half-heartedly as he leaned against the desk and gave her a brief overview. “There’s not much to report; a couple of secondary relays needed replacing in Engineering and Crewman Biddle fell out of bed last night and cut his chin. Apart from that, everything is quiet. Our Enaran guests seem to be enjoying their stay. The party last night was a success and the crew seems pleased to have some fresh faces about the place.”

Kathryn plonked the PADDs on the desk and stood up. “Yes, they seem friendly enough and it was an interesting night. A little unusual at times but, overall everyone seemed to have a good time. I don’t think I’ll be inviting any of the Enarans into my head again though; I’ve never been a big fan of mind melds.”

Chakotay nodded sympathetically. “Yes, I find there’s only room for one inside my head too. Headache?”

Kathryn nodded, but waved it off as unimportant, then pointed towards the replicator. “I’m going to have a coffee. It could of course merely be caffeine withdrawal. Can I get you something? Oh, and thank you for the report; you’ve saved me a couple of hours of ploughing through those.” Kathryn nodded towards the stack of PADDs.

Chakotay smiled. “I’m glad to help, and I’d love a tea, thank you.” He watched as she moved briskly up the stairs to the replicator. Despite what she’d said, he knew the reports would be read, probably sometime later in her quarters, but he’d given her an excuse to sit and relax for a few minutes. It amused him that she felt the need to justify her downtime, but he wasn’t about to argue. Whatever worked for her and allowed him to spend some quality time in her company was fine by him.

During their two and a half years in the Delta Quadrant, they’d found a comfortable rhythm to their relationship and after their time on New Earth and Hanon V, they’d grown much closer. He knew how her mind worked and she was reasonably clued-in on how he ticked; subsequently they played ‘the game’. It gave them both a certain amount of freedom within the confines of Starfleet rules and regulations – not nearly as much as he’d like – but he was willing to bide his time.

Kathryn turned from the replicator with a mug in each hand. She placed them on the coffee table. “Shall we have our drinks up here? I won’t feel so guilty if I can’t see all the work I’m supposed to be doing.” She gave him a crooked smile and patted the seat beside her as he made his way to the upper level.

He sat down and, picking up his mug, raised it in a half toast, giving her another dimpled smile. “Thank you.”

“You’re most welcome.”

It was time now for gossip. This was what she relished, but she would never ask if there was anything salacious or juicy on offer, relying on his ability to ‘read’ her but if he were too slow to begin, she would prompt him. He was dawdling today so she watched and waited until he’d taken a sip of his tea.

“So, who was Crewman Biddle in bed with that he mistimed his dismount and fell?”

Chakotay choked and sputtered, laughing loudly as he brushed the spatters of tea from his pants and jacket. “Kathryn, you waited until I had a mouthful didn’t you. Thank you so much.”

She quirked an eyebrow and grinned. “Well?”

“Dear innocent Crewman Eric Biddle? I’m sure I don’t know what you mean.”

“Let me guess then. Ensign Macormak? Crewman Foster? Ensign Quinn?”

Chakotay’s face remained blank.

“Don’t tell me… all three? I’m impressed.”

He laughed again and shook his head. “No, Kathryn. Although that’s a picture I’m going to have a hard… difficult time getting out of my head.” He wondered if she’d caught his faux pas. The innuendo hadn’t been intentional and, although she seemed to be taking today’s word play to a higher level, he wasn’t about to give her ammunition. This game was likely to end in tears – his, if experience was anything to go by.

She gave him a sideways glance, but let it pass. “Hmmm, I’ll just have to be more vigilant and see who Crewman Biddle eats with in the mess hall. That’s always a pretty accurate indicator of who is sleeping with whom.”

Her unabashed banter gave him courage and he countered. “There’s a flaw in your theory, Kathryn. We eat together in the mess hall, and we’re not sleeping together… ”

She shot back without blinking. “Perhaps it’s not the theory that’s flawed, Commander.” Not waiting to see his reaction, Kathryn stood and moved to the replicator again. “Another tea, Chakotay?”

It was taking him a moment or two to process her statement. His mind was doing an instant replay, analysing her words to ensure that he’d memorized every syllable and nuance accurately. He would replay it later in the privacy of his quarters and it was important to remember exactly what had occurred. One didn’t want to make a mistake about something like this.

“Chakotay?”

“Huh?”

“More tea?”

“Oh, yes please. I sprayed most of the last one across your ready room.”

“I noticed. You’ll owe me a carpet clean if you keep that up.”

“If you’d stop dropping clangers, I won’t keep doing it.”

She handed him his mug and gave him an unapologetic look. “I’ll try, but I can’t promise anything.”

On the back foot again, he began to wonder if her behaviour did have something to do with the Enarans and their telepathic abilities. Her behaviour certainly was uncharacteristic and as she’d mentioned earlier, her musical encounter with Jor Brel the evening before had left her with a headache. Surely, that meant something. It was a concern, especially in light of what B’Elanna had told him this morning about her dreams. This sort of brazen flirtation wasn’t really Kathryn’s style… or perhaps it was and he just wasn’t used to it. He was confused, but the break in conversation presented him with the perfect opportunity to move onto another, somewhat related subject.

“On the topic of the Enarans, I spoke to B’Elanna this morning and she mentioned that she’s been having some very vivid dreams. She’s convinced that it has something to do with our visitors.”

“Why does she think that? Jor Brel assured me last night that they wouldn’t link with anyone without their consent. I have no reason to believe that he was lying. Is it someone from the delegation in her dreams?”

Chakotay shook his head. “No, no one that she’s recognized.”

Kathryn lifted her hand to her combadge. “Maybe I should have Tuvok look into this. It could be a security risk.”

Chakotay reached over and stayed her hand. “I’m sure it’s not intended to get information. B’Elanna said that it’s as if she’s living someone else’s life, and it’s very realistic.”

“That must be disconcerting; to go to sleep each night knowing that you’re going to dream like that. Is she all right?”

“She’s fine. More than fine, in fact. The dreams aren’t frightening. In her words they’re ‘stimulating’.”

“Stimulating?”

Very stimulating. She’s an Enaran woman with a lover and according to B’Elanna, they’re the most intensely sensual dreams she’s ever experienced.”

“Oh.” Kathryn took a sip of her coffee then looked him in the eye. “Good for her then.”

Chakotay blinked slowly. There was yet another uncharacteristic comeback… Or perhaps there was something else going on here. Whatever it was, he was enjoying it immensely even if he was a little suspicious as to the reasons behind it. “Have you been having any of these sorts of dreams, Kathryn?”

“Sensual dreams?”

Chakotay nodded.

Kathryn shook her head. “No more than usual. What about you?”

He also shook his head, slightly stunned, but slowly getting used to this more forthright Kathryn. “No, same as you. No more than usual… more’s the pity.”

Kathryn nodded. “Yes, in lieu of the real thing, they’re about as close as I’m ever going to get.” She got a wicked glint in her eye and she shuffled closer to him. “How about… I tell you mine and then you tell me yours.”

“What!?”

“Oh, come on, Chakotay. We’re old friends. You never know, we might learn something.” She grinned and quirked her brow.

“Kathryn are you serious? This isn’t like you. Are you sure you’re all right?” Chakotay frowned, now concerned that something really was amiss. This was so unlike her. However, he wanted to bite his tongue when he saw her face cloud and her eyes dim.

A blush crept up her cheeks and she pulled away from him. “I apologise, Commander. I’ve embarrassed you, not to mention myself. I only thought that…” She gave him a sad smile. “Actually, I don’t know what I was thinking.” Snatching up her cup she stood abruptly and began making her way back to her desk as quickly as she could. “I’d best get started on these reports.”

He wasn’t sure what to do. If she was under the influence of the Enarans, he couldn’t take advantage of her; that was out of the question, but if this was her attempt to move their relationship forward and he was letting this opportunity pass him by, he would regret it forever. In the end, he decided he couldn’t let it go and spoke just loudly enough for her to hear. “I dream about you.”

Kathryn stopped mid stride.

Standing slowly, Chakotay rested his hands on the railing of the upper level, still talking softly. “For years, Kathryn, all my dreams have been about you.” He could see her shoulders rising and falling as she breathed. Perhaps he shouldn’t have said anything, but it was too late to take it back now. The quiet was oppressive; all he could hear was the distant hum of the engines, the shallow huff of her breaths and the thud of his heart. He was about to start cursing himself, when her voice broke the silence.

“I dream about you too.” She still hadn’t turned around but spoke in a harsh whisper that reverberated around the room. “Intense dreams.” Now she did turn, but slowly. “Stimulating dreams.”

Chakotay moved towards her. “Really, Kathryn?”

The light was back in her eyes and the corner of her mouth was lifting into a smile. “Surely you’re not surprised?”

He shrugged. “I am a little. You’ve never given me any indication.”

“I couldn’t… and I shouldn’t. Damn, I don’t know why this is happening now.” She frowned. “It must have something to do with the Enarans. It stands to reason that if B’Elanna is affected, then anyone could be. What do you think?”

Chakotay desperately wanted to tell her that it was nothing other than their feelings for one another, but he had to admit it was out of the ordinary. “I honestly don’t know, Kathryn. All I know is I want to kiss you. That in itself isn’t unusual, but the fact that I don’t think I can stop myself, is something else entirely.”

Staring at him, her eyes widened with concern but she tempered her look with affection. “We should get to the bottom of this.” She tapped her combadge. “Janeway to Jor Brel.”

“Brel here Captain, how may I help you?”

“Jor Brel, would you please join me in my ready room. I will have someone sent to escort you.”

“Certainly, Captain.”

She tapped her combadge again. “Tuvok, could you have someone escort Jor Brel to my ready room please?”

“Aye, Captain.”

Silence reigned again.

Kathryn and Chakotay stood several feet apart, staring at one another. The seconds ticked by at snail’s pace and she was having great difficulty standing still. Chakotay’s arm beckoned. Kathryn closed her eyes. “For God’s sake, how long does it take for someone to get here from Deck Seven?”

“Maybe they’re taking the scenic route.”

Kathryn opened her eyes. “We have a scenic route?”

“Not really, unless you think what Neelix did to the mess hall is worth a second look.”

“You’re trying to distract me, aren’t you?”

“No, I’m trying to distract me. I still want to kiss you.”

Kathryn stared at Chakotay and took a step towards him, her hands moving towards his face. “I…”

The door chimed and they jumped apart. Kathryn shook herself and snapped, “Come.”

Crewman Biddle stood to the side as Jor Brel entered the room. Kathryn flicked her eyes towards Chakotay and gave him a glare and an almost imperceptible shake of her head. It was as if the gods were working in league to make things as awkward as possible.

Chakotay nodded to Biddle. “Thank you, Crewman.” The young man spun on his heel and marched back through the doors.

Kathryn gestured for Brel to take a seat as she moved to the other side of her desk and sat down. Chakotay remained standing.

“Jor Brel we have some concerns regarding your telepathic abilities. There have been some instances of unusual behaviour and dreams amongst the crew. Do you think that it could possibly be one or more of your delegation who is responsible?”

“I find it impossible that any of us could be doing this purposely.”

Chakotay stepped forward. “But it is possible for you to share your experiences without mutual consent?”

Brel looked flustered. “Yes, but it just isn’t done. Captain, I know we had a misunderstanding last night, but I assure you we have strict ethics.”

“We’re not suggesting otherwise, it’s only that there have been incidents and we’re trying to find out why this is happening.”

“Well, I have heard of instances where members of some alien races have been affected by the slight telepathic field we generate, but it is a rare occurrence.”

Kathryn looked at Chakotay. “Perhaps we are one of those races.”

Brel looked back and forth between the two humans. He didn’t need his telepathy to see what was happening here but it was not his place to say anything. “Perhaps you are, Captain. It might be just enough for those already with a deep connection to find their natural barriers somehow compromised, but I can assure you that it is not being done deliberately. I shall speak to my people and ensure that they keep their telepathic activity to a minimum whilst we’re on board.”

Kathryn frowned. She wasn’t sure how she felt about that. The sense of freedom had been rather invigorating but if it was being artificially induced then she really should put a stop to it. “Thank you, Jor Brel. That would be appreciated.”

Kathryn walked around the desk to stand in front of Brel as he spoke.

“I wish there was something more I could do, Captain. I truly regret any ill effects that our presence here has caused you.”

“Well, fortunately those effects are under control now.”

Brel met Chakotay’s eyes for a moment, long enough to see the disappointment in their depths. He looked back towards the Captain. There was a reciprocal look of regret in her eyes. It seemed such a shame, but he was a diplomat first and foremost, and not a matchmaker. “I’m very glad to hear that.”

Kathryn walked him to the door, which slid open and Biddle stepped forward ready to escort Brel back to his quarters. The Enaran gave both Kathryn and Chakotay an enigmatic smile before he turned and followed the crewman. The doors slid shut.

Turning towards one another, Kathryn heaved an exaggerated sigh. “Well, that explains it then.”

Chakotay nodded. He was far from pleased with the explanation, but it did make sense. The trouble was that he still wanted to kiss her but knew he couldn’t. The moment had passed and now he couldn’t bring himself to meet her eyes. She seemed so relieved that there was a reason for her behaviour and his heart couldn’t bear it.

“I’ll get back to the bridge and leave you to your reports.”

He swung around and was through the door before Kathryn had time to say a word. The doors snapped shut and she felt like crying. Damned telepaths.

The last hour of their shift dragged by and it was a very disheartened Kathryn who left her ready room at 1830. Chakotay had already gone and she gave only a cursory nod to Harry in the centre seat as she strode past the Tactical station. Ensign Macormak was at Ops and smiled as Kathryn passed, wishing her goodnight. Kathryn nodded and tried to smile, but seeing the Ensign was merely another reminder of her disastrous afternoon.

She made it back to her quarters in minutes and as the doors slid shut behind her, she heaved a sigh and sank into her chair. Clutching her throw to her chest, her head flopped back and she stared up at the ceiling. The headache was back with a vengeance but it couldn’t match the ache in her heart. She would have kissed him this afternoon. Without a doubt. If Brel hadn’t arrived when he did, she would have walked into Chakotay’s arms and kissed him without hesitation. What the hell was wrong with her? A loud chorus in her head shouted, ‘nothing’ and she was inclined to agree with it. She certainly hadn’t felt like there was anything wrong with the idea earlier, so why should it feel wrong now? Kathryn sat up straight in her chair and stared across at the wall she shared with her first officer. Maybe there wasn’t anything wrong with the idea at all, perhaps it was merely her perception that was at fault.

Without getting herself into a complete emotional tangle, she tried to look at the facts objectively. Fact number one; they loved one another. She knew that now. Her face softened into a broad smile. They loved one another. In essence, that was the only fact that mattered as far as she was concerned. The command structure was strong, the crew united, the ship in reasonable working order, Starfleet was a long way away and the rules were not inflexible.

In the last ten years, with Starfleet’s push into deep space, the protocols regarding relationships had been relaxed a little. On the large exploratory vessels, Captains and crew were encouraged to have their families accompany them on long missions. It meant there was no more need for extended separations, putting stress on relationships and marriages, and it allowed children to grow up with both parents present. There were inherent dangers, but weighed up against the positives, it was no contest. It made perfect sense. Voyager hadn’t been equipped to carry civilians, but no one had known that they were going to be tossed to the other side of the galaxy either, so now compromises had to be made.

There were practical considerations as well. If it was indeed going to take them seventy years to get home, she couldn’t very well be captaining the ship when she was close to one hundred and ten years old. They needed replacement crew and that meant Voyager had to become a generational ship. To survive and make it back to the Alpha Quadrant, they needed to start having children now, before they were all too old. It was imperative to the success of their mission.

Kathryn stood up and marched into her bathroom, stripped and showered quickly. Her mind was now made up. It was all so simple. She had a responsibility to the crew to lead the way. Relationships were developing amongst the crew. Young Biddle was a perfect example and if they saw the captain in a committed relationship, surely that would be enough to encourage others to follow her example. They could reconfigure the living arrangements with little or no structural changes, and nurseries and schools could be organised. Look how they’d managed with Naomi. It had been a very smooth transition. She couldn’t understand why she hadn’t thought of it sooner. It was a perfect plan to fulfil all her needs and it had been staring her in the face for months.

Standing in front of her mirror she gave herself the once over and grabbed the first thing that came to hand, her uniform. It was comfortable and she wasn’t really planning on wearing it for long if this evening went as she expected. She just hoped that Chakotay was as easy to convince as she’d been. The arguments were compelling and incisive and, all things being equal, he should see the good sense in it. If not, she’ll just have to kiss him and see where it led.

Huffing one final deep breath, running through the arguments in her head one last time, she spun around and marched out the doors towards his quarters. Without stopping to think anymore about it, she pressed on his door chime and waited. There was no answer. Damn it. He was probably down in Sandrine’s drowning his sorrows or not… The doors slid open and he called from the bathroom, “I won’t be a moment, Kathryn, you caught me in the shower.”

In her new forthright guise, Kathryn decided that she couldn’t look this gift horse in the mouth, so she stripped off her clothes, dumped them on the bed, and opened the bathroom door. Chakotay was in the shower with steam billowing around him. At the sound of the door, he swung around and stared. “K…Kathryn! What the hell…?”

“I’ve been thinking and I’ve come to a decision.”

“To change the uniform regulations?”

She glanced down at her naked body; gave his unclothed form a once over and smiled. “Yes, and I’m glad to see you’re complying, Commander.”

He laughed and shook his head. “I’m not sure what to say… Are you all right?”

“I’m fine. As I said, I’ve been thinking.” Kathryn waved her hand to shoo him further back into the shower cubicle. “Do you remember the conversation we had a little over a year ago about a replacement crew and the likelihood of becoming a generational ship?”

Chakotay nodded, and stepped further back as she slipped into the shower beside him. They hadn’t touched yet, but her proximity was having an obvious effect and although they were talking as if they were in the briefing room, it was difficult to stay on task.

“Well, I think it is in the best interests of the crew to set an example. Relationships are forming all over the ship and we’re going to need replacement crew in about half the time it’s going to take us to get home. I, for one do not want to be captaining this ship when I’m doddering around in my nineties, so…” She looked at Chakotay’s glazed expression. “…are you following me, Chakotay?”

He blinked and nodded this time.

Reaching around him, Kathryn picked up the soap and began to lather his chest, her hands skimming over the wet golden skin. She wasn’t oblivious to his reaction; he was having a similar but not so obvious affect on her. Putting the soap aside, her hands slid over his shoulders and she stepped forward, her wet warm body meeting his. They both sucked in deep breaths and Chakotay’s arms wound around her, holding her close.

“You won’t get any arguments from me, Captain. Interpersonal relationships have always been high on my agenda.”

Kathryn smiled and ducked her head under the flow of water until her hair was slicked back on her head. Standing on tiptoes, Kathryn kissed his lips quickly. “I’m pleased to know that we’re on the same page, Commander.”

“We’re being so formal, considering our attire, or lack thereof, I feel we should invite the rest of the command team to this meeting.”

“I don’t think that’s necessary. I’ll just send a memo later.”

“Good thinking.”

“That’s why I’ve got the pips.”

“Pips or not, I’m going to kiss you now.”

“I’ve been wai…”

She didn’t have a chance to finish her sentence or her next thought. Both evaporated from her mind as his lips met hers. They were surprisingly cool against her mouth, a delightful contrast to the warm shower. Closing her eyes, Kathryn concentrated on the sensations. Their mouths moulded together, wet bodies slid effortlessly against one another and the trickle of water over quickly warming flesh made her shiver with anticipation. Chakotay’s erection pressed into her belly, hot and hard, and she could feel the liquid heat and swell of her own sex. Chakotay’s lips slid from her mouth to her neck and he whispered hotly, “I want you, my captain.”

Her head tilted back and she sighed softly and whispered. “You have me.” And with that, he sank to his knees in front of her and all coherent thought was lost in the crush of exquisite and long desired sensations. Kathryn’s world consisted of his mouth, tongue and fingers. She was pressed against the cool tiles, her arms flailing as she tried to find purchase as he drove her towards sweet oblivion. With one hand clutching the showerhead and the other tangled in his hair, she cried out as with one last flick of his tongue, she tipped over the edge, grinding against his face, her body caught in the rigour of her climax. As the tonic spasms subsided, she slid down the wall to curl up on his lap, the water still pouring over their hot bodies.

“My God, I don’t think my legs work anymore. I’m a puddle.”

Chakotay laughed and turning her towards him kissed her hard.

Kathryn could taste herself on his lips and feel his erection digging into her thigh. Suddenly reinvigorated, she straddled him and began undulating against him, sliding her moist folds back and forth along the hard ridge of his penis. Chakotay gripped her hips and tried to still her, but she was determined to give him as much pleasure as he’d given her. Laying her hands gently over his on her hips, she loosened his hold, lifting his hands to her breasts, not once breaking her rhythm.

His brow furrowed as he concentrated on stopping himself from coming, he was momentarily distracted by the feel of her breasts in his hands, her pebbled nipples burning holes in his palms. Leaning forward Kathryn captured his mouth in a deep kiss and tilting her pelvis, slid down on him, enveloping him in the warmth of her body.

He gasped into her mouth and groaned. His hands sliding from her breasts as he gripped her shoulders. He pushed her back a little and muttered in a strained voice. “I can’t… I…”

The sensation of him inside her, the delicious fullness and stretch was driving Kathryn towards another climax and she picked up her pace – rising, falling and rubbing against him. She shushed him and whispered against his lips. “Come, my love. Come for me.”

With an almost strangled sob, Chakotay gripped her hips again, slammed up into her, once, twice and then with a growl, held her hard against him as he pumped into her. The swell and heat of him tipped her over the edge and she juddered through another orgasm, pulling his head to her breasts and holding him tight as water poured over them.

Finally, their straining bodies relaxed and they slumped into one another.

It took a moment for them to get their breath back and Kathryn snuggled into Chakotay’s embrace, her head tucked against his shoulder. “We really should get out of the shower. There won’t be a drop of water left on Voyager if we don’t move soon. I don’t want to have to explain that to our Chief Engineer.”

“Hmmm, not something I want to have to do either.”

Kathryn nodded. “I don’t care how much she’s enjoying her dreams or how well rested she is, she can be damned crotchety when she wants to be.”

Chakotay chuckled and untangling themselves, they clambered to their feet, rinsed off and stepped out of the shower. He draped a towel around Kathryn’s shoulders and pulled her towards him, kissing her soundly. “I’m all for these new uniform regulations, by the way.” He bent down and kissed each of her breasts.

Kathryn grabbed a towel and began drying his chest. “I think for efficiency’s sake, we might have to add an ‘in quarters’ codicil. I certainly can’t see me getting too much word done with this within arms reach all day.” She stroked over his bare chest, then looked up and him and grinned

“I can think of a few advantages.”

“I’m sure you can,” she swatted him gently. “None of which would be the least bit helpful in a crisis. No, I think for the betterment of mankind, we’d best stick to uniforms when on duty, but I’m inclined to waive that order for off duty times when we’re on our own.”

“A fair compromise.” Chakotay ran his fingers through her hair and smiled gently. “Dinner?”

Kathryn nodded. “Sounds wonderful, but we have a farewell reception to attend, remember?”

“Strangely, I’d forgotten. There must have been something else on my mind.”

Grinning, Kathryn pulled him into the bedroom, where they dressed. It was sweetly intimate. Neither had seen the other remove their clothes but donning them was almost as exciting, with the added delight of knowing, they would be removed again later. The anticipation fluttered like butterflies in Kathryn’s stomach.

Once dressed they moved out into the living area and contemplated one another, smiling in delight at the changes that had taken place today.

“Well, I suppose we’d best get to the Mess hall.”

“I suppose we can’t send our apologies and put those new uniform regulations into effect again?”

“I’m afraid not, Commander. Duty calls, but, once we’re finished with the Enarans, the evening is ours.”

“Ah, excellent incentive.” Chakotay crooked his arm.” My captain.”

Kathryn wove her arm though his and standing on tiptoes, kissed his cheek. “My commander.”

Together, they walked out the door.

FIN

Note: I borrowed some of the original episode dialogue in the scene with Jor Brel in the ready room.

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