Disclaimer: It all belongs to Paramount, except the song line which is Adam Duritz's, and the one sentence which I suspect sounds very much like I swiped it from Jane Austen's Persuasion. Kudos to anyone who can figure out which it is.
Summary: Chakotay reflects on how pleasant it is not to be in love with Kathryn anymore.
This little story was inspired by remembering my favourite part of Resolutions - not the Angry Warrior speech itself (which of course I would not dare to criticize) but Kathryn's smile in response. *Sigh.* Those were the days... And probably also by Robert Beltran's comment a little while ago about Chakotay knowing when to quit and finally giving up on Kathryn. Nah. Not in my world. Well, not today anyway.
"Everytime she sneezes I believe it's love..."
"I'm not in love with Kathryn anymore".
Chakotay hugged the words to himself. He kept them tucked away in a corner of his mind until days like today when he needed reminding. Then he would drag them out, wrapping himself in their warmth like a frayed childhood catechism.
"I'm not in love with Kathryn anymore."
It seemed a strange thing to need, he reflected on some days. After all, if he didn't love her, why insist on it so vigorously? Why ruminate on non-existent feelings for one individual, when he could just as easily substitute other names, and proclaim he had no feelings for them either?
At other times it seemed to make perfect sense. It was the "anymore" that made the difference. At first he had hung on to the belief that someday she would change her mind and decide that protocol wasn't so important out here after all. That their situation was unique. That she wanted him the way that he (he sighed, picturing it for the hundredth time) wanted her. Of course, eventually he sighted the fine line between devotion and obsession, between being steadfast and being pathetic. Inevitably he stopped clinging on to hope after all hope was gone.
Still, it was a comforting thought, he reflected on this particular day, while sitting in the Captain's chair on the bridge, inhaling the lingering scent of her on the cushions. He loved that smell. It reminded him of dinners, and breakfasts, her ready room, and coming back to the ship after shore leave. But he didn't love Kathryn, he reminded himself. Definitely not.
Not even when she called him into her ready room for no particular reason other than that she wanted see him. Not even when they slouched on the couch together, deep in conversation about nothing, numerous cups of tea later. Not even when she laughed that extraordinary laugh and rested her hand on his knee for a few seconds longer than she normally would. He was immune.
Still, later that night, he could picture the exact amplitude of her smile as they talked about what to do on their next holodeck visit. Velocity? Skiing? Or something more sedate. A picnic? he suggested. Her eyes had lit up at the idea. Somewhere with...
...and Kathryn smiling.
He fell asleep that night musing on the different ways that she smiled, and trying to decide which was his favourite.
Yes, it was nice not to be in love with Kathryn.
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