Disclaimer:  Paramount owns all things Star Trek Voyager.  I don’t.  Only borrowing                 

                     them. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Rating:          NC17.

Summary:     With things already strained between her and Chakotay, Kathryn finds

                      herself blackmailed into spending the night with an alien leader in order

                      to save her crew.  Afterwards she must deal with the fallout, physical

                      and emotional, as Chakotay and the crew stand back, unaware that their

                      Captain is fighting a battle she is rapidly losing.



WARNING:   This story contains graphic material of a violent and sexual nature.

                        If you are offended by such, please do not read on.  NC17 means                     

                        NC17.

NOTE:  This story is based around KJ's A Time To Heal.  Check out her wonderful stories at
             
www.geocities.com/janeway2626/



NO SACRIFICE TOO GREAT.

PART THREE.





B’Elanna and Tom rushed to their Captain.  They saw the blood staining the back of her blouse and B’Elanna turned to Harry and told him to clear everyone away then pulled the blouse and the tee shirt up. 



“Oh sweet…oh Captain…What is this…”  She looked desperately to Tom for answers he didn’t have and heard Chakotay cry out as he fell to his knees beside them.  She hid any view of Kathryn as best she could as Harry pushed everyone back.  Tom was the only one thinking straight and called for a beam out to sickbay.



As soon as they arrived in sick bay, they discovered that the EMH was still offline and B’Elanna set about desperately trying to get him back.  Tom and Chakotay lifted the unconscious Kathryn onto a biobed.  Tom grabbed Chakotay’s arm.



“Come on hurry, help me get these things off her.”  Chakotay just nodded and helped the young pilot.  They were aware of B’Elanna calling down to Engineering and speaking with the crew there then she was beside them.



“The Doctor will be up and running in a minute.”  She looked down at the woman on the bed.  “How is she?  She couldn’t have done that with just the fall…  She’s burning up…”  She saw Tom look at his tricorder as he scanned Kathryn and started helping Chakotay get their Captain undressed. 



As Kathryn’s injuries were revealed, they all stood rooted to the spot in shock.  Chakotay barely managed words.



“Oh dear God…what the hell is this…Kathryn…how…”  His hand covered his mouth and he saw B’Elanna mimic his action.  They both looked to Tom.



“According to this…”  Tom closed his eyes a minute.  “These…injuries…they’re mostly infected…they…it looks like…lashes or…cuts…bites…some burns…I mean her wrists and ankles…her neck…they’re like…rope burns…and there’s…some bleeding…tearing…well you know where…”  He didn’t know what to say.  B’Elanna burst into tears and Chakotay just stood and stared.  B’Elanna got her voice back just as the EMH appeared.



“That bastard…that…it had to be…he did this…why didn’t she…”  The Doctor pulled her away but his shock was evident.  Tom was on the ball and gave a quick report.



“Look Doc, I’ll tell you what we know.  We noticed she was hot, a fever or something.  She fell against the wall on the holodeck and we saw blood on the back of her shirt and then she collapsed.  We don’t know anything more.  We’re assuming that bastard Garan did this but…”  He handed over the tricorder.  “She seems to have a massive infection and there are these injuries…there’s lash marks front and back, burns, cuts, bruising, the rope burns, bites…”  The Doctor took charge quickly, nodding his understand.



“Mr. Paris, I will need your help.  Ms. Torres if you can get to Engineering and make sure I stay on line this time…Commander I need to know more about what’s going on here so I am ordering you to go through the Captain’s personal logs and see if you can find anything about this.  I need to know how long ago these injuries occurred and how she’s been treating them or was trying to.  I need this information now so go to it.”  He went straight to work with Tom.



As Tom and the Doctor started working on their Captain, Chakotay and B’Elanna walked down the corridor in a daze.  Chakotay was aware of B’Elanna reaching for his hand.



“What I said to her…the things I said…”  The Engineer clutched his hand tightly.



“Chakotay, concentrate on now.  She’s in good hands so just get what the Doctor needs and think about that only.  We’ll sort everything else out later.”  He nodded and stopped outside Kathryn’s quarters.



“Ok, all right….you’re right…I’ll do that…”  B’Elanna gave him a quick hug and hurried off.



Chakotay entered Kathryn’s quarters and drew in a deep breath.  First he went to her bathroom and checked around.  He found several hypos of painkiller and a small bottle of antiseptic and some gauze but nothing more.  He quickly reported this to the Doctor.  He then spent several minutes accessing Kathryn’s personal logs and what he read almost killed him.



“I died last night.  I sold my body to save this crew and ended up losing my soul as well.  Pain consumes me inside and out.  I’ve cleaned my injuries the best I can but I can’t reach some of them and it’s too painful to even try.  I can’t go to the Doctor with this, can’t face him and I’m so afraid of anyone finding out. 



I didn’t think I’d live to see this morning.  I really believed it would be just once or twice with him, straight forward where I could just shut my eyes and get it over with.  I couldn’t know that bastard could go all night and I could never have known how sick and perverted he could be.  I learned quickly how restraining me and inflicting pain turned him on so much.  I think I prayed for death at one stage but it never came and there was nothing I could do but endure it all.



I wanted so much to think of Chakotay’s wonderful face, his love and kindness to get me through but I couldn’t do that.  There’s only good there with him and I couldn’t bring his image into that hell.  I didn’t deserve to anyway.



The only thing that got me through was the thought that it was me and not them.  When he showed me the Death Fights and wanted Chakotay for them and some of the others, I knew I had to stop that any way I could.  The images from that will stay with me for a long time and I still hear the cries of the men as they fought to survive and the cheers of the crowds.  I don’t want to even think about what the hunting he spoke of could possibly be like.  When he refused to trade if I didn’t hand them over and told me that breaking negotiations resulted in prison for all concerned, I knew I was trapped.  We had to have those supplies but mostly I had to save my crew from that horror and death, from that prison.  I got them into this and I must do everything I can to get them home again.  I tell myself this was just another away mission but it doesn’t help.



Thank God that woman gave me the painkiller that got me back here.  I knew by her face that she was aware of everything that had happened to me, that she probably heard my screams all night.  I guess I’m one of many.  Seeing Chakotay in the lift, I barely held it together.  He looked at me with such contempt and it hurts so much.  The night after the dinner was the same but I guess I can understand it.  I’ve hurt him so badly and that pains me more than these injuries but I’ll just have to endure both.  I can’t blame him for what he said to me and he’s right as far as he sees it.  I can’t ever let him know of all this and it’s better he believes as he does.  I’ve managed to get a hypo from the Doctor, claiming a headache.  I have a shift to get through and I pray for the strength I’ll need.”



Chakotay realized he was crying as he read Kathryn’s words but pushed himself on.



“Something’s wrong.  They won’t heal and I feel sick all the time now.  I know I’m not pregnant thank God, my booster made sure of that.  I wonder now if I caught something from him but I know it’s more likely that my injuries are infected.  I still can’t go to the Doctor but at least with the problems we have with him, I can get to sickbay and find the painkillers I desperately need.  I know there’s no way I could function without them.  I just hope I’ve hidden their disappearance in the files well enough.  I can’t believe I can stoop so low but I have no choice.  They can’t know.



I’ll give it more time and then I’ll try and get some antibiotic.  Maybe the Doctor will still be offline and I can do it quietly.  I couldn’t stand to see Chakotay’s face if he knew any of this.  He ignores me mostly and I understand.  The crew never meet my eyes now and I sense how I’ve let them down but it’s Chakotay’s hate I find the hardest to live with.  Knowing I saved them from what could have been gets me through though.”  Chakotay dropped his head back.



“Oh Kathryn, dear God why did you do this?  Why didn’t you just talk to me?”  He wiped at his face and read the final entry.



“I managed to get through the wedding this morning by using two hypos and I think I fooled them.  I’ve taken to wearing tee shirts under my clothes in case the whip marks on my back bleed through.  They weep and bleed all the time and I can’t reach them.  I know they’re infected and this will now probably kill me. 



I have to face them all again this evening and I pray for the courage to get through it.  I saw their faces this morning and I saw Chakotay.  He told me what he thinks the other day, about how cold I’ve become but I have to be that way.  If I let my guard down for a second, they might find out and I can’t have that.  I was in so much pain and just wanted him out of there so I could take a hypo.  He told me I was cold and hard, the same words HE used to me.  If that bastard saw me that way, thought I was like them, no wonder this crew and Chakotay see me the same way.  They deserve so much better.  I feel now they’ll get that.  This infection, if that’s what it is, is getting worse and I’m constantly sick and dizzy.  I don’t think it will be long.”



Chakotay sat for some time, his thoughts swirling around inside his head and let his tears flow.  Finally, he managed to make his way to sickbay and just as he entered he saw the Doctor come out from his office and point towards a privacy screen.  He followed the Medic and saw Kathryn lying deathly still on the biobed.  He noticed that the Doctor had placed her lying on her side and saw dressings covering her back and chest, even on her arms.



“I believe you already saw the extent of her injuries but I’ll explain anyway.  The cuts across her back and chest extend down on both as far as her knees almost.  There are deep rope burns on her wrists and ankles, some also around her neck, probably from an attempt to strangle her.  She also has deep burns which were most likely caused by a naked flame.”  Chakotay closed his eyes a moment and leaned against the bed to steady himself.  “There is severe bruising, several other cuts and scratches and quite a few bite marks.  Most of these were badly infected, particularly the ones on her back where she obviously could not reach them.”  He stopped and looked at his Commander.  “What did you find out?”  Chakotay looked up, his face a mask of pain and related for the Medic what he’d read.



“She did this…for us…and…  Why didn’t she just talk to us…tell us?”  The Doctor shook his head sadly.



“I don’t have those answers for you Commander and they’ll have to come later.  For the moment, her medical treatment has to come first.”  Chakotay snapped out of his deep thoughts.



“How is…will she be all right?”  His eyes pleaded with the Medic.



“She’s…  the infection is widespread and I have her on high doses of antibiotic.  These deeper cuts weren’t healing and because of how long they’ve gone untreated, they will take longer to heal now.  The infection is also hindering that healing process.  I don’t believe she’s been eating well either and that hasn’t helped matters.  The bites are also badly infected, even the ones she managed to try and clean.”  He took a moment and met Chakotay’s eyes.  “There were also some…internal…which went untreated but I took care of those easily enough.”  Chakotay nodded his understanding. 



“How did she stand it…let him…oh God…”  Chakotay looked to the Doctor, knowing no answers would come.



“I believe she fought him in some way.  The whip marks on her back…  I’d say she was…I believe her hands were tied above her head for those…the angle…and the marks on her wrists and ankles…”  Chakotay groaned.  “The ones on her chest and stomach, her legs…I believe they were inflicted from above and…  There are several cuts on her arms which I believe are defence injuries, where she probably brought her arms up to try and protect herself…”  Chakotay turned away, feeling his tears come again and heard the Doctor continue.



“Commander, she has a hell of a fight on her hands.  These injuries can heal in time but the infection is well established…her body is racked with it.  Commander please…”  Chakotay turned and looked at the Doctor.  “At the moment, she’s deeply unconscious and I can’t say how long…  I have no idea how she kept going as long as she did.  Without the painkillers she took…  I only noticed them missing this morning and then I went offline again…”  Chakotay just nodded and sank into a nearby chair.



“Can I sit with her a while…?”  The Doctor nodded.



“There won’t be any change for a few days at least if there’s going to be any at all.  Commander, I have to be honest with you.  I can only hope that we caught this in time.  If we did, it will take quite some time before we can clear this.  Even if she’s back on her feet at some stage, she’ll still require extensive treatment with the antibiotics for some time afterwards.”  Chakotay nodded and looked at the Doctor.



“Then we hope and pray.”  The two men looked at the woman lying before them, Chakotay’s prayers already silently being spoken.



Chakotay sat with Kathryn on and off over the next several days as she fought.  He had shared what he knew with Tuvok and B’Elanna, Tom already privy to everything from the medical files.  They all agreed this would go no further but Chakotay knew they had to know what had happened.  B’Elanna for her part tried her best to console her old friend but his guilt was not to be taken from him.



“She believed I hated her B’El and I don’t blame her.  It must have come across like that.  She even thought the crew felt that way.”  B’Elanna gripped his arm tightly.



“Chakotay, you have to stop this.  You were hurting and I know you could have handled it better but she’ll understand.  The crew don’t hate her, never could.  They were just embarrassed, didn’t know how to act around her…”  Chakotay threw his head back.



“I was so hurt and if I’m honest, my pride was involved and I lashed out.  How could I do that to her?  Even if she had wanted…it was her choice and I had no right…  Oh God when I think of the things I said to her and what’s hardest is that she said she understood, didn’t blame me…  How can she be like that?  How can she be so damned understanding…? She deserves so much better than I could ever be to her…”  He let his tears fall and didn’t care that B’Elanna saw them.



“Chakotay, you can be there for her now, when she comes round…”  Chakotay turned on her quickly.



“Don’t you mean ‘if’?”  The Klingon shook her head.



“I mean ‘when’.  I believe strongly that she will and then you can be there for her, we can all be there for her.  We’ll get her through this.”  Chakotay looked sadly at her.



“I just hope to God you’re right.”  They both fell into silence watching Kathryn, still and pale, lying before them and prayed for a miracle.



Kathryn regained consciousness early the following evening and the Doctor called Chakotay the minute he noticed the first signs of it.  He was there just as she opened her eyes.  He saw her confusion and then her memories of everything click into place.  She looked towards him and the Doctor a moment then turned away.  The Doctor moved to her.



“Captain, you have no need to be embarrassed about this.  Let’s just deal with this as it is.”  She slowly turned to look at him.  “Captain, there are no recriminations here.  We just deal with the facts for the moment.”  He saw her nod slowly.  “I have to ask you why you didn’t come to me earlier, why you didn’t come to me immediately for that matter.”  They saw tears well up in her eyes.



I didn’t want to see…couldn’t face…your disapproval…I thought I could manage…didn’t want anyone to find out…”  The tears slipped out of the corners of her eyes and she choked back a sob.



“Oh Captain, am I that bad?”  She looked the hologram in the eyes and saw sorrow there.



“No you’re not…I’m sorry…I just couldn’t face…I’m sorry…”  The Doctor just took her hand and smiled down at her.



“My dear Captain, there is no disapproval here.  Now, I’ve healed all your injuries and you’ve been here four days.  It took a while but they are fully healed now.”  He saw her nod her understanding.  “The infection from those injuries however, will take a little longer.  You can probably return to your quarters tomorrow but you will still require a vigorous regime of antibiotics for at least another week before we can be sure it’s cleared completely.  I can do that on an out-patient basis.  I don’t however, want you back on duty for at least another two weeks and I won’t give on this.”  She nodded slowly, not fighting him and it worried him a bit.  “Right then, I’ll leave you for a moment but not too long.  You need plenty of rest.”  He saw her look past him to Chakotay and stepped away.



Kathryn looked away as Chakotay approached her.  “Chakotay please, I know how you feel and this only makes it worse…”  Chakotay took her hand and she didn’t fight it.



“No Kathryn, you have no idea how I feel.  Kathryn listen, you have to know that we…  Kathryn we know what happened, what really happened…”  Her eyes flew to his face.



“What do…what…?”  Chakotay pulled a chair over and sat, never letting go of her hand.



“I read your logs.”  He saw the shock and horror on her face and she quickly pulled her hand back and it flew to her face.



“Kathryn, the Doctor needed to know…he ordered me to…Oh God Kathryn, why didn’t you just come to me first, even Tuvok…  We’d have found another way…Kathryn why didn’t you…?”  She stared at him, tears flowing freely now.



“I had no choice and you had no right reading…”  She was too choked up to continue.



“The Doctor had to know how long the injuries had been there and what treatment you’d used…Kathryn for God’s sake…you should have told us…we had a right to know…”  He stared at her, not knowing what to say.



“It was my problem…my responsibility…”  Chakotay stood, angry now.



“We’re all a team Kathryn.  When will you ever learn that?  Why do you always have to take it all on yourself…?  Me even…what I said to you and you took it…didn’t even try and defend yourself…you just let me speak to you like that…”  Kathryn looked up at him.



“You were right…”  He ran his hands over his face.



“God Kathryn I was wrong and you know it.  I was hurt and my bloody stupid pride…I took it out on you…tried using hate to hide the pain I felt and all the time I was just adding to yours and then on the holodeck…God I was drunk and hurting and what I said…but it’s no excuse…”  He looked at her and she saw the pain on his face.



“It doesn’t matter…”  She closed her eyes but opened then again when he spoke.



“Oh it matters all right.  Kathryn, I’ll apologise to you profoundly for what I said but I won’t accept your forgiveness because I don’t deserve that.  You’ll get through this and I’ll help you all I can but you have to know that this crew do not hate you.  I know what I said to you before but I was wrong.  You read embarrassment for disapproval or whatever it was you wanted to see.  They support and respect you more than you’ll ever know.  I expect nothing from you but you have to accept that they have nothing to do with what I did…  They didn’t understand what was going on and didn’t know how to deal with it…they still don’t know and won’t find out but it doesn’t change the way they feel.  Can you accept that?”  He saw her nod her head but couldn’t read her expression.  “As I say, I won’t and can’t accept your forgiveness for all this but can you at least accept how sorry I am?”  She looked to him, her tears blurring her vision and nodded.



“It’s all right, I understand…I accept it…know how you felt…”  The Doctor came in and interrupted anything else she might have said.



“Commander, I’ll have to ask you to leave now.  My patient needs to rest…”  Chakotay nodded.



“Kathryn, again I’m sorry, so sorry.  I’ll let you rest…”  He turned quickly and walked out.



Kathryn was finally allowed to return to her quarters the next day.  The thought that ship’s life was going on as usual just outside her door comforted her and troubled her all at the same time.  She stayed closeted behind her doors, not able to face her crew.  When B’Elanna called by that evening, Kathryn was embarrassed and tried to hide her face.  She knew now that Tom and B’Elanna knew her secret but that it was safe with them. 



“Kathryn Janeway, this is ridiculous.  What are you so ashamed about?”  Kathryn finally looked at the younger woman.



“How can you even ask that?  They all know what I did…”  B’Elanna sat on the sofa.



“They should know why.  They have that right…”  Kathryn cut her off quickly.



“No…they think bad enough of me…”  B’Elanna shook her head in disbelief.



“They think nothing bad of you.  Kathryn, why do you do this to yourself?  Why are you always taking the blame and seeing things that are not there.  They just don’t know how to handle this so they try and avoid it, act as if nothing has happened.”  Kathryn sat also.



“And what about Chakotay?  I know how he feels…”  B’Elanna leaned forward.



“So do I and it’s not what you think.  There’s guilt and remorse there…he can’t forgive himself…can’t face you…”  Kathryn looked down at her hands.



“I don’t blame him…I’m dirty…I’m what he said…”  B’Elanna’s Klingon temper was barely controlled.



“Why don’t you just get yourself a little bell Kathryn, then you could walk the halls calling out ‘unclean unclean’…”  She glared at her Captain and saw a faint smile tug at her lips but it was filled with a deep sadness.



“It’s how I feel B’Elanna…I can’t change that…”  B’Elanna felt her own tears coming.



“Well it’s not how it is and the sooner you learn and accept that the better.  Give him some time and yourself also.  You can get past this…”  Kathryn just sighed deeply and nodded.



“Maybe…I hope…”   There was nothing more to be said.



B’Elanna called to see Chakotay two days later.  She had just spoken with Seven and was in a foul temper.  She hammered on his door and pushed her way in as soon as he opened it.



“Deny it or tell me you’ll change your mind or something…”  She glared at her old friend and saw from his face that what she’d heard was true.  “Seven told me…”  She sat quickly, knowing her legs wouldn’t hold her up.



“Chakotay, tell me you’re not leaving the ship, tell me Seven was dreaming when you asked her to find this planet…please say it’s not true…”  She saw from his eyes that her facts were correct and she watched as he sat beside her.



“B’Elanna please understand.  I can’t stay here after everything that’s happened…”  B’Elanna clenched her fists.



“You blame her for all this…still can’t get past…”  He grabbed her quickly.



“No no…oh God B’El no, I don’t blame her…it’s me…what I did and said…how I acted…I can’t face that or her…I can’t get past what I did and said…  She deserves so much better…”  B’Elanna shook his hand off her arm and stood.



“So you just run away and hide for the rest of your life instead of mending this and being there for her…”  She saw the sadness on his face.



“I’m no use to her now.  She could never forgive what I said and did…  She deserves someone who supports her, who’s there for her…not someone like me who can even think what I did and then to speak to her the way I did…  B’Elanna it was all unforgivable and she’d be better off without me here reminding her…”  B’Elanna paced in front of him.



“Seven said you’ve already been in touch with this planet we’re coming to…already spoken with the Government there…arranged to stay…”  He nodded slowly.



“They’re a developing world, need someone with experience of…  I can start fresh there…let Kathryn do the same…”  She just stared hard at him.



“You’ve really made up your mind on all this?”  He nodded.  “Then I guess there’s nothing more to say.”  Without waiting for anything further from him, she stormed out.



B’Elanna went straight to her Captain’s quarters, ignoring the shocked look she received when she again pushed her way in.



“Tell me one thing, do you forgive him?”  She saw the puzzled look that met her.  “Chakotay…what he said to you…all of it…do you forgive him?”  She saw tears fill the blues eyes.



“There’s nothing to forgive.  I know how he feels though, still feels…”  B’Elanna shook her head.  “He’s right…I am…I’m not fit for this…  No wonder he doesn’t want to be near me…”  The Klingon rolled her eyes.



“One of you is as bad as the other.  I thought at least you were getting past this but I see I’m wrong…  He’s staying away because he’s blaming himself and you’re…ahhhh…I can’t believe grown ups can behave so…  He’s blaming himself, you’re blaming yourself and now he’s gone one further…”  She saw Kathryn look up quickly.  “That’s right, he’d decided to leave the ship.  Next planet we come to, he’s gone.  He’s already been in contact with them.  Seems they’re only too glad to have people with experience like his…”  Kathryn sat quickly.  “Please Kathryn, go and see him, try and sort this.  This ship needs you both…and so do this crew...”  Kathryn just nodded and stood.



“Yes, I’ll go…I’ll…”  B’Elanna smiled to herself and left.



Chakotay opened his door to the hail and expected to see B’Elanna back to give him more of the same.  When he saw Kathryn standing there, his face dropped.  She didn’t wait for an invitation and just walked in.



“B’Elanna tells me you’re leaving the ship.”  She turned slowly and looked into his face.



“B’Elanna has a big mouth.”  He barely met her eyes.



“Just when were you planning on telling me?”  He shrugged, not having an answer.  Kathryn looked down at the floor.  “I see.  Thank you Commander, you’ve told me all I need to know.”  She was gone before he raised his head.



Chakotay sat on the side of his bed for the rest of the evening, trying to sort his thoughts.  He knew he was making the right choice but the thought of never seeing Kathryn again ate away at him.  Telling himself he would only cause her pain for the rest of their lives kept him to his decision.  Eventually tiredness won out and he fell back on the bed and drifted off into a restless sleep.



Kathryn was still awake and at the final stages of her plan.  Her mind had sorted itself quickly once she had returned to her quarters.  Using commands only she knew, she had contacted the planet next on their route and spoken with a Government Official.  She explained quickly that there was a change of plan, that Commander Chakotay would not be arriving with them but that she would take his place.  She informed them of the knowledge she held, convincing them of her usefulness to them and they readily accepted her.  They agreed with the stipulations she laid down and within an hour, Kathryn had made her way to the shuttle bay and had loaded her few possessions onto a shuttle.  Leaving some messages for Chakotay and Tuvok and instructions regarding the changeover of command, she gave one last look around her and then climbed into the shuttle.  Using override codes which would fool the sensors, she left the ship which had been her home and crept off quietly into the darkness.



ON TO PART FOUR.



RETURN TO STORY INDEX ONE.

RETURN TO STORY INDEX TWO.

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