|Disclaimer: Paramount owns all things Star Trek Voyager. I don’t. Only borrowing
them. Etc. Etc. Etc.
Summary: As Chakotay and Kathryn lie dying in a crashed shuttle, they talk openly
to each other about their lives and regrets. In what they believe are their
last hours, they finally find each other but is it too late?
NOTE: This story was written with full credit to Savant, a great friend who encourages me no end. The love scene is all hers and no one can write them like she does. Check out her site at http://www.angelfire.com/tv2/startrek or else.
AT THE END WE COME TO OURSELVES.
By KAT LADY.
The light was back, bright this time and he squeezed his eyes shut against the glare of it. He thought he heard a voice and the light lessened. He fought again to open his eyes and stared, his brain fighting to catch up with the information his eyes were sending it. Voyager’s EMH was looking down at him with a kindly smile on his face.
“Welcome back Commander.” He struggled with this information and suddenly only one word came to mind and he tried to sit up.
“Kathryn….” He felt a hand try to push him back down gently. He turned his head quickly…too quickly. A wave of dizziness passed over him and he fell back. He managed to turn his head slowly and scan the sickbay, but there was no sign of Kathryn, all the other beds empty.
“Oh God Kathryn…no please…” The hand moved to his chest.
“Commander, she’s not dead…” Four words and they started his world again.
“Where is she? Please Doc…” He saw the sad face of the Medic.
“She’s in the surgical bay…” Chakotay’s eyes pleaded with the Doctor and he saw what looked like a deep sigh escape the Hologram.
“How is…is she…?” His eyes stayed on the Doctor’s, demanding the truth.
“She had stopped breathing when we got to you both but I don’t believe it was long enough for brain damage to have occurred. Her legs were broken in several places along with her hips, as well as six ribs and her arm. She had severe spinal injuries and there’s still a risk of paralysis. I won’t know until she’s conscious. The internal injuries she suffered were…extensive…punctured lung…haemorrhaging…but I’ve taken care of that. Between concussion and the internal blood loss…well she’s in a deep coma. Its up to her now to come back to us. ” Chakotay nodded slowly.
“She’ll be all right though…I mean she’ll live…” The Doctor looked away a moment.
“I’m hopeful. She came pretty close but she’s a fighter…you know our Captain…” Chakotay nodded, a million memories of their ‘last hours’ passing through his mind.
“Yes I do…I know her…” He turned when the Doctor coughed. “Please…can I see her…please…I need to see her…” The Doctor nodded and helped a very weak Chakotay off the bed and into a standing position. Painfully, leaning on the Medic for support, they made their way slowly across the room and behind the privacy screen the Doctor had erected. Tears filled Chakotay’s eyes when he saw Kathryn lying on the bed. She was so pale and still but he managed to see that she was breathing. He closed his eyes and let out the breath he’d been holding. The Doctor’s voice filled the silence.
“Commander, in case you’re interested in your own injuries… You broke your pelvis and both legs. You had a nasty laceration to the forehead and you suffered a concussion also. You had some internal bleeding which was brought under control fairly easily. You will of course make a full recovery. I want to keep you here for at least another two days.” Chakotay nodded, both of them knowing he would be here anyway. He moved slowly to Kathryn and reached his hand out and stroked her face.
“Fight this Kathryn, don’t give up now.” Some lines of poetry came to him and he leaned down and whispered in her ear. “Kathryn, you have promises to keep…and miles to go before you sleep… Kathryn, you promised me…come back to me now…I need you…” He felt the Doctor’s hands on his shoulders pulling him up.
“Come on Commander, time for you to rest. You’ll be no good to her if you’re exhausted…” Chakotay nodded. He stared down at Kathryn, taking in every detail of her face.
“I’ll see you later Kathryn. I love you…” He didn’t care that the Doctor heard him.
It was another four days before Kathryn came out of her coma. The Doctor had banished Chakotay to his quarters for a short rest and now alerted him when he saw the signs of her regaining consciousness and so Chakotay’s was the first face she saw when she opened her eyes.
“Kathryn…you’re in sickbay…we made it…they found us just in time…” He saw his words slowly sink in. “How do you feel?” She licked her dry lips.
“Sore and I’d kill for a cup of coffee…” He laughed.
“Oh you’re back with us all right…” His face grew very serious.
“It was that close huh?” Afraid to speak, he just nodded. “Chakotay, it’s all right…” He looked up and away, trying to hide his tears from her. He felt her hand reach for his and let her hold it. Finally he found the courage to speak.
“Sorry…it was just…too close…” He looked down at her and saw her eyes were awash with tears too. “I thought you’d gone…at the end…” She nodded her understanding.
“Me too…I couldn’t hold on…but I heard you calling me…” They both fought to control their emotions. Chakotay stroked her face.
“You’re back now…that’s all that matters…” He saw her remember everything they had been through and suddenly realized that she was embarrassed. “Kathryn…don’t be embarrassed…please…what passed between us…it stays with me…you know that…” She nodded slowly but avoided his eyes and he felt a fear grow in him. Suddenly he was aware of the Doctor standing beside them.
“Mind if I check my patient?” Chakotay stood back but kept his eyes on Kathryn until the Doctor got in the way.
“Captain, I need to check a few things with you.” Chakotay saw him drop his hand down to Kathryn’s legs without letting her see him. He saw the pinch he made to her thigh but there was no reaction from Kathryn. Chakotay felt a fist grip his insides. He saw the Medic pinch her other leg with no reaction there either. He held his breath and prayed as the Doctor pinched harder and Kathryn suddenly moved.
“Can you feel that Captain?” He continued to pinch her legs.
“A little…why…what’s wrong?” Kathryn was starting to panic and tried to sit up but the Doctor pushed her back down. Suddenly she remembered.
“Oh God…I couldn’t feel anything after the crash…am I…what’s wrong…?” The Doctor smiled softly.
“There’s feeling in your legs Captain and that’s good. There was damage to your spine and it’ll take time to heal. I’d be worried if you had no feeling there at all…” Kathryn leaned her head up and they saw the strain on her face.
“Why can’t I move them then…I can’t feel them…I can’t move them at all…” Her tears started and she looked to the Doctor for some hope.
“Captain, I’ve told you. The area was damaged…” He paused a moment and decided to tell her more. “Captain, there are gel packs around your legs and hips. The bones were badly crushed, not just broken. I’ve repaired the bones, good as new. You need to keep still for a few more days to let the bones regenerate properly. You can’t move your legs because I’ve made it so, not because they won’t move themselves.” He saw her absorb this and accept it and she relaxed a little. “There is reduced sensation in your legs but that’s to be expected after the trauma they suffered. You just have to be patient.” He smiled. “You have to be a patient in body and patient in mind…” He laughed but Kathryn wasn’t ready for a joke. “Captain, just take your time and give yourself a chance to heal…I’ll be honest and tell you it will take time but you’ll get there, all right?” Kathryn nodded tearfully.
“I’m sorry Doctor, I’ll try. It’s just…if I couldn’t walk…if I was paralysed…I’d be useless to…to everyone…” The Doctor patted her arm and smiled, playing down her comments.
“Commander, let her get some rest now. You can come back later.” Chakotay nodded and saw the Doctor press a hypo to Kathryn’s neck. Within minutes, she was asleep. He looked up at the Doctor.
“You obviously want to speak with me?” The Doctor nodded and motioned towards his office. When they were seated, he got straight to the point.
“Commander, you have to understand that her legs and hips…the bones were badly smashed…the front of the shuttle on her side…well it caved in on her. They had to cut her out while I worked on her, with you also but that was easier.” Chakotay closed his eyes, fighting the images that came to him. The Doctor gave him a moment and then continued. “She has little sensation in her legs. I pinched hard enough to bruise and she barely felt it. She should also have been able to move them a little but wasn’t. I’m hoping this is just due to the swelling that’s still around the sites of the injuries but I can’t be sure. We’ll know more as the swelling goes down. Either way, she has a long and hard road ahead of her. She’ll need a long rehabilitation period and it won’t be easy. There will be a lot of tears and frustration before there will be smiles and results. I hope you’re up to that challenge Commander.” Chakotay glared at the Medic as if the idea of anything else was crazy. “All right, let’s see how we go then.”
Kathryn managed to control her impatience over the next week as she lay unable to move her lower body. Chakotay sat with her as often as he could and he knew that most of her control stemmed from fear. She was quiet most of the time and he wasn’t sure if she was just worried about her injuries or if she was depressed about everything else. He kept their talks casual but supportive, carefully avoiding anything sensitive. At the end of the week, the Doctor removed the gel packs and Chakotay stood back as he examined Kathryn. Once more, he saw the Doctor pinch Kathryn’s thigh, hiding the movement from her eyes.
“Ow…what was that…?” She felt another pinch to her other thigh and then her lower legs. “Ouch…stop…what are you trying to do to me…?” She glared at the two grinning men watching her before it sank in with her that the sensation was coming back.
“Captain, I’m sorry. I had to check that. There was a possibility that you might be paralysed…” They saw the fright on Kathryn’s face. They knew she had suspected this but hearing it spoken made it real. “This worry was obviously unwarranted…” Kathryn let out the breath she hadn’t realized she was holding. “I didn’t want to say too much before, at least until I knew more myself.” She nodded slowly.
“It’s all right. I understand why you said nothing.” The Doctor smiled.
“Right Captain, here’s what’s next. You will need a lot of physiotherapy and I’ll give you exercises to do. I can release you to your quarters within another two days. After that, I’ll come to you for your physio and you can do your own exercises the rest of the time. I highly recommend swimming to help your muscle tone and strengthen those same muscles. You can also use the gymnasium program on the holodeck to work out. I’m sure the Commander will be only too happy to help you but if not him, you must have someone with you at all times, until the strength returns. Have you any questions for me?” They watched her think.
“How long…and will I get back to the way I was before…?” The Doctor nodded.
“You’ll be good as new. As to how long, anywhere from two weeks to a month before you get close. All in all, I’d say about two months before you’re back to normal. It depends on how well the therapy works for you and how hard you work at it but Captain, you have my word that it will work in the end.” She nodded.
“OK, that’s fine. As long as I know that I can get there and I have a time frame in my mind. Of course, I’ll do it in half that time…” They saw she was serious.
Over the next two weeks, Kathryn threw herself into getting her legs working properly again. She allowed Chakotay to stay in her quarters and work her legs with her. She even put up with him having to carry her around and help her with her daily personal care. He took her swimming and put into practice all the Doctor had taught him, holding her in the water as she followed his instructions. Kathryn worked tirelessly and only occasionally, would her frustration show especially if she fell but she was always quick to try again. She used the gym four times a day and Chakotay worried that she was pushing herself too hard but the Doctor assured him that she was fine. Now and then she would accept a painkiller as she worked herself to a sweat but Chakotay saw she hated admitting the pain. Most of the time she was quiet, teeth gritted as she forced herself on, other times she cried when it started to become too much but she persevered. By the end of a month, Kathryn was almost back to normal, walking with only a slight stiffness.
Throughout their time together, they never discussed what had happened during what they had believed were their ‘last hours’ on the shuttle and Chakotay didn’t push it. He knew she’d talk to him eventually and that she needed all her concentration for getting her body back on track. After six weeks, she was back on duty and walking as if nothing had ever happened. Chakotay delighted in the progress she had made and bided his time. He was determined that she keep her promise to him.
A week after her return to duty, they sat in her quarters one night after dinner and Chakotay finally guided the conversation around to their ‘last hours’. He knew she was uncomfortable with the subject, but he wasn’t going to let it go.
“Kathryn, you made a promise to me and we’re going to discuss this. I’ve kept quiet while you recovered physically and now we address this.” She shifted herself on the sofa but stayed silent.
“You know what I’m going to say. I know you’ve been…I suppose…embarrassed by everything. We both said things to each other, believing that we were dying and you know none of that will ever go any further, that you can trust me on that but I’m begging you…don’t waste what we learned down there Kathryn. We shared something so special…it sounds awful but a part of me wouldn’t change those hours for anything…we were so close to each other…as close as it’s possible to be…I’d hate for us to forget it all…” She kept her head down and he allowed it.
“Kathryn, knowing what I know now…I can’t just sit back and watch you waste away like that. You forget, I know you better than ever now and for a while, after you came round from the coma, I got the impression you’d rather have died there than face this. However when I saw you fight to get back, to walk again, that gave me hope. I want to know that you haven’t forgotten what was between us there…that you’ll keep your promise and act on it…Kathryn, please don’t forget it…” She lifted her head and he saw her smile, tears slipping down her face. What he had thought would be a battle and would result in her denial of everything, came to nothing.
“I won’t ever forget…and I meant it…what I told you…you have to know that…I do love you…it wasn’t just the knowledge that we were dying… It took that to finally tell you but…Chakotay I meant it…I love you…if you still feel the same…” She saw him close his eyes and open them again and just stare at her as if imprinting the moment on his memory for all time. She stayed quiet and let him and then his hand came up and caressed her cheek, his thumb wiping the tears from her face.
“I love you Kathryn, nothing could ever change that. Just let me into your life, let me be there for you the way you deserve. Let me give you what you don’t have, fill those dreams… Let’s share it together while we still have the time. I want to marry you, have a child with you… We can do those things and still run this ship and get this crew home… It never has to be an ‘either or’ situation. It can be both if you just give it a chance.” Kathryn choked back a sob and he leaned over and kissed her gently on the lips. When he pulled back, he saw her smiling at him.
“You thought you’d have a fight on your hands, didn’t you?” He smiled and nodded.
“I did think since you hadn’t spoken of it, that you were denying it all, trying to pretend it hadn’t happened or at least forget it.” He looked deeply into her eyes and saw her love for him shine from them.
“Chakotay, I’m so sorry. All I could concentrate on was getting on my feet again, walking properly. That had to come first…come before I could…I didn’t want… the crew needs a Captain who’s whole and you didn’t need a cripple…” She saw the anger on his face immediately.
“Oh God Kathryn…how can you think…?” He stood up and paced and she regretted her words when she saw how upset and angry she’d made him.
“Chakotay…please…I didn’t mean that…I didn’t mean that it would matter to you…it’s me…how I felt…if I came to you I wanted to be whole…please Chakotay…” He finally looked at her and saw the pain in her eyes. His anger quickly dissipated and he fell to his knees before her, gasping her hands in his.
“Kathryn, I’ve told you I love you. You Kathryn, not whether your legs work or anything like that. You have to see that you’re worth everything to me and believe that in yourself. You deserve all your dreams and all the happiness and love you can get, no matter what way your body is. Can you accept that?” She nodded tearfully and pulled him to her. They held each other for a long time.
“So Chakotay…was that a proposal?” He pulled back and smiled at her, tears filling his eyes.
“I’m already on my knees woman…what more do you want…?” His face sobered. “Kathryn Janeway, will you do me the great honour of becoming my wife?” He watched the tears spill from her eyes, revealing the love and happiness shining in them.
“I’d love to…yes Chakotay…I’d love to be your wife…” Not waiting for anything else, he stood and swept her up into his arms and then sat on the sofa with her in his lap. He pulled her to him tightly, feeling deep desire stir in him. He kissed her lightly and nuzzled her neck.
“Is this all right? Can I make love with you? If you’d rather wait…” Her hands came up to his face and she pulled him to her and kissed him with a passion that left him breathless. Having his answer, he forgot everything else but the woman in his arms.
He languished kisses on her soft cheeks, tasting the saltiness of her tears there. His thumbs moved to wipe away the moisture before nibbling down her neck and teasing her earlobe between his teeth. She gasped and moaned, fighting the fasteners on his uniform jacket. Finally they came undone and in seconds, it lay on the floor. Her nails pressed his spine from bottom to top, removing his turtleneck and it joined its counterpart in the beginnings of a pile that soon included Kathryn's garments as well.
Chakotay twisted and moved her back somewhat, gentle pressure on her shoulders, forcing her to rest against the back of the couch, her head tipped backwards, baring her neck to him. He couldn't resist it, the skin so soft and pink, so smooth, rippling with ticklish delight as his lips worked over her, punctuated by his tongue in spots. His nose nuzzled her nipples to hardened peaks under the lace of her bra, tearing gasps from her throat, before he reached behind her and undid the restricting garment, licking along the angry red lines it left around her breasts. Only then did he reveal her beauty underneath, suckling carefully but anxiously at her bare chest, giving equal time to each breast.
When he had had his fill, he moved lower and his tongue dipped to taste her musky wetness, spreading her thighs carefully with his fingers, titillating spider webs of sensation flowing around them both. Her hands on the top of his head urged him toward her, uninhibited, guiding him, keeping him her prisoner, though he had no wish to leave, then or ever. His thumb pushed back on her hood, exposing her core of pleasure and she shuddered as the cool air, both from the room and more so from his pursed lips, blew over her in ripples, ruffling the downy curls between her legs. With the tip of his tongue he tasted again and again, before burying his face close to her, holding the back of her thighs apart as he nipped, nuzzled and licked at her folds.
“Chakotay” she ground out, almost sounding desperate, as he chuckled against her. It was her undoing. “CHAKOTAY!”
Her hands dug into the cushions of the couch, her thighs tightened around his head. His grasp had been purposeful, to prevent her from closing them and a warm deluge of liquid gushed to his lips. Not quite allowing her to recover, he shifted upward slightly, keeping his mouth against her centre and slipping first one finger and then two, into her warm depths, hearing her cries as distant music to his ears, chuckling again as she bucked against him, almost tearful in her pleas.
“Chakotay please… I can't take much more… ohhhhhhhhhh...” Her back arched as she climaxed again, limply falling back onto the cushions.
Incoherent whimpers were all that escaped her lips as Chakotay moved upward, dancing kisses along her belly, between the valley of her breasts and fastening his mouth over hers once more, wrapping an arm around her shoulders to lift her against him, settling her head against his shoulder. Tenderly he picked her up and carried her, almost limp in his arms, to the bed.
Once in her bedroom he lay her on the bed, stripping his pants down, kicking them away, hiding nothing from her as his member stood erect. She surprised him, rolling over onto her side, grasping his member in her small hands, examining, stroking and finally encasing him in her mouth, between her tongue and palate.
He groaned as she pulled him to the bed, somehow ending up on all fours on top of her body, though her head was level with his groin, allowing him to take control and thrust in and out of her mouth. He was ever gentle about it, trying to gauge her depth, desperately afraid she would gag or choke and ruin this experience that was purely pleasurable for both, though he was sure she would never let it come to that.
She pulled away from him before it was too late, thankfully. He had been almost to the point of stopping her. He did not want their first time together to be in that way, though it had been wonderful to see and feel her losing her inhibitions previously. She pushed herself towards the pillows just in time for his mouth to fasten gently onto hers and he slid inside her effortlessly with one smooth thrust.
The urgency abated then, though neither could explain it. A sense of completion washed over them, a tidal wave that threatened to drag them both out to sea in its wake. He stilled inside her passage, supporting himself on one elbow, his fingers lazily drawing patterns against her skin. He felt her hands against his back, tracing the contours of his muscles, sliding downward through the sheen that had accumulated to coat his body, caressing his buttocks.
“I love you.” He whispered into her ear.
“And I will always love you,” she whispered back.
His movement inside started, the rapid build up of pressure becoming even more so, another tidal wave approaching, one that both could feel but not resist, nor did they want to. Chakotay thrusted inside once, twice and then it was over, her muscles clenched around his length and he cried out as his seed spurted from him, filling her with its life-giving warmth.
Kathryn shuddered, the tremors growing more intense, the ripples moving downward through her belly that was tightly pressed against Chakotay's. For long minutes neither could move, simple, light kisses all that were exchanged and then he rolled them both to their sides, unwilling to leave her depths or her arms. He kissed her forehead and the cheek that was not pillowed against him, watching as her eyes drooped despite a steadfast effort on her part to hold them open.
“Kathryn” he whispered. “Go to sleep, love. Tomorrow is another day for us.”
Only when he was sure she was asleep did he give way himself, tucking her tighter against his body as if to keep her there, no matter what she wanted, even though she did want the same as him, he was sure of it now and he was asleep before he could finish the thought.
ONE YEAR LATER.
Chakotay stood and leaned against the side of the newly constructed archway between what had been his quarters and Kathryn’s. He watched her nurse their tiny daughter and felt his vision blur as his eyes filled with tears. He glanced to the cabinet behind her and the holoimage of their wedding ten months ago and smiled as he remembered the day. Kathryn had had the wedding she had dreamed of as a child, every crewmember giving up something to ensure there were enough replicator rations for the occasion. Now he watched her, holding the tiny life she had presented him with just two days ago. Suddenly he was aware of his wife watching him and he smiled gently at her. She motioned with her head for him to take their daughter from her and he leaned down and picked up the tiny infant, marvelling again at the fact that she was now a part of their lives. He watched Kathryn slip her breast back into her shirt then he laid the now sleeping child into the crib he’d carved himself. He felt Kathryn come over beside him and lean against him and he slipped his arm around her. They watched for some time as the tiny movements of hands and feet slowed until they stilled in deep sleep. Chakotay turned on the monitor and led Kathryn out of the room to their bedroom. He pulled her down on the bed beside him.
“Time for our nap too love.” They were both tired from being up half the night but they loved it. He kissed the side of her face and felt her smile. “Thank you so much for her and for you…” She turned so she could look into his face.
“I thank you more Chakotay. Just over a year ago…you know what I mean…we came so close to dying… I never thought it possible to have what I have now…and it’s all down to you…because I’ve never been happier…” She studied his face and traced her fingers over his forehead. “We’ve so much to give her as she grows…but I think the most important thing we can pass on to her is what we’ve learned from all this…what we learned and especially what I learned during those hours. If she grows up knowing all that…she’ll be all right.” Chakotay pulled her to him, careful of her sensitive breasts.
“She’ll know. We’ll teach her all the important things in life, just as we learned them.” They slowly drifted off to sleep.
RETURN TO STORY INDEX ONE.
RETURN TO STORY INDEX TWO.