Summary: J/C, angst, Rated PG-13 (to be safe) for some language. Kathryn is angry at Chakotay because of a supposed C/7 relationship, but the commander wants Janeway back. Both think that the other is suffering from mental illness. Chakotay’s POV.
Disclaimer: Paramount owns Star Trek.
By Daffnie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Kathryn had asked Tom if he would restore Fair Haven on the holodeck, if he would bring back the good times that seemed to be lost from our memories far too soon. Of course, he agreed with enthusiasm. His faithfulness to her would bring back the holoprogram quicker than it would have by mere determination to get it finished for himself. He tries to impress her sometimes like that. I used to think that it was because he was jealous that I had a deep friendship with the captain and he didn’t...that he wanted to win her over. I know now that he adores her as a friend...nothing more.
I had gone to the holodeck to run Fair Haven about a week after Tom finished re-doing it, but I found that someone else was there already. Kathryn, obviously. I assumed that she was down at the lake, reading one of her books or maybe having a solitary picnic under the gorgeous Irish sky. I searched for her on the shore, but no one was there except a lonely old painter who sat on a milking stool and painted passion and beauty onto canvas.
I searched all over the small town...at the noisy railway station, at the general store, at the long-abandoned stone castle lost on a wooded hill. Of course, I was purposely avoiding the place where she would most likely be. Michael Sullivan’s bar. She had spent many hours there as soon as she discovered the place when Tom opened the program to the ship. I figured she went there because that was where most of Voyager’s crew usually were...getting drunk, no doubt. Then I had discovered for myself the handsome bartender. The handsome bartender who flirted openly with the captain.
I made my way along the dirt roads, giving a friendly nod or smile here and there to the residents of Fair Haven I was familiar with. I tried not to think about what Sullivan was saying to her now, but my mind came up with several possibilities despite my attempts to avoid doing so. “My, Katie. Your hair is so beautiful. Almost as beautiful as your eyes.” or “I was hoping that you would stay after the bar has closed tonight to have a cup of tea with me. Maybe we could even go for a midnight stroll.” or “That is a nice dress you have, Katie. It’s a wonder more men don’t try to win you for themselves.”
The bar came into view, and just the sight of it made me shudder. To think that she had been there before, kissing that hologram when she thought she was alone with him. I was watching... I came because I didn’t realize that anyone was there. I assumed that someone had left the program running by accident. It was no accident. She seemed happy with him, and I have always wanted the best for Kathryn, but that was too far. Surely she had lost her senses. She was in love with him...a non-sentient hologram who could be altered and turned off on a whim.
I found myself at the steps that led to the door of the bar, and my feet didn’t want to cooperate. I stood frozen in place, staring at the door and willing myself to go in. Somehow, I got my legs to carry me up the steps, through the door, and to the small table that Kathryn was sitting at...alone, thankfully. She only looked up from a book she was reading to acknowledge that I was there, then went back to reading. She flipped the page idly, took a sip of her coffee, and read some more.
“You spend too much time here, Kathryn. It isn’t healthy for you,” I said, sitting down across from her.
She stiffened slightly. No one else would have noticed such a small change in her posture, but I did. She must have felt me staring at her because she closed her book and looked up at me. Her gray eyes were filled with icy, unspoken threats, and I was instantly terrified.
“Who are you to tell me what is or isn’t healthy for me?” she hissed.
I winced at her antagonistic comment, but I was able to keep my eyes from wavering from her frosty stare.
“What’s wrong?” I asked sympathetically. It wasn’t a usual occurrence when she spoke to me in such a manner. Something was definitely wrong.
She didn’t say anything or move for a long time...her eyes didn’t even blink. She just stared at me, and I’ll admit that I was extremely uncomfortable under her undeviating glare.
“Just leave, Chakotay. I want to be left alone.”
My brow furrowed. Why was she treating me like that?
“Why?” I asked in a truthfully innocent manner. “Do you really want to know?” she demanded, making sure her voice was low enough not to attract any attention to them.
“I would, Captain.”
She narrowed her eyes slightly and took a long look at me, as if she was judging my sincerity just by my face. Then, she stood up and walked out of the bar, not bothering to pick up her book. I followed her, staying a pace behind, and we weaved through the streets and the people. I kept following her for about twenty minutes when I began to think that she was leading me around just for the hell of it. But soon, I saw that we were heading for the forest on the western outskirts of the town, near the castle.
“Are we going to the castle?” I called to her. She ignored me and kept walking.
Finally, after we were in the depths of the forest, Kathryn stopped. She propped herself against a narrow trunk and faced me as I held my distance. I merely stood there, my shoes lost somewhere in the bed of leaves.
Neither of us spoke a word for what seemed to be an eternity. She continued with her scrutinizing stare, and I let her...until I couldn’t stand it any more. I walked towards her until we were only a foot apart.
“Why are you acting like this, Kathryn? What’s wrong?”
She closed her eyes, exhaled slowly, and when she opened them back up, I saw that iciness once again. It scared me as much as before.
“You come and try to tell me what’s healthy for me, Chakotay, when it doesn’t even matter. You eavesdrop on me and Michael, watch us in the bar, and never even say that you were there. I knew you were there, and you had absolutely no right to be.”
“I didn’t know anyone was running the program...”
“That doesn’t matter. You saw that I was alone with Michael, and yet you stayed and watched us like a peeping tom. What gives you the right to do that, Chakotay? Tell me.”
I was at a loss for words...because I knew she was right.
“Can’t you leave me alone instead of being my self-proclaimed protector? I don’t need a protector. I’m a grown woman, Chakotay. I don’t need you always keeping tabs on my private life, especially when it has nothing to do with you.”
“You were kissing a hologram, Kathryn. Surely you can understand that that kind of relationship is only going to hurt you in the end!”
“Oh? And what about the relationship we had? Was I supposed to know that you would hurt me in the end, too? Did you expect me to believe that you would always be there for me? Because I did, Chakotay. I believed it...with all my heart. But then, you disposed of me for the pretty Borg who you probably had your sights set on from the very beginning. Was I some sort of ‘test-run’ for you? So you could warm up to dating again?”
“It’s not like that, and you know it. I loved you, Kathryn, very much. I still do, but we both know that the relationship would never work out how we wanted it to. Friendship was as far as we could go, and when we took it further, we both suffered...not just you. I turned to Seven for support, and she took it the wrong way. That’s all. She and I will never have what we had, Kathryn. Never. We had something special, but it was only because we pushed for it. And apparently, we pushed too soon and too hard, and it crumbled around us.”
“Do you really expect me to believe that? I know Seven’s your little pet. She hangs around you all the time, tagging along on your heels like a shadow, and you don’t seem to care. You probably tell her to, just so you can annoy the hell out of me.”
“Now you’re making assumptions, Kathryn. None of that is true. Seven is only another member of the crew, one that I work with on a daily basis, yes, but I never meant to make you think that I was leaving you for her.”
I know she still didn’t believe me, but now, she didn’t argue. She only said, “I’m wasting my breath on you, Chakotay.”
Then she walked away, deeper into the forest. I stood there, like a complete idiot, watching her leave.
He was being a complete jerk. In fact, I don’t think he’s himself lately. He has been acting strange around me, and other people have been complaining that he has been overly strict. Where is the Chakotay I know? Maybe I lost him when I loved him. Or maybe he’s insane. I’ve read that mental illness can do weird things to people sometimes...
I can’t blame him, though, for what he did. He has every right to challenge my decision to become romantically involved with a hologram. However, if I decided that I loved the Doctor, I don’t think he’d argue with me. But what makes Michael and the Doctor so different? Some medical training and a terrible bedside manner, I suppose.
After the “discussion” I had with Chakotay in the woods, I couldn’t think of anything else to do than to walk away. I wasn’t facing my problems, granted, but atleast I was dealing with them in the only way I could at the time. By ignoring them. I roamed for hours in that forest, crying for a long time, then I’d smile, then go back to crying. The darkness of the forest didn’t lighten my mood, either. The sun was caught in between the leaves of the canopy instead of casting down onto the ground, but I took comfort in knowing it was there close by. A little warmth in a heart that has become so cold. Maybe I’m the one who has become psychotic.
What Chakotay said stings, even now... I know that he was right about some things he told me. All except for the part that he still loved me. How could that be possible? If he does still love me, he shows it in strange ways.
“Kathryn, I want to apologize for some of the things I said yesterday,” Chakotay rehearsed into his mirror. He felt like a nervous teenager, about to ask out his crush. Well, that was close, but his crush didn’t want anything to do with him. “Kathryn...what I said was uncalled-for. No... Captain, I would like to apologize for my behavior yesterday. I was wrong, you were right.”
Chakotay sighed. This wasn’t working. He knew it would be best to apologize, but he knew he hadn’t been wrong. Although, if he ever wanted to get another chance with her again, there was no other way he could think of to treat the wounds...wounds that never healed from the beginning. Give her what she wants to hear, even if it’s a lie. She wouldn’t accept anything other than what she needed to hear from him, and he knew it. That’s Kathryn for you.
He straightened his shirt, and headed out of his quarters. Tom passed by as he entered the corridors. Chakotay prayed that he would keep walking, but Paris stopped.
“Hey, Commander. Heard about the heated argument you and Captain Janeway had yesterday. I hope everything turns out okay. I know how much she cares for you,” Tom said with a smile.
Chakotay thanked him for his understanding, but he knew that Tom didn’t really comprehend all that was going on.
After Paris walked away, Chakotay headed to the captain’s quarters. She let him in, but only out of professional courtesy. And the scowl she wore was evidence that she had no intention of treating him to any sort of mutually-agreeable denouement.
“If you’re here for anything other than giving me a duty roster, Chakotay, I want to let you know that I’m not in the mood to talk,” she said, back turned to him as she walked to her desk. She sat down behind it, knowing that it was the only place in her quarters where she could be guaranteed atleast a foot of space between herself and her commander, who stood at a comfortable distance.
“Do you always have to be this stubborn, Kathryn? Quit being so damn headstrong,” he challenged, hands on his hips.
Her eyes widened slightly at his comment.
“And do you realize that I could demote you for talking to your superior like that?”
Chakotay sighed. “There you go again. Always hiding behind your rank instead of facing problems without that professional mask of yours.”
“Commander, I’m warning you.”
“You need to wake up, Kathryn. Stop living in whatever delusion you created for yourself. All it’s doing is making you think you’re impervious to the truth, to reality. And don’t tell me I’m wrong, because I know that I’m not, and you know it, too. You’re allowing yourself to slip from the real world when you go into your holodeck creations, and you’re becoming addicted to it. I see it every time in your eyes when you’re seconds away from the end of your shift...unable to control yourself, barely hanging onto your sanity because you can’t wait until you can finally go hide out in some holographic corner with your holographic lovers.”
Kathryn was brimming with anger.
“Chakotay, I’m only going to say this one more time,” she hissed, her voiced coated with rage. “Do not speak to me like that again, or there will be serious consequences.”
“Since when do you care about consequences? Everything you’ve been doing lately has some negative impact on this ship, but you seem oblivious to it all. Why are you running from reality, Kathryn? I want to help you, but I can’t until you’re willing. Give me another chance.”
She stood up from her seat, and slammed her fist on the desktop.
“That’s enough! You say you love me, Chakotay? You say you want what’s best for me? Well, I’ll be damned if I let you tear apart my life again! I will not give you my heart when all you are going to do is treat me like...like some insane holo-addicted whore!”
“That’s not what-”
“But, Kathryn. Try to understand my point of view,” he pleaded.
“Leave. Now.” “I just think that you should-”
“Don’t make me call security, Commander.”
He was becoming extremely frustrated at her attitude, but now wasn’t the time to argue to the point of demotion. Give her what she wants to hear, and leave it at that. “Fine. But don’t go and expect me to take you back when you realize what you’ve lost,” he spat as he went out of her quarters.
Once the door closed behind him, he let out a sigh.
Kathryn, what’s happened to you?