The Christmas Morning Conspiracy - part 6

Kathryn Janeway paused outside her First Officers quarters and wondered if she should abandon this particular mission in favour of a trip to sickbay. She was quite sure that if she told the Doctor what she was contemplating he'd be able to diagnose any number of illnesses and conditions that could lead her to even remotely believe that this particular piece of madness was a good idea.

But she didn't move. Instead she took slow, steadying breaths - trying to calm down and at the same time find the strength to go through with the encounter she'd been planning for a while now.

She was about to take a risk - put herself on the line; gamble on feelings she was by no means certain of. But perhaps it was only fair, since for so long she had held herself aloof, not acknowledging their existence because she wasn't sure what to do about them. If she were to be rejected it was probably no more than she deserved.

Carefully she tapped an override code into the control panel byt he door - and as it slid open to admit her she stepped into the darkened room. With only starlight to guide her she crossed the room carefully, pausing in the doorway of the bedroom to look down at the sleeping figure. Chakotay looked cute when he slept, something she would never have expected, his hand curled into his chin, his hair flattened down. Yes he was definitely, unexpectedly cute.

She held her breath as he moved - none of her plans had involved him waking up yet. Fortunately he just turned over, burrowing further into the quilt. Smiling, her hands went to her uniform jacket, unfastening it and letting it fall to the ground. Her boots, socks, trousers and vset followed suit until she was dressed only in her underwear.

With her heart thudding in her chest and her stomach churning with anxiety she pulled the quilt aside and slid into bed beside Chakotay, moving until their faces were almost touching and their legs were tangling together.

His eyelashes fluttered as something about the change in his sleeping arragnements filtered through into his sleep. She felt the change in him - from relaxation to tension in a single moment - still he did not recil.

'Kathryn.'

'Don't move,' she said quietly, 'its about one minute to twelve - you and I will spend this Christmas morning together if it kills me.'

'How long have you been planning this?' He asked, incredulous.

'A while.'

'A while?'

'Since last Christmas,' she admitted reluctantly. 'There was a time when I forget about it, the Equinox seemed to drive everything else out of my mind. But afterwards I remembered how, precious you are to me ad I suppose I decided, admittedly a little late in the day, that I ought to do something about these feelings.'

'And you couldn't just have said something?'

'I thought a grand gesture was called for - I'm not manipulating you, I just wanted...' She couldn't really explain it - but when she risked a look at him she could see that there was no need.

'This isn't like you Kathryn.'

'I know, I do know, I just wanted...' this time she knew what to say, 'to spend Christmas morning with you. Merry Christmas Chakotay.'

'Is this my Christmas present - you being here? A pleasant experience for Christmas morning, something sentimental that you'll manage to forget about as soon as it becomes too difficult?'

'I don't know.'

'Haven't you thought it through? No contingency plan, no speech prepared to let me down lightly tomorrow?' She looked away from him, 'Kathryn?'

'No - no I haven't.'

'That sounds promising,' his voice was a low rumble, amusement mixing seductively with desire, she gasped at the feelings that surged through her. They'd survived so much together,to be here now seemed incredible, miraculous even. 'I thought I told you not to move,' she said archly.

'That's a little difficult under the circumstances,' his lips drifted to her lips, 'I just need to confirm this isn't a dream.' She was prepared for the kiss, but not for the intensity, nor for the way the warmth sped through her. Abandoning herself to the heated luxuary of his mouth she reluctantly conceded that this was going to be yet another year when they did not get to Neelix's Christmas morning breakfast.

The End