Sonata. Rated NC17

By elem

Rated NC17

Summary: A Coda episode addition. Basically a PWP.

Happy Birthday Kat Lady. I hope all your wishes come true. Hugs.

Thanks to Kim J for the brilliant beta but as always, I’ve fiddled so any mistakes are mine.

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

*******************************************************************

He helps me up off the dusty ground and with a supporting arm around my waist, I grip his shoulder, and together we walk to the shuttle. Sitting quietly by the biobed on our journey back to Voyager – my hand tucked securely in his – he watches me without saying a word – his dark, soulful eyes never leave my face.

I want to thank him. To tell him that I saw what he did and how deeply grateful I am – but mere words seem so inadequate.

In a race against time, he’d worked frantically on my dying body, compressing my chest over and over again, then covering my mouth with his, forcing air into my static lungs. He’d become my heart and my life’s breath during those terrifying moments; begging and pleading with me not to die – calling me back from the brink as he held me close and shed anguished tears into my hair.

The memories are all too vivid, the emotions they evoke too acute and I take a deep shuddering breath in an attempt to centre myself. I am plagued by his desperation and grief coupled with my inability to comfort and reassure him. Every moment of our shared torment imprinted indelibly on my mind.

Moved beyond words, I lie here, my hand secure in his, but I’m afraid. It has become a situation fraught with such deep and exposing emotions that I hesitate to bring them to the fore so soon after the event. It is something that we both need to mull over and take our time to digest. But if I don’t say something in the here and now, we’ll finish up doing what we’ve always done and file those experiences away, along with the rest of the precious moments we’ve shared over the last two years, then smile sadly at one another and never speak of it again. I can’t bear to think of that happening.

I squeeze his hand and wish that the sincerity of my compassion and understanding could osmose through the pores of my skin, and slip noiselessly along his veins and nerves, straight to his heart. Closing my eyes, I force these feelings from their cloistered hiding place and send them on their perilous journey, praying that he will comprehend just how deeply my appreciation and admiration run. They plumb the very depths of my being and at this moment, I feel closer to him than to anyone else in my life. I am, in essence, reborn. Through his actions, I have been snatched back from the dreaded maw of oblivion. And whether he wants it or not, I owe him my life.

Hours ago, the intensity of these emotions would have terrified me but after cheating death, I feel indestructible, unbreakable and fearless. I know that together, Chakotay and I can achieve anything. My god, we bested death and outwitted the afterlife!

He squeezes my hand in return and I smile, my eyes meeting his. He understands; he knows. We are in profound accord and filled with hope for our future.

*******************************

We arrive back on Voyager and Tuvok transports me to Sickbay. The Doctor, after much clucking and fussing, pronounces me healthy enough, and releases me to my quarters.

I have almost escaped the hologram’s far-from-endearing irascibility when Chakotay comes through the doors.

He nods at the EMH, who gives him an impatient smile and waves offhandedly in my direction. “Yes, you can take her home. Just make sure she takes it easy for a few days and no coffee tonight.”

I glower at him in reply and naturally, I see a glint of amusement in my first officer’s eyes. He’s waiting for my retort and I’m not going to disappoint him.

“‘She’ is standing right here, Doctor. If you wish to issue orders, I can take them just as well as the Commander.”

Truth be told, I’m not very happy with him. He euthanized me during my alien induced delusion and consequently, I’m feeling decidedly stand-offish at that moment.

I’m treated to one of his mealy-mouthed looks for my trouble and he huffs dramatically. “If I thought that were true, Captain, I would not waste my simulated breath updating the Commander on my recommendations. But please feel free to ignore me, you usually do.” With a flourish, he hands me a PADD. “No coffee and get some rest. You’ll have a mild headache for a few days but try to go easy on the analgesics; sleep is what you need. I’ll check on you tomorrow, first thing; however, if you need me I am but a comm. call away.”

At this point, I could quite happily decompile his program. Chakotay looks ready to intervene if necessary – or burst out laughing, I’m not sure which. Bravely stepping between us, he offers his arm and shucks his head towards the door.

I bite back a response guaranteed to destabilise the Doctor’s matrix, then slip my arm through Chakotay’s and almost escape. My tormentor, however, has one last pearl of wisdom to impart.

“Oh, and Captain, you have tomorrow off.”

I open my mouth to complain, but Chakotay tugs my arm and whispers quietly. “Have the day off, Kathryn. You need it. I’ve got it covered.”

He’s so sincere; I can’t bring myself to say no. So I nod and keep my eyes on Chakotay’s face as I answer.

“Very well, Doctor. If I must.”

I smile at the man beside me, toss the PADD on the nearest biobed and step out into the corridor.

*****************************************

As the doors hiss shut behind us, I hear a harrumph and roll my eyes. Chakotay’s repressed laughter bursts forth and I can’t help myself either. It’s a merciful release after the tensions and torments of the day.

By the time we’re inside the turbo lift, hysteria has set in and we fall over each other, tears pouring down our faces. Between guffaws, Chakotay requests deck three and I wonder how we’re going to make it to my quarters in such a state.

Looking up, I reach out and, without thinking, wipe a tear from his cheek. The laughter stops instantly and he stares at me.

My mind crashes back to that frenzied scene on the planet when he was trying to resuscitate me. He’d cried then too and I can tell that he’s also reliving those nightmarish moments.

All of a sudden, I’m overcome by the same dread I felt during the alien’s occupation of my mind. The wash of memories is too much to bear. Seeing my own funeral, dealing with the sorrow of the crew, and fighting for my very survival, tears at my restraint. And picturing Chakotay’s shattered face as he strode out of sickbay past my dead body is the final straw.

My face crumples and his eyes darken with grief. Without a sound, we collapse into each other’s arms. We cling desperately to one another as though our lives depend upon it – and I have a suspicion that they may.

I mutter. “Thank you, thank you.” over and over into his slowly dampening shirt.

He wraps his arms around me, hugging me closer, so tightly that I can barely breathe.

I husk out, “Computer halt lift.”

And we stand here, wrapped in each other’s arms for I don’t know how long, as comfort and reassurance filters back and forth between us and we try to find some means of dealing with all these terrible and wonderful feelings.

Damn, it’s been a hell of a day.

The tears finally stop and our arms loosen but we remain in our embrace. We’ve given each other the strength to pull back from the threshold of utter despair and I am warmed by that knowledge.

I love this man. At such a realisation, my heart jolts, but not in surprise. It leaps in joyous acceptance. I do love him. I love him as a friend, companion, confidant, comrade at arms – but also as the man who staked a claim on my heart all those months ago.

Almost from the moment we met, it was his. It has taken me a long time to admit it to myself and so far, I haven’t had the courage to admit it to him.

*****************************************

It had been a quick but gentle fall. Those weeks on New Earth had me looking past the bounds of friendship and contemplating him in the guise of a lover. He never pushed, but made his feelings abundantly clear in that sweet, but rather convoluted speech about the Angry Warrior.

I understood why he couched his declaration in those whimsical terms. I am an engaged woman and he has a very strict sense of propriety; something that I find delightfully endearing – particularly in a so-called terrorist. Little did he realise though, that I had given up on Mark long before we set foot on that now-distant paradise.

My fiancé is a practical man. We had discussed his options at length if, one day, I did not return from a mission. I made him promise that he would not grieve for too long and that he would make a concerted effort to get on with his life. He said he would do so and I believed him. I knew he would have mourned my loss – his heart broken – but in the end, he would have said his goodbyes and moved on. I had grieved too but, after our return from New Earth, I put Mark’s photograph away, said my farewells and wished him all the happiness in the universe.

This wasn’t something that I’d done lightly. I could count my lovers on the fingers of one hand. When Kathryn Janeway fell in love, it was no small thing. But with Chakotay, it was different. My other relationships were established by a slow and measured climb towards deeper feelings. But with this man, now in my arms, the feelings had come almost instantaneously. I’ve analysed and examined everything, looking from many different angles, but always with the same result. I love Chakotay. And in my heart of hearts, I know I always will.

I’m sure our circumstances play a part. Extreme situations lead to extreme reactions. My headlong tumble into love and lust with this man certainly fits that criterion but it doesn’t mean that my feelings for him are any less sincere or keenly honed.

I was instantly drawn to him for a myriad of reasons. He’s a handsome man – a fact that is blindingly obvious – but he is so much more than that. He’s decent, honourable and wise and he complements me by filling and softening the gaps in my ofttimes-jagged exterior. I think I do the same for him – by cementing the breaches in his sometimes-imperfect shell.

As our crews merged early in our odyssey, we did so as well, and almost seamlessly. It didn’t happen without the odd moment of discord, but those missteps merely added an edge of excitement, fuelling the process towards a more cohesive unit. We are a perfect example of synchronicity and I know, without a doubt, that if he weren’t here by my side, we would not have come as far as we have. It’s due, not only his tactical prowess, his rapport with the crew and his unfailing ability to fulfil his duties as first officer, but also a testament to his ability to keep me on an even keel – quietly caring for my physical, as well as mental wellbeing.

He is the finest first officer I have ever served with, the best friend I’ve ever had and the deepest and sincerest love of my life.

************************************

We pull away from one another slowly and I lift my hand again to wipe away his tears.

He does the same for me by holding my face between his gentle hands and swiping my damp cheeks with his thumbs. He then leans forward and kisses my forehead.

It seems like such a natural thing to do under the circumstances but the warm touch of his lips does something to me. It is a sweet and heartfelt token of affection – almost a benediction – and with it, the final veils of hesitancy fall away. I feel cherished and loved. I can tell that he is relieved that I am all right and thankful that I’m back here with him; that alone is enough. I love him even more for the purity of the gesture.

We should be on our way, but I need this time to gather my wits and steady my nerves. With my hand still nestled against his neck and the other on his shoulder, I rest my head back on his chest where I can hear the comforting beat of his heart. It lulls me. His arms drape loosely around me; the urgency of our earlier embrace is now gone and in its place is a wonderful sense of peace and renewal.

I don’t know how long we stand here, but he finally strokes his hand over my hair and kisses my forehead once more before he moves a little to the side. One arm still hugs me close to him – much as it did on our walk to the shuttle.

He turns to me then and smiles. “Lift resume.”

I feel the subtle shift in gravity as we arrive on our deck. And when the door opens, I expect him to pull his arm away from me. I’m dreading the moment when the connection is broken, but he surprises me again by sliding his hand down my arm and weaving his fingers through mine. I want to cry at the sweet and simple gesture. He needs the contact as much as I do and with our hands clasped and our connection intact, we walk slowly and steadily to my door. I don’t hesitate – keying in my code and walking through the opening without relinquishing his hand.

We move to the centre of my living area and before either of us can think too much about what is happening, I turn, slipping my hand from his, and put my arms around him again. His closeness is like a drug, and now that I’ve partaken, I’m addicted. I didn’t realise just how much I craved his closeness and touch.

We stand like this for several minutes and then, without a word, I step back, take his hand again and draw him towards my bedroom. He doesn’t waver and for that, I am grateful. We are well past the point of coy indecision and uncertainty. Today’s brush with death is enough to make us realise that time is short and we haven’t a moment to lose. The complication of Starfleet rules and protocols fade to nothing in the face of what we’ve endured and I doubt they will matter in sixty or seventy years when we finally reach home. I have faith in Starfleet, however, and know that they’ll understand the necessity behind my decision.

Emotional equilibrium is equally as important as physical survival; one is inherently dependant upon the other and neither can exist in isolation. And I don’t care what they think. I’ve realised that Chakotay is far more important to me than any protocol or regulation and after seeing my ‘father,’ I am reminded of his real-life lessons – to follow my heart and do what I know is right, not necessarily what I am told is right. To trust my instincts. The entity, who tried to take my life today, has in essence become the catalyst allowing me to start my life anew.

As I remove my uniform and divest myself of the chattels of command, I reveal my naked body for the first time to the man I love, baring my soul along with it. He exposed his earlier today, in all its raw passion, and it seems only fitting that I do the same.

Still clothed, Chakotay reaches tentatively towards me and brushes the back of his fingers over my breast, watching intently as my nipple puckers and hardens. His fingers drift down my chest, over my belly and then lower, to trace the hollow of my hip and the shadowed edge of my pubic hair. He then cups my sex, his finger sliding through my folds and dipping into the moisture within. Although my heart is pounding rapidly in my chest, I reach forward with a steady hand and begin to remove his clothes.

His fingers slip from my folds – leaving a damp trail to where they rest gently on my hip – and I can feel his eyes on my face as I frown in concentration. After removing his rank bar, I place it next to my pips on the bedside table and proceed to undo the fastenings on his jacket. As I slide it over his shoulders and hear it hit the floor, I look up into his eyes. A shiver runs through my body, tickling at my senses and sending a rush of blood to my breasts and groin. His nostrils flare and I see that he can smell my arousal. The thought of it heightens my desire and with less-than-steady hands, I continue my task of removing his clothing.

Before long, he is as naked as I am and we stand and stare at one another. As with a good wine, this moment is savoured. We take our time to look and breathe before we taste. His eyes rove over my pale flesh as mine scour his. He is broad and strong, his body toned but yielding – much like his character. His skin is a glorious honey colour – so different from mine – and I itch to touch it. There is a sparse smattering of hairs on his chest and another arrow of hair that leads from his navel to his penis that juts – straining and erect – from a tangle of dark curls.

Unable to resist any longer – my need to touch him greater than my restraint – I place my hand over his heart. I have done this so many times with the barrier of our uniforms between my palm and his skin but, with that obstacle removed, I can feel the warmth of him and his heart hammering underneath. It appears I’m not the only one excited by the prospect of what is to come.

The hand that is resting on my hip begins to move, his thumb rubbing up and down the ridge of my hipbone, stroking the sensitive skin in a mesmerising rhythm. I don’t think he knows that he is doing this; his eyes are riveted to mine and I find myself rocking my pelvis in the same steady rhythm.

Neither of us has spoken since we left the turbo lift but I think now is the time.

I lick my lips and whisper hoarsely. “I love you.”

His stroking falters for an instant but then resumes, his grip tightened slightly, his fingers pressing into my buttock.

Overcome with emotion he husks, “I love you too. With all my heart.”

I nod and smile as my hand begins a slow trailing path of discovery across his chest; my fingers sweeping over the rises and dips of his muscles and bones. Beneath his smooth warm skin, I can feel the framework of his body – the inner structure of the man who has been my tower of strength and stalwart supporter from the moment we met.

I know we’re perfectly matched in the strength of our attachment; I have seen his embodied in the fervour of his grief and, as I step forward and kiss the soft skin over his rapidly beating heart, I’m certain that we have forged a bond that will never be broken in this world or the next.

My kiss shatters his self-control and after groaning loudly, he wraps his arms around me and lowers his head, taking my lips in a desperate but toe-curling kiss. He tastes how I imagined. A combination of warmth, his scent and something uniquely his that, over time, has permeated my being to become a part of me. Manna from heaven. And I know it will nourish and sustain me – this almost tangible evidence of his love for me.

His hands skim over my back and buttocks, his fingers pressing and dragging across my sensitive flesh. His touch is neither gentle nor rough but steady and sure, as if he has done this a thousand times in his dreams and I wonder if this is true.

I know I have lived this moment countless times in my imaginings since our eyes met on the Bridge in that other lifetime.

I’m gasping and mewling; I can hear myself but I have no control and my rapture only drives him onward. The bed is behind us, but we don’t finish up there. Instead, he lifts and draws me closer; in answer, my legs spread wide and I feel the hot touch of his erection press against me.

We are all heat and moisture and the first touch of the tip of his penis sliding through the wetness of my arousal is stunning. My legs shake and my fingers curl into the sinewy muscles of his shoulders. I know I’m leaving marks – small, deep crescents – as evidence of my passion. They will fade but they are only the superficial proof of the indelible brands of promise that will sear into our hearts with this joining.

My back presses into my bedroom wall and over Chakotay’s shoulder, I can see the stars of the Delta Quadrant elongating and streaking past my window. Voyager’s forward momentum – almost faster than light itself – whisks us closer and closer to home but as he enters me, rasping curses and muttered words of love against the skin of my cheek, my mind explodes with the realisation that I’m already there.

I am home.

Encapsulated within the deceptively strong walls of our small ship, surrounded by the fellowship and camaraderie of our crew, and with the embodiment of my future holding me in his arms, I know that wherever we find ourselves on this long and treacherous journey, we are where we are meant to be.

I yell loudly. A Valkyrie’s cry as my heart breaks free from the guilt and torment of my decision to destroy the array and strand us all so far from Earth. With our union has come an epiphany. I now know that the fates are at work and there is method to their madness. Chakotay and I were destined to be here along with Voyager. The universe has something in store for us all.

I am free.

Chakotay thrusts into me and I kiss him hard, my legs wrapping around his hips as he grinds the bony prominence of his pubis against my clitoris. The wet, sucking sounds of our joined sexes lends an earthy and raw accompaniment to our whispered sighs and sharp inhalations of delight.

I’ll have bruises to show for my enthusiasm; God knows what my back will look like in the aftermath – but I don’t care. I need this; I want this. It’s amazing to feel so alive, to know that I can still experience all extremes of existence – especially the soul-nurturing ones of love, lust and devotion.

My body arches against him as his hand cups my bottom, holding me to him as his other hand fondles my breast. Each deep and measured plunge is now coupled with gruffly spoken words – in a language I don’t understand. I assume it is his native tongue; it sounds ancient and primal and the staccato tenor of his voice marks the rhythm of our lovemaking. I have never been a noisy lover in the past, but as I grunt and moan with each pounding thrust, I vaguely wonder if the bulkheads are sufficiently soundproofed.

Suddenly he pulls away from me and I’m left bereft and craving. My inner muscles grasp and clench at nothing and I cry out at the loss. However, I don’t have long to endure as Chakotay drops to his knees, lifts my leg over his shoulder and covers me with his mouth. His tongue laves through my briny wetness as his fingers spread my folds, exposing me to the chill of the room and his hot breath. I push towards him, urging him further. He teases my clit, his tongue sweeping in circles around the excited nub. Then he slides his thumb into my vagina, the fingers of that hand resting behind, in, and over the crack of my ass.

I gasp at the unfamiliar sensation but there is no intrusion, merely pressure – which only adds to the growing cacophony of sensations. Teeth and lips nip gently and his tongue drills and flicks at my pulsing flesh. Pushing his thumb deeper, he leans back, blowing cool air over me, as his other fingers pinch and rub my clit in ever quickening circles. The combination of sensations is overwhelming and as I crescendo towards oblivion, he surges forward, latching onto my aching nub. He sucks hard, his lips tugging and pressing and it is too much.

I finally succumb.

My body thrashes and strains against the delicious onslaught, and I am lost. My extremities electrified – twitching and trembling – my chest heaving and my abdomen rigid. He holds me securely, crooning softly as I cry out in frenzied delight, clawing at his hair and grasping at the cold duranium of the wall beside me. My core is on fire, clenching as tight as a fist and drenching us in the salty spill of my ecstasy. I have never come like this in my life, not with a lover nor by my own hand, and greedy, I’m already hungering for more.

Slowly, I begin to emerge from the bright-lit world of my climax and as my lover comes back into focus, he sweeps me into his arms and turns towards the bed. We are now lying on the soft covers and his body lowers itself over mine. In my post-orgasmic stupor, I notice minutiae – the stark contrast of temperatures – cool sheets at my back, the fragrant warmth of his torso – and I can see the hazel flecks in his eyes. As he presses into me again, I open myself wide, urging him deeper, harder – to merge us body and soul.

His arms wrap around me, his large body completely covering and enveloping mine. I know that he could break me if he so desired. But I know that I am safe – his contained power as arousing and tantalising as his gentle whispers and kisses. I undulate beneath him, gripping and relaxing my muscles, sucking on the skin of his neck and clasping his buttocks fiercely.

Without warning, the tempo changes and his movements become frantic. I can sense that his control is almost gone as he pistons in and out of me. Then I feel him swell, stretching me even further, and the rhythm of his thrusts falter, losing their steady cadence. In the second before he loses control, he husks quietly that he loves me.

The hot burn of tears sears my eyes and I sob as he comes.

His body tenses and heaves, and then I feel the welcome flood of his spend and the pulsing throb of his hard length against my inner walls. I don’t climax again but it doesn’t matter. We’ve again been witness to the baring of our souls and it has only forged a stronger and more enduring connection.

He kisses the tears from the outer corners of my eyes and then takes my lips in a wet and lazy kiss.

Happiness fills the room as though it has been waiting in the wings for this moment and these circumstances.

My hands skim over his skin and I greet him with a broad smile as he sighs contentedly against my breast. After suckling for a time, he meets my gaze, grinning at the popping sound of my nipple pulling from his lips. He rolls to the side slightly, his hand still cupping my breast.

I grin, bite my bottom lip, then sigh as he slips from my body. I feel empty and to resolve that I clamber closer, not wanting to break the connection. We are sticky and reek of sex, but it is who we are in this moment and I revel in it.

Chakotay sweeps my hair from my face, kisses me and smiles. “The Doctor is not going to be pleased with us, you know.”

I laugh. “I won’t tell if you won’t.”

He grins broadly, his joy easily matching mine. “It’s only going to take one scan and he’s going to know.”

I shrug and lean forward to lick his nipple, then rub my breasts against the handful of tickling hairs on his chest. “Do I look like I care?”

Drawing back, his eyes drift down my body, noting the slow-fading flush of orgasm, the sticky trail of our combined juices and the matted hair of our groins.

Chuckling, he shakes his head. “No, not in the slightest. You’re magnificent.”

“We’re magnificent. Mind blowingly magnificent and I want to tell the world.”

He winks at me. “I’ll pop it on the agenda for the next crew briefing.”

I laugh again. “Can you imagine the looks on everyone’s faces when we inform them that – yes, the Captain and Commander have finally made love and they’ve given themselves a score of eleven out of ten?”

“Only eleven?”

“Hey, first time, remember? And practice makes perfect.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.” He leans forward and kisses me again.

I can’t get enough of his taste and snuggle closer. My mind filled with fanciful thoughts of trying to climb inside him, of merging our bodies so completely that we are one for always.

“Thank you.”

“For what?”

“For saving me.”

He looks pensive. “We’re even then.” And holds up his hand.

I weave my fingers through his, remembering the modest expression of our affection from all those months ago. It contrasts starkly with what we have just experienced but the innocent nature of the gesture has changed with our altered circumstances. It held great significance before but now it will be the treasured token of our love, the unspoken symbol of our commitment. I kiss our clasped hands and Chakotay does the same. The vow is sacrosanct and binding. Without words, we have pledged ourselves to one another and I laugh and cry at the same time as he hauls me closer and kisses me soundly.

After several moments, he whispers, “So, sleep is probably a good idea, considering the Doctor is likely to be calling at first light.”

He is still taking care of me and I sigh happily. “Hmmm, yes, I suppose we should but I need a shower first…” and leaning forward, I kiss his chest. “… and you do too.”

“It’s been one of those days.”

“That’s the understatement of the century.” I stroke my hand over his chest one last time and then shimmy to the edge of the bed, swinging my legs over the side. “Are you coming? There’s room for two.”

Chakotay moves to sit behind me, legs on either side of my hips. Spooning my back against his front, he wraps his arms around me and kisses my neck.

“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to let you go.”

It is incredibly erotic having him pressed against me like this. I feel a twitch in my belly and I wriggle back against him.

“We might have to find a way of widening my captain’s chair, so we can sit there together.”

He huffs a laugh and pulls me back a little so he can see my face.

I waggle my eyebrows and he shakes his head.

“I think it will be safer with the console between us…” Pushing his burgeoning erection against my lower back to make his point, he continues, “I may not be able to control myself if we get too close.”

“I’ll keep that in mind, Commander.” I pretend to tap something into an imaginary PADD. “Note to self, no canoodling with the Commander whilst on duty.”

“Canoodling? What sort of a word is that?”

“A very old, very Aunt Martha one; and there’s more where that came from.”

Grinning, he holds my waist and pulls me up so we’re both standing.

“I can’t wait.”

Neither can I.

Arousal is spiralling again as his body rubs deliciously along mine. I love the feel of him – the bony jut of his hip, the heat of his semi-erection, the prickle of hairs on his legs and the sense of calm and control that he exudes from every pore. It’s impossible to hide how I feel and the crew will know with one look what has happened between us but I don’t care. Turning, I pull his head down to mine, latching my mouth onto his. Between kisses, I mutter against his lips. “Shower.”

And not wanting to let go of one another, we lurch like a drunken crab, staggering and stumbling our way into the bathroom. I’m laughing against his mouth by the time we make it to the shower stall.

Still kissing him, I order the computer to start the shower, usual settings.

Chakotay reaches his hand in to feel the water temperature. “Ahhh, not too hot and not too cold. It’s just right.”

“I’m so glad it meets with your approval, Goldilocks.”

He raises his eyebrows in question and I shake my head and laugh.

“I’m going to have to lend you some of my books aren’t I?”

“Seems like it.” He ushers me forward with a sweep of his hand. “After you.”

I’m tempted to insist that he enter first but I’ll save that for another day and step under the warm tumble of water. Right behind me, Chakotay wraps his arm around my waist and pulls me back against him in that same erotic configuration of my back to his front. Our bodies are slippery in the wet and he is erect again. I’m ready.

Leaning forward, I rest my arms on the shower wall and tilt my pelvis in his direction. There is no misunderstanding about what I want and he doesn’t pretend not to know. Stroking warm hands over my buttocks and up my back, he then holds my hips firmly, bends his knees and slides inside me. I’m well lubricated from our previous lovemaking and I push back against him, rocking my hips in time with his thrusts.

We don’t last long; at this angle, he is driving mercilessly against my G-spot and I know he can feel the telltale quiver of my lower belly. He reaches around to press his fingers against my clit. The position is blessed with the heightened arousal of new lovers and we tip over the edge within minutes.

Exhausted, I slump against him, thankful that his arms are there to hold me upright.

Keeping one arm around my waist, he soaps his other hand and begins to wash me. The gentle stroking of his hand rouses me and I turn and do the same for him, interspersing my delightful chore with wet kisses and loving caresses.

I yawn and receive a stern look. I hold up my hand in abeyance and call for the computer to turn off the water and begin the sonic shower. It will clean the parts we have missed – although I don’t think there are any – and dry my hair.

* * *

One of the sweetest moments of the night comes when Chakotay walks out of the bathroom, returns with a toothbrush and after cleaning his teeth, places it in the holder next to mine.

I cross my arms and look at him affectionately. “This is for keeps isn’t it?”

“If the toothbrush rule holds true in the Delta Quadrant, yes, it’s for keeps.”

“The toothbrush rule?”

“I’ll tell you about it one day but now it’s time for you to sleep.”

We climb into bed together and I rest my head on his upper arm as he tucks me close to his side. I yawn again, unable to stave off fatigue any longer.

As my eyes grow heavy, I heave a deep satisfied sigh and whisper, “I love you, my husband.”

His breath catches and he sighs deeply. Closing his eyes, he speaks in that same guttural tongue that I heard during our lovemaking. He then turns to me and smiles.

I’m intrigued. “What were you saying?”

“I was introducing you to my spirit guide. Roughly translated it means – This woman is the keeper of my heart and the holder of my soul, I pray that you keep her safe as she shares our journey.”

“I like that idea and I’ll take great care of them.”

“I know you will and I will cherish yours.”

Blissfully content, my eyes drift shut and my last thought is of dark, loving eyes and strong arms.

******************************

“Rise and shine, Captain.”

I open one eye and look up at Chakotay’s bleary face. Both our shoulders sag at that sound of the Doctor’s voice through the comm.

“It’s after 0700 and time for your check up. Did you sleep well?”

“A sleep-in would have been nice. Wasn’t that what you recommended, Doctor – sleep? Doesn’t it seem a little illogical to wake someone to find out if they slept well?”

“If you were Mr Tuvok, I might concede that point but because you’re not, I’d like to see you in Sickbay in an hour.”

I can feel my jaw clenching and the urge to grind my teeth is hard to resist. Taking a deep breath, I acquiesce.

“Fine, I’ll see you in an hour.” I hear the comm. disconnect and turn to Chakotay, stroking my hand up his neck to his cheek. “Good morning.”

He grins and kisses my forehead. “Good morning. I won’t ask the obvious.”

“I slept wonderfully. The best in years. You?”

“Like a log.”

“This sharing thing has merit.”

“That’s for sure.” Chakotay is kissing my breasts and, as I arch, pressing further into his mouth, I have a feeling that the Doctor is going to have to wait.

**********************************

I’m late, but stride confidently through the Sickbay doors at 0845. It was the best we could do under the circumstances. I smile to myself at the singsong voice in my head, ‘time flies when you’re having fun’.

The EMH is not pleased, however, and grumbles incessantly during my physical. I’m too happy to care this morning and even when he looks at me askance, reading the telltale signs of recent sexual activity on my scans, I merely shrug and ask if he’s finished.

“Yes, Captain, you may go but I want you to rest. Do you understand?”

“All too well, Doctor. Thank you.”

I waltz out of Sickbay without waiting for his usual taunt and make my way to the Bridge. No one seems to understand that I won’t be able to relax if I don’t know what is happening to my ship.

I greet the Bridge crew and acknowledge their heartfelt welcomes.

“Thank you all. Mr Tuvok, I’ll be in my Ready Room.”

No matter what anyone says, I can’t ‘rest’ on a day like today. My mind is too active and I’m skipping on clouds. I doubt even meeting the Borg would bring me back to earth from my present orbit, but reading Tuvok and the Doctor’s reports will at least drag me a little closer to solid ground. With my morning’s agenda organised, I replicate a cup of coffee and sit at my desk, PADD in hand. Chakotay is due on the Bridge any moment and if my instincts are correct, he’ll beat a path straight to my door the instant he leaves the turbolift.

* * *

I’m halfway through the Doctor’s logs when I take the last sip of my coffee and smile to myself as the door chimes. I know it’s Chakotay, I can feel it through the bulkheads.

“Come in.”

We have already made a pact that we’re not to behave inappropriately on duty. As I straddled his hips this morning, before riding him to a shattering orgasm, we decided that it was essential to maintain our usual aura of calm and control. With thoughts like that whizzing through my mind, it’s not going to be easy.

As soon as he walks through my Ready Room door, all I want to do is throw myself into his arms. I hold back though, my desk a welcome buffer.

“I could have sworn I heard the Doctor tell you to take it easy for a few days.” He sounds almost chiding.

It’s not news to him but I tell him anyway. “Taking it easy usually makes me feel worse.”

My gentle warrior is back. “You shouldn’t push yourself. You’ve been through a lot.”

And with those loving words he presents me with a rose – a peace rose, no less.

“Oh.”

I hope he realises that he’s making it almost impossible to adhere to our pact. It’s on the tip of my tongue to tell him that he’s not playing fair but instead, I take the rose, touch the soft petals to my cheek then try to get back to business.

“To tell you the truth, I’d rather stay busy than dwell on what happened.”

“I can understand that. I can’t help thinking about it. That alien – his Matrix – he was like a spider that has to lure a fly into its web.”

I’m still a little disconcerted by the entire experience and will need another coffee if we’re going to discuss this. Stepping out from behind my desk, I make my way to the upper level and muse.

“Do you think it’s possible that each of the near death experiences we’ve heard of are the result of an alien inhabitation?”

Chakotay has lingered on the lower level. I get the impression that he’s having as much trouble as I am in keeping his distance.

He shrugs. “That’s a little hard to believe.”

“I hope so. I’d prefer to think his species was unique to the Delta Quadrant and that I’ve seen the last of him.”

Smiling broadly, Chakotay reassures me. “I’m sure that’s the case. After going head to head with Kathryn Janeway he must have realised he’d met his match.”

That’s when I make up my mind. I’ve got the day off, I’m alive and we’re in love.

“Come on, Chakotay. We’ve cheated death, that’s worth a celebration, don’t you think? A bottle of champagne, moonlight sail on Lake George, how does that sound?”

“Like something worth living for.”

This time I insist that he precedes me, and grinning, I follow.

I’ve got plans for us today. Lots of plans. And, as I slip my arm through his and we step into the turbolift, I wonder what he’ll think about making love under the stars on the deck of a sailing boat.

“Deck Six.”

I look at him out of the corner of my eye and he’s beaming. Turning towards me slowly, he squeezes my arm against his side and mutters. “I’m going to love it.”

For an instant, I think that I’ve spoken aloud but then I realise that he knows me so well that he can almost read my mind.

I match his smile and nod knowingly. “You bet your sweet ass, you will.”

With a loud guffaw, he swings me around and presses me against the wall of the lift, kissing me quickly.

“You are trouble, aren’t you?”

“You’ve only just figured that out?” I’m incredulous.

“No, I was just checking.”

He pecks my lips again and steps back just as the lift stops and the doors open.

Quirking an eyebrow he sweeps his hand towards the door. “Captain, after you.”

I give him a look as I sashay past and quip over my shoulder. “Coming, Commander.”

He brushes past me, his hand skimming over my rear before he tucks my arm under his again.

Then he leans down and whispers. “You bet your sweet ass, I will.”

Biting back tell-all grins, we stride down the corridor towards Lake George.

Fin

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