Rating : PG-13
Disclaimer : Paramount owns the names, but the story is mine :)
Chakotay looked across the table at his Captain and smiled. “So, how was your day?” They were having another working dinner. It was a regular arrangement whereby they both found time to eat, discuss the crew and any morale issues which were of concern and, time permitting, sat down afterwards to a round of reports and rosters.
Captain Janeway returned his smile and sat back in her chair. “Well, I’m glad you asked me that Chakotay. It seems the crew are hatching another wild scheme to unite their commanding officers.”
“Aha, you noticed that too did you?”
She laughed. “What’s not to notice?”
He took a bite of his carrot cake and she waited for him to continue. “Good cake!”
“My sister’s favourite. Glad you like it. Yes, I was up late in the messhall the other night and ‘accidentally’ overheard Neelix discussing your broken heart with Tom Paris.”
“What the hell would Paris know about the state of my heart?”
“I was going to ask you the same question.”
“Mind if I have another slice?”
“Be my guest. What about you, Chakotay? What foul schemes have you uncovered?”
“Torres and Wildman in engineering. They must have ‘forgotten’ that I was in that Jeffries tube.” He grinned. “I was amazed to learn Captain, that you still have the bathtub from New Earth in Cargo Bay One.”
She choked on her coffee. “Actually, I do.”
“I thought that was an urban myth.” He watched her from behind lowered eyelids.
“You didn’t honestly expect me to leave it there for that damned ape did you? I mean to have it installed in the cabin at Lake George when we get back. If we get back. It’ll make an unbeatable outdoor spa.”
“When were you going to tell me this?”
“Why, when we made it back to Earth, of course!” She chuckled. “Or did B’Elanna and Sam have other ideas?”
“It’s a symbol for all that hidden passion for me that you’re keeping locked away, in the dark. And one day Kathryn, you’ll be unable to resist my charms any longer. I’m going to sweep you off your feet and carry you to Cargo Bay One and make passionate love to you in that same tub.”
“Oh my! Give me some warning first will you, Commander? I’d hate to be caught in standard Starfleet underwear.” They shared a laugh. It was good to be able to share a joke over the whole business. Their friends meant well after all. Sometimes, however, their attempts at instigating a love match between the two officers bordered on the insane.
“Much Ado About Nothing!”
“I beg your pardon?”
“A play by William Shakespeare.” Chakotay explained. “Where some friends try to manufacture a romance between two sworn enemies. You see, they allow them both to accidentally overhear conversations about how much in love the other half is.”
“And that works?”
“Well, yes, eventually. I fear someone on board has been brushing up on Elizabethan literature.”
“Probably Sam Wildman. I can’t see Tom Paris reading Shakespeare.”
“Not unless he caught the Disney version…”
“You know something Chakotay? I’m a little tired of being the centre of attention around here. And I think I’m feeling a plan coming on.”
“Well, just suppose that the crew believed we were involved? What if the romance of the century was consummated, so to speak.”
“Kathryn … what is it exactly that you are suggesting?”
“Oh, you can wipe that look of horror off your face now Chakotay. I have no intention of jumping your bones just to get the crew off my back. Was that a mixed metaphor?”
“Either that or I’m going to be crushed.”
“Think about it Chakotay. We already have dinners together, and lunches. Hell, we’ve even had the odd breakfast. We go to all the ships functions together. Occasionally we go planet side together and we’ve shared holodeck time more than once. We can go on pretending to be a couple indefinitely. It’ll make hardly any difference to us at all.”
“I’m with you so far Kathryn, but how do we convince them that we’re an item? I’ve got a feeling it’s going to take more than the occasional shore leave together.”
Kathryn Janeway leant forward, resting her elbows on the table. Her eyes were alight, her smile radiant. “There’s a dance scheduled for tomorrow night. It’s perfect! We’ll cast a few odd looks at each other during the bridge shift. Which will show that we have believed the conversations we accidentally overheard and they are having the desired effect. Then we show up to the dance holding hands, share a dance or two and then, at a pre-arranged signal from me, we’ll share a quick kiss and leave.”
Chakotay shakes his head. “I don’t know. I’m not sure that I’d feel comfortable with deceiving my friends. And then, how far do we go with it? Do I have to spend the night in your quarters? They’ll most certainly check to see where we are, and I’ve got a suspicion they’re not going to fall for the old comm badge switch.”
“No, you’re right. And that could prove dangerous if there was an emergency and we needed to be contacted. Besides,” she raised an admonishing eyebrow at him, “ I hope you don’t mean to suggest that I’m the type of girl who has sex on the first date.”
Chakotay laughed in spite of himself. “Well that’s a real let-down. I assumed my charm and sex appeal would sweep you off your feet and you would be unable to control yourself. After all, it has been a while…”
“Don’t go there Commander! All right, so it has been a while, but I’m still not going to sleep with you on the first date.”
“Second then? I know, what about the holodeck? We’ll schedule time together and put the privacy lock on.” He was getting caught up in her plans despite himself. After all, he had just been offered a couple of dances and a kiss, and this was more than he had ever allowed himself to hope for. Besides, didn’t his friends deserve a bit of success once in a while? They really had put a lot of thought and effort into their cunning schemes. Who was he to disappoint them? The thought of Captain Janeway in his arms was just an additional extra.
She clapped her hands excitedly. “That’s a wonderful idea! Now you’re getting into the spirit of the thing. It’s perfect! But what program should we run?”
“Not Sandrines…. Fair Haven then?”
“What kind of a shameless hussy do you take me for? I’d never be able to show my face in Fair Haven again!”
“You’re assuming that there would be some locals there to watch then? I wasn’t planning on putting on a performance but I would give anything to see Michael Sullivan’s face …when I take you on his bar.”
“Enough!” Kathryn Janeway laughed until she had tears in her eyes. “So we want a program without an audience, so we won’t have to put on a performance for them.”
“I have a New Earth program.” There, he had said it. If she could confess to the bathtub, he could confess to his secret holoprogram.
She cleared her throat. “That would be perfect …” She brushed away the nervous tingle of anticipation that had begun at the thought of what Chakotay could possibly be doing with a New Earth program. “We never did take that boat ride. That’s settled then! We can take a couple of hours of holodeck time to ourselves and let the crew think the worst.”
“Two hours? Kathryn, I hate to disappoint you but you surely don’t expect me to make love to you for an entire two hours? Because it’s going to be more like half an hour maximum.” He flashed a cheeky dimple grin at her.
“You dolt! I wouldn’t expect you to keep it up for two hours. Hell, I wouldn’t be able to walk after that! I would be expecting some foreplay of course.” Two could play at this game.
“What, six years of it isn’t enough for you?”
“Oh you tease!” She stood up and slapped him playfully on the arm. “Foreplay and a conversation afterwards. And that’s your two hours.”
“Oh no …. You want a conversation too. I don’t know Kathryn, I think I’d prefer to take a nap once we’re finished with the hot sex part.”
“I just bet you snore too.”
He got to his feet too and began to clear the dishes. “Yep! And that's
all. I make other noises too... the usual male repetoire.”
“Charming, Chakotay. And you think post-coital conversation is a turn-off!”
“We’re a match made in heaven alright.”
In the cold light of day, when the warming effects of the after dinner drinkies had warn off the plan suddenly seemed less appealing. With any luck Chakotay would have forgotten all about it. Kathryn was seated at her ready room desk and looked up as the door chime sounded.
“Good morning Captain.” Chakotay smiled and flashed her a wink as the doors closed behind him. She gave him a puzzled look.
“What can I do for you, Commander?”
“I’m supposed to be considering the deeply moving conversation between Sam and B’Elanna, remember?” He ordered two coffees from the replicator and put them down in front of her. “Unless that is, you want to call off your little scheme? It’s OK by me if you’re getting cold feet, Captain. Although I feel it fair to warn you that we may be in line for another turbolift failure in the near future, this time with environmental controls off line. Could be fun.”
She couldn’t believe he had the gal to suggest she was going to chicken out. Janeways were not quitters. She gave him a quick death glare.
He shrugged his broad shoulders, “ Just checking to see if you’re still up for it.”
“I think I should be the one to ask you that Commander.” She deliberately allowed her eyes to drop to his crotch before looking back into his eyes. Good, he was blushing. She got to her feet and came around the desk to stand before him, hands on hips.
“OK, OK. You’re on then.” Once again he looked at the closed doors. “You do realise they’ll already be wondering what I’m doing in here? Maybe we should give then something to think about.”
With a quick sidestep he put her body between himself and the desk, then leant forward until his hands were resting on the desktop on either side of her. His eyes never left hers. She struggled to keep a straight face but a small giggle escaped as she felt herself being forced back against the table.
“Here.” He turned his head and pointed to his jawline. “Try to leave some lipstick.”
She smiled her famous lop-sided smile. “A love-bite would be more convincing.”
He nodded slowly and stepped back. As she looked on, wondering what was coming, he unzipped his uniform jacket and raised his shirt to reveal his bare chest. Carefully taking her hand he placed it just below his right nipple. “How about here?”
She sucked in a sharp breath at the unexpected physical contact. The sudden bolt of desire that shot from her chest to her knees took her completely by surprise. She couldn’t let him see how his actions had effected her. It was just a game. Just a game. Grabbing hold of his jacket with her free hand she pulled him towards her. “That won’t do at all. It has to be somewhere visible. They’re never going to see it there.” She deliberately ran her had across his nipple before clasping his head in both her hands. She tilted his chin and put her lips to his throat and began to suck at his warm skin. He tasted of salt. Chakotay moved his hands to her hips and rested them there whilst she continued her gentle suckling.
Pulling away Kathryn Janeway licked her lips and looked up into Chakotay’s face. His eyes were still closed. “ Captain Janeway to Commander Chakotay,” she whispered. “Are you there?”
He blinked and shook his head. “All done?”
She smiled sheepishly and titled her head to the side to survey the damage. “Did I hurt you?”
He returned her smile. “Just my heart, fair maiden.” He placed a hand over his heart. The mood lightened and they both began to relax again.
You’d better be getting back to work, sir knight, or I’m afraid there will be talk of my virtue being sullied.”
He bowed extravagantly. “I thought that was the idea.”
She dropped a quick curtsy. “I want to raise their hopes, not close the betting pool.”
The Commander turned to go and she stopped him short with a hand to
his shoulder. “ Er, Chakotay, tuck your shirt in first would you?”
Neelix had certainly pulled out all stops for the dance that night. The place had been decorated within an inch of its life. She and Chakotay had arrived hand in hand as planned. When this had not attracted any comment they had, by unspoken agreement, shifted to Plan B. Plan B involved sitting at a table and gazing into each other’s eyes. Kathryn extemporised wildly by feeding Chakotay some tasty morsels off her plate by hand. He had risen to the challenge by taking hold of her hands and licking each of her five trembling fingers in turn. He really was an incredible actor. His performance was picture perfect. Even his pupils were dilated. His dark face was flushed and when he smiled at her she really felt that she was loved by him, that he wanted nothing more than to make wild, desperate love to her. Lucky she knew it was all an act.
She traced his tattoo with her fingers and then gave his knee a playful tap with her left hand, which she had kept deliberately out of sight in order to provoke more wanton speculation. “Are they watching?”
“They must be. Or do you think we’re being too discrete?”
“Not at all. I can’t believe that no one has said anything yet. Now if the Doctor were here…”
“Time for Plan C?”
Chakotay got to his feet and held out his hand. “Yes, the dance.”
Incredible, she thought as he moved with her around the dance floor. Was it a sock or a phaser he had hidden down there, she wondered? His attention to detail was not to be faulted. Taking advantage of a slower number she ground her hips into the suspicious bulge and jumped when he let out a low groan. Oh my God, that’s no sock! Too late she realised that his attention to detail was a lot more authentic than she had anticipated. And she recalled his words of the day before; It has been a long time.... Obviously she was provoking a few physiological responses of her own. Poor Chakotay, he wasn’t to be blamed if all their harmless flirtation had turned him on. It could happen to anyone. It was happening to her. And that was an impressive sock size.
She had gone weak at the knees, which had the unfortunate result of forcing her closer to him. Being closer to him resulted in her knees losing further stability. It was all rapidly spiralling out of control. Inertial dampeners off-line.... Her brain was beginning to fog over. This was a complete disaster. They were here to fool the crew, not prove them right. She had to give the secret signal, have her kiss and get the hell out of there. A cold shower was definitely in order. Now what was the damned signal?
“My butt.” She hadn’t realised that she had spoken aloud until he replied. “You’re supposed to stroke my ass.”
“Are you certain that was my idea?”
“Sure. So do you want the kiss Kathryn? Because you’re not getting one until you grope me.”
Just wonderful. How on Earth did she get herself into this mess? It was then that she became aware that the music had stopped and that she was standing in the middle of the dance floor in the arms of her stunning XO. Stick to the plan Kathryn. Ever so slowly she slid her hand down his back and over the firm contours of his backside. She could feel him shudder at the contact and was glad that she wasn’t the only one out of control. She looked up into his eyes, knowing what was to come, and trying to prepare herself for first contact. The depth of passion in those dark eyes blew her away.
As his lips touched hers she could hear the sound of applause coming from the crew. They were cheering them on, some shouting words of encouragement. If only they knew how she had tricked them all, she thought as she opened her mouth for his probing tongue. Her head began to spin, her heart pounded against her ribs. She was transported by the sheer exhilaration of sharing a kiss with him. She couldn’t get enough of him; the feel of his hot wet mouth on hers, his hard body pressing against her own trembling one and more, the thought that they were standing there before all their friends, entirely uninhibited. To hell with protocol.
Hard to believe that it was just yesterday she had said that she wasn’t the sort of girl to have sex on the first date. Did that include dance floors? “Hold on Kathryn,” he whispered as their lips finally broke contact. “I’m getting you out of here.” He lifted her into his arms and carried her towards the exit. Closing her eyes, she rested her head against his chest and stayed that way until they had made it back to her quarters.
She opened her eyes as she felt herself being lowered onto her bed. He placed a cool hand against her forehead and sighed. “How do you feel?”
“I’m fine Chakotay. How about you?”
“Don’t concern yourself with me, Kathryn. I’ll survive. Can I get you a coffee?”
“Y-Yes,” she stammered. This was not what she had expected at all. Wasn’t this where he was supposed to ravish her? She was prepared to be ravished. Ravish me dammit! Or had she been mistaken? He returned with her drink and sat a small but discrete distance away, his legs crossed.
“Well Kathryn, if that doesn’t convince them I don’t know what will. You’re quite the actress. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more convincing swoon.” He grinned at her, and his eyes shone in the dimly lit room.
She nodded. He was giving her an out. She was not sure that she wanted one. How easy it would be to confess all and drag him down onto the bed with her; have him stay the night. And what of Chakotay? Had she imagined his responses? No, some things just can’t be faked. He couldn’t have hidden that kind of arousal. This did not mean that he loved her however, or that he was interested in a relationship with her. Perhaps she had been reading too much in to the situation. Perhaps she did need time to think it over.
“I’ve already reserved the holodeck for us. This time next week. Is that too early?”
“That will do just fine Commander.” Shields up. She was just beginning to realise the extent of the trap into which she had fallen. Everyone now thought they were a couple. That would mean spending more time with Chakotay. There would have to be some measure of handholding and flirting to keep up appearances. Would there be more love-bites, nights spent in his bed? How was she going to survive this? It would be pure torture. To be so close and yet not be able to express her true feelings. She must not let on that she had slipped, that it was no longer a game to her, especially if Chakotay were not to return her feelings. This whole thing had been her idea and now she would have to accept the consequences.
That night she lay awake and cried as she listened to the sounds of Chakotay making love to his pillows next door. It should have been her in his arms.
The following day Captain Janeway made a ship-wide announcement thanking the crew for their good wishes. “Commander Chakotay and I are anxious to return to business as usual aboard Voyager. A little courtesy and respect will go a long way towards this goal. We are as committed as ever to finding a way home for all of us. If anyone has any concerns or objections regarding our relationship I would urge you to discuss them with Lt Comm Tuvok or to log an official complaint with me. Once again, thank you all for your support and kindness, Janeway out.”
She turned to Chakotay as he sat beside her on the bridge and took his hand in her own.
She had been amazed at the crew’s response to the news of her relationship with her first officer. There had been no complaints. Not one. Did no one read Starfleet regulations? She had received flowers, cards, presents, even hugs and the biggest surprise of all had been Tuvok. He had given her the Vulcan equivalent of ‘well it took you both long enough, didn’t it?’
Kathryn Janeway had spent quite some time contemplating the pros and cons of her situation and was coming to the reluctant conclusion that the pros were ahead. For starters, she was able to touch Chakotay and smile at him whenever she felt like it, and that was proving to be most of the time. The crew was happy. Morale was at an all-time high. Chakotay seemed happy. He did a lot more smiling and joking than she remembered. And that meant more dimples, which was always a good thing. Having him by her side had proven an asset when negotiating with sleazy alien diplomats. He had simply to put his arm about her and frown down at them and all unwanted advances were hastily withdrawn.
The ‘cons’ were all that she had feared. She was enjoying his companionship far more than she could let on. Once or twice she had almost gone too far. During a recent doubles game of Velocity her actions had prompted Tom Paris to call out, ‘ get a room you two!’ Chakotay had laughed but she was mortified. There was nothing she would have liked more than to ‘get a room’. These last few days had been the happiest of her life. Her friendship with the Commander had blossomed and born fruit. Kathryn Janeway was head over heels in love with her big Maquis rebel and there didn’t seem to be a damned thing she could do about it.
The whole thing had been her idea in the first place. Was it Chakotay’s
fault that she couldn’t handle the heat? Now that his company meant
so much more to her she was afraid to risk losing it all. Tonight
was to be their ‘consummation’. Ironic to be pretending to be doing
the one thing she wanted most in the world, aside from getting Voyager
home of course.
Stepping through the holodeck doors into the lush green simulation of New Earth had been a minor nightmare in itself. She remembered everything; her own obstinacy, his calm support and then the plasma storm that had finally destroyed her hopes of finding a cure for the illness they shared.
The two of them had eaten, slept and worked together under the one roof for many months before Voyager had returned with a cure for them. They had grown accustomed to each other and more; they had begun to explore their feelings for one another. What an opportunity it had been! He had been hers for the taking. If Voyager had returned a year or even a month later who knows what they would have found? As it was they had never taken that last step and become a couple.
“Brings it all back doesn’t it?” Chakotay had arrived.
She was kneeling beside her Talaxian tomatoes, her hands exploring the rich dark soil. “To be honest with you, I’m finding it a little overwhelming.”
He squatted beside her and looked across into her sad blue eyes.
“I’m sorry, Kathryn. I wouldn’t have suggested this if I knew it was going to upset you. Try to remember it’s just a game. You know, we don’t have to take that boat ride. I’m happy just to sit and talk if that’s what you’d prefer.”
She stood up and brushed off her dress. Chakotay was wearing his all too familiar New Earth attire and at that moment she loved him more than ever. The feeling was almost painful in its intensity. She had to put some distance between them, and try to get her thoughts and feelings back under control. With that in mind she turned from him and made her way into the portable shelter that had been their home.
The memories here were even more bittersweet. “What is it Kathryn? Please tell me what’s wrong.” He had followed her inside.
“I really think that Fair Haven may have been the better option.” She tried to smile past her tears.
“You look like you could use a hug.” She nodded wordlessly and he came forward and took her into his arms. “You do realise we’re running late Kathryn. If we don’t start the foreplay soon I’m never going to get that nap.”
She laughed in spite of herself. Chakotay grinned down at her tear-streaked face and planted a soft kiss on her forehead. “That’s much better.”
“Chakotay, this charade has to stop.”
His smile evaporated. “Oh?”
“I can’t go on any more pretending that I love you.” She watched as he took a step back and turned away from her. Could it be that he was disappointed? She certainly hoped so. “I won’t have the crew believing a lie.”
His head was bowed. “Just go Kathryn. Tell them whatever you want; that we’ve had a fight … anything. I don’t care, but please, leave me alone.”
“I don’t think you understand, Chakotay.” Kathryn came up behind him and wrapped her arms around him, resting her cheek against his back. “I can’t go on pretending to be in love with you Chakotay, because I am in love with you. For real. And if I can’t have it all, I don’t know what I’ll do.”
There was no reply. “Chakotay? Are you alright? Did you hear me? I’m sorry to put you on the spot like this. I’ll understand if you say you don’t …”
As she spoke he turned in her arms and took her face between his hands. His eyes were alight, his skin flushed. Without a word he brought his lips crushing down onto hers and kissed her until she felt she might swoon again. “Thank the spirits,” he murmured against her cheek. And then, “Kathryn, are you sure?”
He shook his head. “I thought that was one hell of an acting performance you were giving.”
“That was no act. I could have screamed when you dumped me on that blasted bed and left.”
“Hey, don’t blame me, Kathryn. You were the one who didn’t want sex on the first date, remember?”
“And you said something about your charm and sex-appeal sweeping me off my feet as I recall.”
“Well, you’ll forgive me if I wasn’t taking myself seriously at the time! So, does this count as a first date?”
“I shouldn’t think so Chakotay. Ask anyone, they’ll all tell you we’ve been dating for ages, well, for days now.”
“An entire week, actually.”
She grinned. “So I have been very restrained considering the temptations I’ve withstood.”
“Don’t push it, Commander.”
“I’d love to stand here and discuss this with you some more but if you’re going to insist on your full half hour…”
Kathryn Janeway snorted and shook her head. “And foreplay and a chat afterwards.”
“Slave-driver. Come here, I’ve got a surprise for you.” He led her into his bedroom,
“A double-bed, Chakotay? Since when did we have a double bed on New Earth?”
“This is only one of the highly suggestive modifications I’ve had to make to keep the crew interested.”
“Computer, engage privacy lock.” Laughing, she sat down on edge of their new bed. “And do you think we have them fooled?”
She shrieked as he pushed her onto her back and she felt the mattress
begin to vibrate beneath her. Chakotay flashed her a wicked grin.
“They have no idea, Kathryn. No idea at all.”
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