By Diane McCartin

Rating : R - for adult conversation
Disclaimer : Paramount owns the names, but the story is mine :)


Captain Kathryn Janeway proceeded along the quiet ship’s corridor at what she liked to refer to as full impulse - not quite running but also not the leisurely pace she sometimes enjoyed with her First-Officer, Commander Chakotay.  This was more of a Captain’s pace.

Not that she felt very Captain-like at that moment, far from it.  She had hesitated upon reaching her destination and then procrastinated with re-arranging her burden of champagne and chocolates.  In all good conscience, it should not have mattered to her whether or not any of her crew were to spot her hovering about in her civvies, clutching an unheard of amount of contraband to her chest, but the thought gave her a hurry-on.

Taking a steadying breath, she activated the door chime and stood back, suddenly all business.  However, what she saw when the doors slid apart caught her completely off-guard.

“Chakotay?” She asked.


The Captain and XO thus stood facing each other from either side of the open doorway, temporarily lost for words.  Janeway made a fast recovery and proceeded to take charge of the situation.

“Where’s Samantha Wildman?” She peered curiously into the crew quarters behind Chakotay. Well, she told herself, this is what you get for trying to do ‘spontaneous’ - next time it’ll be back to good old-fashioned planning.  What on Earth was Chakotay doing in Sam Wildman’s quarters, and dressed in that provocative fashion?  Did she really want to know? Get a grip, Kathryn, she thought.  It was a safe bet he had no idea how good he looked in old denim and she had seen him in that cream cotton shirt on dozens of occasions.

Chakotay stayed still whilst she made her inspection and then grinned, absorbing her attention much the same way a starved cat absorbs milk.

“Samantha asked me to baby-sit while she caught up on some R & R in the holodeck.  Only don’t tell Naomi, she thinks my quarters are being renovated and I’m homeless for the night.”

“Ah, I see.”  One mystery solved and one to go.  What to do with the goodies? “It seems that I have wasted a journey, sorry to bother you, Commander.”

Chakotay reached out and caught a hold of her upper arm as she turned to leave.

“It’s Chakotay when I’m not on duty.  Do you have to go?  I would really hate to see a good champagne go to waste.”

Decision time, thought Kathryn Janeway as she stood looking at the smooth, strong hand which lay against the white of her shirt.  She was aware that he expected her to refuse.  She had avoided spending time alone with him lately.  It was getting harder for her to keep her distance from him both emotionally and physically and she had to stay strong for the sake of her crew and for her own sanity.

“Look, Captain, I’m sorry...perhaps I could contact Samantha for you?  Did she know you were coming?  Maybe she forgot?”

“No, there was nothing definite, nothing ‘officially’ organised.”  She wondered how much longer he intended to hold onto her.  “We had a bit of a girl’s night this time last year and....look, it’s not important and I’m off duty too so please, don’t call me ‘Captain’, OK?”  As she smiled and stepped forward Chakotay nodded and released her arm.

“Thank-you, Kathryn.  I wasn’t sure whether you were comfortable with me using your name anymore.  We seem to have grown apart recently.  Can I ask you about tonight?  I’m assuming that it must be some sort of anniversary.”  Chakotay took the champagne and chocolates whilst he spoke and sat them down on the small coffee table in the centre of the living area.  He motioned for her to take a seat on the sofa next to it.

“Well, I know for a fact that you’re a mind reader, ‘counsellor’, so I’ll save you the trouble.  Today is the anniversary of my engagement and, by pure coincidence, also Sam Wildman’s wedding.  Neelix pointed it out, if I remember correctly.”

Chakotay sat himself down beside her, leant back against the cushions and gave a brief nod.  “I see.” He tugged at his ear lobe. A sure sign that he was uncomfortable; either that or he found something funny.

Kathryn raised her left hand to stave off any unwanted expressions of sympathy.  “Before you tell me how sad it all is, or what a god-awful lonely old croc I’m becoming, let me just say that what we are talking about here is just a convenient excuse for a drink and a chat.”

“You really think that I see you as some pathetic old spinster desperately trying to recapture your glory days in the bottom of a bottle?  Even if I did, which I most definitely do not I certainly wouldn’t be crazy enough to tell you so!  Gods, Kathryn, leave the telepathy to me will you?”

“You make a good point.  For the record, I am very happy for Mark and Erin, even if the news was a bit of a shock at the time.  I believe he was right to forget about me and move on with his life.  It was the right thing to do.  I’m sure he’s very happy.”

“Me thinks you protest too much.  You know, far be it for the great Kathryn Janeway to harbour uncharitable thoughts about anyone, but it would be alright to let yourself get angry or jealous occasionally.”

She sat back and took a good look at her First Officer, “Oh, you’re good!  No, it’s never easy to see someone you love move on with his or her life, fall in love with someone else - no matter what the circumstances.  So you’ll forgive me if I feel the need to let my hair down with one of the girls.”

“Actually, thanks to my sisters I have a pretty fair idea about what girl’s nights are all about.”

“Do go on.”

“Well, off-hand I’d say that they’re not about makeovers and painting toenails.  That’s just what you’d like us to think.  They are really about getting the claws out, because sometimes the best medicine in the Universe is to ditch the ‘politically correct’, throw on the comfortable clothes, have a good laugh, shed a few tears and have a damn good bitch about men.”

“You know too much.  I may have to shoot you.”

Kathryn Janeway looked on in amazement as Chakotay threw back his head and laughed such a full-throated, joyous laugh that she couldn’t help but join in.  She couldn’t remember ever having shared a laugh as good as this, not even on New Earth, where they had become very close for a while.

“Tell you what, just for tonight I’m one of the girls, OK?  We’ll crack open the champers, get stuck into those chocolates and you can tell me about how much you hate men.  Maybe we can even get in a game of spin-the-bottle or Truth or Dare.”

“On one condition.”

“Name it.”

“I get to paint your toenails.”

“You what?”

“It’s a Girl’s Night, remember?  That means I have to keep up appearances, and besides, it’s traditional and I know how you love traditional.”

“But my image...”

“Your image?”

“Yes...ah, that would be the Captain’s little lap-dog image wouldn’t it?”

“Don’t be silly, you’re no such thing...”

“Sure.  Look Kathryn, if anyone were to find out...”

“My lips are sealed, Commander, Captain’s honour.”

“I think I had better open that bottle now, it sounds like I’m going to need it.”  He uncoiled gracefully from the couch and Kathryn noticed for the first time that the lights were dimmed and there was soft music filtering through the room.  If she didn’t know Sam better she would swear she had been set up.

“Do you remember where Samantha keeps her champagne glasses?”

“Hmmm?” She blinked, coming out of her reverie.  “Sorry, no idea.”  She liked the look of those carefully faded denim jeans. Just one of the girls, he’d said.  She snorted and thought to herself, like hell!

The half-light suited him.  It accentuated the angular plains of his face and also the depths of his already dark eyes.  Sometimes Kathryn caught herself wondering what it was she found so attractive about him.  This was not one of those times.  Damn, she was staring again.

“Any good?” He asked turning around.

“Pardon me?”

He held out to crystal objects for her approval; two blue crystal vases she realised as she doubled over onto the couch, laughing until her sides hurt.  “Oh, Chakotay,” She gasped, “I’m so sorry.... It’s just that they’re, you know....vases....for flowers, not champagne.”

Red Alert, she told herself as she watched him blush and then laugh. Force ten dimples dead ahead, better be raising those shields....soon.

“Oh, alright, alright!  They’ll do fine, honestly.  Just I need a drink.”

He solemnly handed her a full vase of sparkling champagne amidst another gale of un-Captainly laughter and then took one for himself.  Reaching over slightly he clinked their vases together.

“A toast.”

“A toast?”

“Yes, to the inaugural Command Team’s Girl’s Night Out.”



One hour and several full vases later, the mood had lightened up even further.  Now it was positively flirtatious.  Kathryn was playing with fire, and enjoying every minute of it.

Chakotay had his bare feet resting in her lap as she sat facing him, cross-legged on the opposite end of the couch.  Kathryn was carefully applying a first coat of delicate pink nail varnish.

“What colour did you say that was?”

“Blushing Bride.”

Snort.  “I see.”

“It’s Sam’s, not mine.”

“Naturally.  What colour do you wear?”


“No, no, no...I was thinking more along the lines of Captain Crimson or Galaxy Green.”

“Or Maquis Mauve?”

Chakotay was clearly enjoying himself.

“Chakotay, do you think you could stop closing your eyes and sighing like that?”

“Only if you stop blowing on my toes like that.”

“I’m drying them Chakotay.”

“I believe they’re still a little wet.” He wriggled his toes suggestively beneath her lips.

Kathryn caught his eyes with hers, smiled a wolfish smile and blew deliberately over his toes again...a slow sensuous gust of warm air.  Chakotay’s eyes flickered shut and an entirely involuntary groan escaped his lips.

“Do you do this for all the girls?” His voice was deceptively smooth but when his eyes opened Kathryn decided that her milk-happy house cat had metamorphosed into a sleek, black panther and this cat didn’t look like milk was nearly enough to satisfy it.

“You would be amazed at what a gaggle of tipsy ‘fleet girls can get up to in a dorm room after lights out.”

“Wh...What did you say?”

“Well now, you are the supposed expert on the Girl’s Night, why don’t you tell me?”  Her voice had taken on a sensual, dusky quality which some men, she knew, found intoxicating.  If he was a panther, then she would be a wolf.

Her panther’s chest rose and fell dramatically as he took a big gulp of air and exhaled through clenched teeth.  A small grin began to tug at the corners of his mouth.

“I’m seeing...lots of skimpy lingerie (non-Starfleet issue), suspender belts, garters, some lace and, let me see...some slow sexy music is playing and there would be a game of Truth or Dare involving, for example, a tub of Vaseline and some long, thick vegetables...”

Kathryn chortled.  “Vegetables?”

He eyed her from beneath heavy eyelids as she laughed.  “No vegetables?” He took a sip of champagne, his face a picture of innocence.

“I seem to recall we usually had black rubber dildos.”  Chakotay leapt up as a mouthful of chilled champagne made its way out via his nasal cavity at speed.  The effect was remarkably like a soda-stream.

“Gods, don’t do that to me,” he choked.

“You started it, mister!  Now sit down, you’ve smudged your nails.  What are you doing?”

Chakotay was slowly unbuttoning his shirt and revealing more of his skin than she had ever seen outside of sickbay.  He shrugged it off his broad shoulders and wiped down his face, chest and finally, the coffee table.  Kathryn was instantly reminded of Lady Chatterley’s Lover.  Of a certain scene in the forest.....

“It’s wet,” he said, by way of explanation, and threw the offending article to the floor.  He resumed his previous position next to Kathryn, minus his shirt and champagne vase.

Bronzed beauty, Kathryn’s mind was still working on nail colours.  She cleared her throat.  “Are you quite comfortable?” An eyebrow arched.  The unfamiliar alcohol was kicking in.  She was way too warm.

“Perfectly comfortable, thankyou.”

“I’m assuming, for instance, that your jeans aren’t too tight.”  Take that, she thought.  What was that she had once said; if you don’t want to get dirty, don’t get into the mud with your Captain, or something like that.

“You could be right,” he pretended to consider her suggestion and slid his fingers provocatively beneath his waistband.  “What do you think?”

“That I’m glad it was the Cardassians that caught me and not the Maquis; I wouldn’t have lasted a minute under this kind of torture.”

She was still sober enough to realise that this little game was going further than she had intended.  The sensible thing to do would be to end it now, say ‘goodnight’ and get back to her own room and safety.  That would be for the best.  Really.  And then she already had enough raw material to fuel her fantasies for the next seven years, any more would be sheer hedonism. So best to end it now.

Chakotay began to undo the top button of his jeans, studying her reaction.  She nibbled her bottom lip, nervously.  All of this was happening so close that she could easily reach out her hand and....lord.... not another button.  Why couldn’t she look away?  She was completely mesmerised by the sight and proximity of her half-naked First Officer.  How was she ever going to sit next to him every day on her bridge with this image in her mind?  Why was there never a red alert when you needed one?  Tuvok, where the hell was Tuvok when you needed him?  Her eyes flickered to her comm badge.

“Expecting a call?  Actually I never went in for interrogations much, but I’m willing to make an exception for you, Kathryn.  We could start with that game of Truth or Dare.”

“Don’t tell’s traditional.”

“Absolutely.  It wouldn’t be a girl’s night without it.  Or would you prefer spin the bottle?  I’m a very good loser.”

“Chakotay what we have here is nothing like a girl’s night.”

“You first...truth or dare?”  He was persistent.

“Dare...on the understanding that your rank may well depend upon your suggestion.”

“Turn around.  Go ahead Kathryn, it’s OK I promise.  Now come over here.”  He reached out for her, and slid her towards him until her back rested against his chest.  Then he enclosed her waist with his bare arms and rested his chin on her shoulder.  “Now relax.”

She sighed and sank back into his gentle embrace.  “This is it?”

“If you are disappointed I could probably come up with something more challenging.”

“No doubt.  My turn?”

“Yes, and I think that I’ll choose ‘truth’.”


“Now I’m sure you’re disappointed,” he chuckled.  “You’re welcome to dare me instead.”

“No thankyou Chakotay.  Truth will do just fine.  Hmmm, my, my, so many questions.  This could take a while; you’d better get comfortable.”

“Take your time.  I am comfortable.”

She twisted her head around to look at him and he raised his eyebrows, encouraging her to say what was on her mind.  “Do you find me attractive?”

“Yes, but you already know that.  Ask me another.”

“I meant sexually attractive.”

“Do I fantasise about you, about ‘us’ together you mean?  Kathryn, you asked, so I am going to be honest with you.  Do you want me to go on?”  He waited for her to nod.  “There is not one single position I haven’t imagined us making love in, and I have a pretty good imagination.  So the answer is ‘yes’, I do find you physically attractive, OK.”

“That’s about the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.”

“I think you have had too much to drink.  Maybe I should be getting you home.”

“It’s your turn.”  The night was still young.

“Truth or Dare, Kathryn?”

“I’ll go for ‘truth’ this time around.”

“Now I’m disappointed.”

“You had something in mind?”

“Oh, a couple of things...”

“Truth...ask me something.”

“How about you, Kathryn?  I’ve had a few mixed messages lately.  Do you find me attractive?”

“I should have thought that was pretty obvious.  Ask me something else.”

“You ever think about us ‘together’, about what it would be like?”

“I try not to.”  She felt him stiffen and pull away.  “I said ‘try’ Chakotay. I never said I succeeded.  Because when the battles are over, when the diseases are cured, when the shuttles are put back together and the memos are all read, and I am alone at my bed, my dreams are filled with images of you, and of the two of us.”

“Tell I any good?”

“Yes, but I think that’s enough questions for now.  Now what are you doing?”

“Kissing your neck,” he whispered as he softly caressed the skin of her neck with his warm, open mouth.  Kathryn closed her eyes.  She couldn’t remember anything feeling quite so exquisite.  She tilted her head; wordlessly encouraging him to continue and then drowning in the sensation of his wet tongue as it slid back and forth beneath her earlobe.  He drew back and blew softly onto her damp skin.

“I have an ancient story for you.”  Janeway opened her eyes and turned to look at him.  You have to be kidding.  She was so keyed up she was going to bust something and he wanted to tell her a story?  She concentrated on slowing her heartbeat.  “You do?”

“Well, not so ancient, really.  It’s about an angry warrior who found himself in an impossible situation.  Should he risk everything to save the great ship of an enemy...a beautiful, powerful female warrior who had sworn to kill him?  The warrior had to make a leap of faith.  His head told him that she was an enemy and he owed her no favours.  Her people had betrayed his family and his own father had been killed because of this betrayal.  But his heart told him something else.  It said that she could be trusted and that at some time, in some way, she would come to fill a void in his life, and help him to find the inner peace he had been searching for.  So the warrior was true to his heart, and he sacrificed his own ship and possibly his freedom to save her.”

Tears clouded her eyes as she said, “and the moral of this story is?”

“Trust your heart.  Make that leap of faith.  I’ll be here to catch you, Kathryn.... Just like you were there for me.”

“Oh Chakotay. I’m so sorry.”

He let her go and ran his fingers back through his close cropped hair.  “Just tell me what it is you think you’re sorry for.”

“For pushing you away all these years, for turning you into ‘one of the girls’, or trying to anyway.  You said earlier that you sensed we had been growing apart and you were right.  I have been trying to cool things down between us.  I’m a Starfleet Captain, and a damned fine one and my crew, my ship and my job come first.  But I’m also a woman and I have the same drives and desires as any other woman, no exceptions.  It’s not been easy for me, always sticking to protocol, maintaining my distance, my authority.  So many times I could have used a hug Chakotay, just a simple hug but no...I’m the Captain.”

“You could have asked me.  You must know that you could have trusted me not to push for anything more.  Would it have been so bad?”

“It’s me I didn’t trust.  Could I have stopped at a hug,  Chakotay?  There’s so much more I need from you, and that’s all I seem to do isn’t it? Take, take, take.”

“Lucky for you I’m a giving kind of guy.”

“Well you’re too damned giving!  Stop giving, Chakotay, and start taking.  You deserve so much more.”

“More ? More than what exactly?”

“More than medamn it!  More than the perfect Starfleet Captain Janeway and her holier-than-thou, always right, ‘do-it’ my way or take the highway crap.”

Chakotay laughed and rested his head against hers.  “That’s quite a speech!  Were you saving that for our return to the Alpha Quadrant?  Kathryn, I don’t want more than you, never have.  I love it all, the whole package, Starfleet and all.  I love you Kathryn and anytime you need a hug or a kiss or anything to do with lingerie and vegetables...”

“Watch it, Commander.  I told you - no vegetables.  And if you think I’m going to spill my guts about how lonely and isolated I’ve become so that I can ask you for the occasional cuddle, you’re way out of line.”

“I am?”

“Yes!  I want it all, you hear me...the hand-holding, the hugs, the wild sex, and yes, even the common garden variety sex (do not mention vegetables again, Chakotay).  I want a normal, ordinary relationship doing whatever the hell it is that people do in normal relationships.  Can you imagine what it would be like, the freedom of knowing that we belong together?  No more insecurity, denial, frustration and no more having you so close and not being able to touch you and tell you how I feel.”

“Come on.”  Chakotay stood up and began to clear away their mess.  He picked up his crumpled shirt and put it back on along with his socks and boots.

Kathryn Janeway looked on in silent apprehension. “What are you doing?”

“I’m taking you home Kathryn.  I am going to call Sam and let her know she’s due back.  Then I’m going to take you to your quarters and get you a hypospray for the hangover you are going to have in the morning.”  He watched her eyes fill with tears and knelt down beside her.  “Then I’m going to pack my clothes and move them in with yours.  Marry me, Kathryn.  We belong together.”

“That’s one hell of a Dare.”

“Say ‘yes’.”

“Two engagement anniversaries on the one day?”

“Stop looking for excuses and say ‘yes', Kathryn.”

“Yes, Chakotay.”


The End

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