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

                     them. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Rating:          NC 17.

Summary:     Back on Earth, Voyager’s crew faces a Board Of Inquiry and Kathryn

                     and Chakotay finally find each other as he helps her through a personal

                     crisis.  Someone is watching Kathryn though and decides that she has

                     to die so that he can keep his terrible secret.




“Captain Janeway, firstly this board would like to thank you for your cooperation in our inquiries during what has obviously been a very trying time for you personally.”  Chakotay saw Kathryn’s head shoot up.

“The board and Starfleet wish to take this opportunity to extend to you our deepest sympathy on the deaths of your mother and sister, hearing of them as you did upon your return.”  Everyone in the room gasped at the same time and Chakotay swore under his breath.  Kathryn just nodded at the Chairman.  He in turn barely nodded back and then picked up his padd, getting back to the business at hand.

“Captain Janeway, you have given full sworn testimony of your years in the Delta Quadrant and all decisions made by you.  We accept your statement to waive the right to counsel for this hearing.  Can you state for the record and for this Hearing if that is still your contention?”  Chakotay felt fear fill him and only B’Elanna’s strong grip on him held him in his seat. 

“I waive the right to counsel.  That is still my contention.”  Kathryn’s voice lacked its usual strength.  Chakotay twisted in his seat.

“She said nothing…I should have known…”  B’Elanna held his hand tighter.

“Very well.  Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation Starship Voyager, you spoke in front of this Hearing this morning and accepted full responsibility for all decisions made on board Voyager during its time in the Delta Quadrant.  You admitted openly to breaching regulations and protocol many times and to being in direct violation of the Prime Directive on numerous occasions.  You accepted full liability for these decisions, stating that all final decisions rested with you and that no other crewmember on board was at any time responsible for any breaking of these rules or regulations.  You also stated that in return for the aforementioned rulings, namely the full pardon of all former Maquis and all the conditions attached thereto, that you would accept the full findings of this Board and also accept all the judgements made against you in regard to these charges, charges which you have accepted sole responsibility for.  Can you now confirm this for the Board?”  Kathryn spoke more softly now.

“Yes.  I confirm this.  I accept full responsibility and accept the judgement of this Hearing.  I admit all charges.”  Chakotay jumped up and was joined by almost every crewmember, all shouting out.  The Chairman banged on the table in front of him with a gavel, demanding silence and order.  Kathryn showed no emotion and this fact worried Chakotay even more.  Finally order was restored.

“Captain Kathryn Janeway, this board has no other choice but to accept your guilty plea.”  Chakotay groaned out loud and felt hands on him, offering support.

“However, it must be stated that the facts of this case are the most ‘unusual’ this Board will ever hear and that the ‘normal’ rules regarding matters such as this can hardly apply.  There isn’t exactly a precedent for matters like this.”  Chakotay sat up straighter now and felt the faint stirrings of hope.

“This Board accepts that the conditions under which you and your crew found themselves were extraordinary.  You had no backup, which would normally have been available to you.  You faced situations and circumstances unimaginable to most of us, in fact, all of us gathered here.  I personally will state for the record that I believe it is a miracle that you made it home at all.  This Board contends that the rules and regulations under which you served, including the Prime Directive, could never have been written with your situation in mind and that it is extremely commendable that you managed to adhere to any of those laws at all.”  Murmurings were slowly building around the hall now.

“Captain Janeway, it is the finding of this Board Of Inquiry that while you indeed broke the rules and laws you swore to uphold, the safety of your crew, which you were also bound to uphold, was paramount.  It is noted by the Board that no major Federation Law was broken and that most of the others were, shall be say, more bent than broken.  As these ‘transgressions’ were committed outside of this jurisdiction, no Court or Hearing within this jurisdiction can try you for those crimes.”  The voices around the large hall rose more and more and the Chairman again called for order.

“Captain, this Board commends you and your crew for upholding the basic principles of the Federation and for managing to keep your humanity intact.”  He smiled then caught himself.  “It is the final finding of this Board and this Hearing, that it cannot in all conscience accept your plea of guilty.  It is however, the decision of this Board and this Hearing that all charges against you be dropped and that you be commended for your extraordinary feat of getting your crew and ship home.  In this matter also, you keep your full Captaincy and all privileges attached thereto.  Full back pay also relates here.  You are to be highly commended Captain Janeway.  You are free to leave this Hearing.  In God We Trust.” 

The shouts and roars in the hall were deafening and as Chakotay stood slowly, he actually felt light headed with relief.  He kept his eyes on Kathryn and saw her slump into her chair, her hands covering her face.  Within seconds he was at her side, clambering over chairs and people to get there.  Just as he reached her, she slipped from the chair towards the floor and he caught her just in time.  Not taking time to think, he picked her up in his arms and made for the door as Kathryn clung to him, her face buried in his neck.  The crew parted for them, many hands reaching out to touch their Captain and Chakotay felt tears fill his eyes.  He saw many crewmembers stand in front of the press people who were all screaming questions, trying to keep their prying eyes from their Commander and his charge.  Once again, it was Owen Paris who was there for them and he quickly directed Chakotay towards a small office off the corridor outside the hall.

The room was cool and dim and Chakotay took a minute for his eyes to adjust.  He made out a sofa against one wall and made for it, sitting with Kathryn in his lap, then just held her tightly and stroked her back.  When she seemed to settle, he stood and lay her down then fetched a glass of water and a cool towel.  As he helped her sip the cool liquid and wiped at her face with the damp towel, he whispered softly that everything was all right now, that it was all over and he saw his words act as a balm to her.

“Oh Kathryn, what will we do with you…?”  He knelt down to her and smiled softly but there was still an underlying annoyance with him.  “Why did you do that?  Gods Kathryn, how could you even consider making a deal like that?  Why didn’t you talk to me?  Why…?”  her hand came up and pressed down on his lips and she sat up slowly.

“I had to.  I swore to see them all home, not to prison.  I couldn’t take that chance.”  Chakotay took her hand and pressed it to his lips.  “Besides I knew you’d try and talk me out of it…”  He pulled her hand away and stood up, turning away from her.

“You’re damned right I’d have tried to talk you out of it.  For God’s sake woman…”  He was lost for words.

“Chakotay?”  He turned at the sound of her voice and the softness in it.  He could never stay angry with her for long.  “They all know now…”  He nodded, kneeling down beside her again.

“You should have told them.  They only ever want to be there for you.”  She lowered her head and nodded.

“I know.  I forget sometimes how to let them in…let you in…”  She felt his hand stroking her hair and met his eyes. 

“We’re all home now Kathryn, it’s over.”  She smiled back at him.


There was a faint knock on the door and Chakotay moved away to open it.  Tom and B’Elanna stood there, Tuvok, Harry and Seven behind them.  They said nothing but their concern was evident.  Chakotay just smiled and looked back into the room towards Kathryn.

“Hey Mom, it’s the kids.  Will I let them in?”  Kathryn swung her legs to the floor, shaking her head and laughing at the same time.

“Sure Dad, let them in.  No peace to be had at all.” 

The next minutes were spent with many hugs, kisses and tears.  Kathryn bonded with her people in a way she never had before and apologized many times for not telling them about her mother and sister.  Tuvok allowed an embrace and actually returned it much to Kathryn’s grateful surprise.  B’Elanna broke in, sensing that they had stayed long enough.

“OK you lot, let’s give the oldies some peace.  They need their nap before tonight.”  Kathryn looked puzzled and B’Elanna threw her eyes up.  “See what old age does for the mind?  The Ball tonight, big celebration, party, that kind of thing?”  She moved to the door and opened it, ushering the others out.  “See ya there Mom and Dad.”  Her laughter was heard down the corridor.  Kathryn threw her own eyes skyward.

“Don’t blame me mister.  She was yours to start with.  You trained her.”  Chakotay moved to Kathryn and hugged her.

“But you knocked all the edges off.  Who else can I blame?”  They both looked at each other and spoke together.

“Tom.”  They fell back on the sofa laughing for the first time in a month and Kathryn realized how good it felt.  She pushed down the guilt she felt at feeling happy again and knew her mother and sister would want that for her more than anything.

Eventually they left the small office and made their way outside, where the media people were still gathered at the main door.  In the lobby, many of Voyager’s crew had waited and each hugged their Captain, all offering their sympathy and love.  Kathryn was almost in tears again but Chakotay’s strong arm around her gave her the strength she needed.  When they headed to the exit, their crew pushed out before them and once again held off the waiting press members, allowing their command team to leave in peace.  As they headed away, Chakotay’s eyes once more picked out the uniformed Admiral of earlier and he again reminded himself to ask about his identity.

The Ball to celebrate the safe homecoming of Voyager was the most elaborate Starfleet had ever lain on.  The press were penned in outside the banqueting hall and kept at a safe distance from the guests.  Chakotay had arrived with Tom and B’Elanna, having seen Kathryn back to her quarters at HQ and giving her some time to herself.  He waited inside the main door for her arrival and was delighted to see that she arrived on the arm of her old Mentor, the Admiral’s wife with them, not minding in the least that her husband was escorting another woman.  Tom and B’Elanna stood with Chakotay and Tom had to have his say.

“Trust Dad to arrive with TWO women.”  B’Elanna nudged him.

“Don’t get any ideas of taking THAT trait from your father.  There’s only so far I’ll allow the gene pool to spread.”  Tom put on a puppy dog face and received a harder nudge.

Chakotay’s eyes were glued to Kathryn as she made her way towards him.  She wore a deep blue satin dress which flowed to her ankles, clinging to her gently.  The neckline was just low enough and suggested what lay beneath rather than telling.  As she turned, he saw that the back of the dress was scooped down, revealing her creamy back and he found he had to concentrate on the others around him to keep his mind from the direction it wanted to go.  He saw that she had pulled her hair back slightly at the sides, attaching tiny gold clips in place and her eyes sparkled with a light he hadn’t seen in them for some weeks.  When she passed through the doors, Admiral Paris handed her to Chakotay.

“You can have this one son.  I brought a spare with me.”  They all laughed and made their way inside.

The large banqueting hall was festooned with flowers and garlands and music played softly in the background allowing conversation to flow, without the need for anyone to shout to be heard.  People milled around and their happiness was infectious.

The evening was a wonderful success and once the meal was over and the few speeches made, the tables were pushed back for dancing.  Chakotay watched as Kathryn made her way around her crew, taking the time to speak with them all, touching them constantly and sharing many embraces. 

He found himself standing back, watching her move and taking in every detail of her appearance, branding it on his memory.  His eyes followed her around the room as she worked it and suddenly he found himself looking at the Admiral who seemed to be everywhere he looked lately.  He saw that the stranger was once more watching Kathryn and found himself wondering briefly if this was some form of security which Starfleet had insisted on.  Admiral Paris was walking close by at that moment and Chakotay called him over, pointing out the other Admiral.

“Admiral Paris, can you tell…?”  The older man laughed.

“I think Owen would be more appropriate at this stage, don’t you think?”  Chakotay turned and looked at him and smiled.

“Thank you.  Owen it is.  Look, can you tell me who that other Admiral is over…”  As he looked to where the uniformed man had stood, he saw only a space now.  His eyes searched the room but the man was nowhere to be seen.

“Chakotay?  Who are you talking about?”  Chakotay looked back at Owen Paris.

“I can’t see him now.  He’s in an Admiral’s uniform.  I’ve seen him a lot lately, although only when Kathryn’s been with me.  Tall, grey man, looks past retirement…  Never mind…”  He turned back to the Admiral beside him and thought he saw worry there for a minute but it passed quickly.

“Voyager’s return is bringing them out of the woodwork, I’m afraid.  They all want to get in on the act, share some of the glory.”  He smiled and Chakotay nodded, passing it off.

“You’re probably right.  I’m being too protective of Kathryn.”  The old man patted his arm.

“Best to stay at her side then.  I’m sure she’d love to dance.”  Chakotay smiled again and then laughed.

“Aye Aye, Sir.”  He looked across the room and saw Kathryn talking to B’Elanna.  As he watched her, she seemed to sense his eyes and turned slowly, seeking him out.  Their eyes met and Chakotay found himself thinking of their conversation in the coffee shop on their first day back on Earth.  In a profound moment, Kathryn seemed to almost read his thoughts and she turned fully to him.  Their eyes locked and slowly Kathryn nodded her head, telling him what he wanted to know more than anything else in the world.

To Chakotay, the rest of the room blended out of his perception and he found himself moving towards the woman he knew he’d give his life for.  He saw her move towards him at the same moment and was unaware that almost everyone else in the room had witnessed the magical moment between them.  The crew parted as they made their way to each other to meet in the centre of the dance floor and at someone’s quick thinking, the lights in the hall lowered and a slow song floated out around the room.

Kathryn walked slowly into Chakotay’s arms, the soft stains of the song filling her head and slowly they began to move to the music, oblivious of the crowd gathered around them delighting in their happiness.  As they slowly danced, Kathryn pressed her lips to Chakotay’s ear and whispered one word to him.


He hugged her closer to him, never wanting the moment to end.

“I love you Kathryn.  That will never change, not even with death.”  He felt her arms tighten around him.

“I love you Chakotay.  I’m sorry it took so long to tell you that.  I’ve known it for such a long time and I’m sorry I never said it…”  He pulled her even tighter, making breathing almost impossible for them.

“We have now.  That’s all that matters.”  He pulled back a little and brought his hands to her face, gazing into her eyes and saw her tears of happiness there.  Slowly he looked to her lips and then brought his own down to hers.  He felt her arms around his waist as they deepened the kiss and slowly the cheers of their crew filtered into his mind and he found himself smiling in the kiss.  They reluctantly pulled back and looked around them at the happy faces surrounding them and laughed, Kathryn burying her face in his chest.  Shouts of ‘about bloody time’ and ‘what took you so long’ echoed around the room. 

“I suggest we leave these good people to their celebrating and get out of here.”  Kathryn nodded into his chest.

“Good idea.  I don’t think they need a floor show.”  They laughed and with their arms around each other, made their way to the exit. 

It took them almost half an hour to make their way out of the hall, so many people wanting to congratulate them.  Admiral Paris came up and hugged Kathryn then shook Chakotay’s hand.

“Steal my woman, would you?  These young men.  I come with a beautiful woman and she leaves with someone else.  Must be losing my touch.”  Everyone around laughed and Owen Paris leaned into Chakotay, whispering quietly to him.  “She’s very special.  You take good care of her.”  Their eyes met and Chakotay nodded.

“You can bet on that.”  The old man smiled and moved back.

“Well go on.  Get out of here.”  Another cheer rang out and Tom shouted out.

“Yeh go on, get a room.”  Kathryn turned to him with a laugh.

“Watch it Lieutenant.  I’m still your Captain.”  Tom took on a look of mock horror.

“Yes Sir.  Sorry Sir.”  A dig in the ribs from B’Elanna stopped him with a loud groan.  “Hey Chakotay.  Just be glad she’s not half Klingon.”  The laughter could still be heard as they left. 

Neither Kathryn nor Chakotay spotted the elderly Admiral, watching from the shadows, they were so wrapped up in each other.  As Voyager’s crew made their way back inside, he stepped out into the light and slowly moved off into the darkness.  Admiral Paris stood for a good five minutes, watching as the man he knew only too well, disappeared into the night, a very worried look on his face.

Kathryn and Chakotay strolled slowly through the grounds outside the banqueting hall in no particular hurry, both being exactly where they wanted to be.  The scents of stock and honeysuckle filled the warm evening air and they walked in silence, their arms around each other.

“Happy?”  Chakotay pulled Kathryn a little closer to him.  She looked up into his smiling face and he saw a faint tinge of sadness there.

“Kathryn?  What is it?”  She lowered her head a moment then looked back at him.

“I’m very happy…it’s just…  God Chakotay, they were all so happy for us and it’s made me realize…”  She looked down again and Chakotay stopped, halting her also.

“Kathryn?”  She looked out at the gardens surrounding them and he could hear her tears in her voice when she spoke.

“I’ve wasted so much time…  not telling you…  not…”  He silenced her by pulling her face to him and brushing his lips to hers.

“Listen to me.  We’re together now and that’s all that matters.  Kathryn, take the good from the past and leave the rest there.  Don’t spoil what we have now with ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’.  We love each other and we’re together.  That’s all there is to it.”  He felt her sigh against his chest.

“I felt you, you know, felt you looking at me and…well…you did say to give you the nod.”  She pulled back and looked into his face, smiling at him.  He gently cupped her face.

“I did, didn’t I?” 

Kathryn nodded at him and they kissed, the rest of the world fading away and nothing else existing.  They didn’t notice the figure which lurked in the shadows, watching their every move and listening to every word.

“What do you want to do now?”  Chakotay was stroking her hair, taking in every detail of her face.  She smiled up at him.

“Well I don’t want to waste any more time.  I’ve done enough of that and well…losing mom and Phoebe taught me that too.  I’d like most to… and you’ll think I’m very… well…forward… but…”  She smiled more widely at his puzzled expression. 

“What I want more than anything is…  is to make love with you.”  Chakotay just pulled her to him.

“Kathryn Janeway, you always amaze me.  If you’re sure you’re ready…”  She just nodded at him and he saw the love and desire in her eyes.  It almost took his breath away.  “Where…?”  His throat felt closed off with emotion.

“Not here…I mean not our quarters…maybe…could we go to a hotel…somewhere nice…”  Chakotay just leaned in and missed her forehead.

“Come on.  Let’s go to the Fairmont.”  They moved off slowly, heading to a future they saw filled with happiness only.  The figure in the shadows watched, letting them move off, his mind working on what the next days would bring.

Kathryn sat on the bed and looked around the suite they had booked.  She examined the small parcel in her lap which she had picked up downstairs, while Chakotay had dealt with the clerk.  She heard him in the bathroom now and smiled to herself.  This night had been a long time coming for them and she was determined that they would remember it for the rest of their lives.

She looked up as she heard him open the bathroom door and smiled gently at him then rose and made her way to him.  She felt shy and saw that he appeared nervous himself.

“I won’t be a minute.”  He looked at the bag she carried and smiled.

“What secrets does my lady carry?”  She laughed.

“My lord will just have to wait and see.”  She slipped into the bathroom and closed the door behind her.

When she emerged, she noticed that the lights had been dimmed and saw Chakotay standing beside the bed, arranging flowers and glasses on the night stand and then saw that a bottle of Champagne was chilling in a bucket nearby.

“How did you manage that so quietly?”  He turned at the sound of her voice and stopped dead, his mouth falling open.  Kathryn studied him as he studied her.  He wore only black boxer shorts, the light casting shadows over the muscles on his upper body.  She saw him stare at her, open desire and love in his eyes as he looked at her.  She wore an almost see through black lace negligee which came to her mid thighs and had brushed out her hair so that it fell softly over her shoulders.  Chakotay finally came out of his state of shock and moved to her.

“Oh God love, you’re so beautiful…”  She felt her eyes fill up at the love in his voice and moved to him.  He cupped her face in his hands and looked deep into her eyes.  “Kathryn, I love you.  I give you my solemn vow at this moment that I will always love you and that I’ll always be there for you.  I’ll never do anything to hurt you or make you regret this night.  I promise you that…”  Kathryn lifted her hands to his face.

“Chakotay, I swear to you the same.  I love you with everything that I am.  You’re the other half of me…”  She saw tears in his eyes also and slowly they leaned closer and then kissed.

Almost reverently, Chakotay slowly lowered the black lace from Kathryn’s shoulders and drank in the image before him.  Kathryn’s hands moved slowly down from his waist and her fingers slipped inside the elastic of his shorts, moving them down past his hips.  As the final barriers fell from their bodies, Chakotay gently lowered Kathryn down onto the bed, placing small kisses around her face and down her neck as her hands explored his back and shoulders.  She gasped loudly as his mouth lowered to her breast, his lips and tongue teasing her nipple, his fingers working the other one.  She lay in raptures as his hands and mouth explored her body, turning her onto her stomach and giving her back the same treatment.  She gripped tightly at the bedspread as his hands caressed her thighs and buttocks, his mouth kissing a path down her back.

Kathryn felt her thighs being slowly parted and made to sit up, determined to worship Chakotay’s body as he was hers but a firm yet gentle hand on her shoulder held her in place.  She felt his fingers move between her legs, exploring her folds and as he uncovered the tiny bundle of nerves there, she gasped out loud at the sensation that washed over her.   Now she felt herself turned again and his face was before hers, his mouth coming down over her lips.  As his tongue entered her mouth and she followed suit, tasting him, she felt his finger enter her below and a surge of passion shot through her, her moans swallowed by him.  As she felt his thumb press gently against her clitoris, she had to break the kiss as her back arched off the bed.

“Oh dear God, Chakotay…”  She opened her eyes a second only to see his head move down over her.  Her entire body shook with the sensations he was producing in her and she groaned deeply as she felt his mouth cover her, his tongue parting her feminine lips and laving across her pearl of pleasure.  Her head thrashed back and forth and she felt her hips involuntarily lift off the bed as he now inserted two fingers inside her.  She felt herself spiralling out of control as he sucked at her, his fingers thrusting in and out and then came the explosion as every nerve ending in her body ignited at the same moment.

When Kathryn again opened her eyes, Chakotay’s smiling face was there as he lay over her.  She felt him hot and hard between her legs and spread herself open wider for him.  She lifted her hands to his face, each one feeling as if it weighed heavy and gently caressed him, locking eyes with him for this journey.  As she felt him enter her, she raised her hips slightly, drowning in the feel of his weight on her and the wonderful sensation of him filling her.  They both moaned out loud as Chakotay’s thick shaft slowly entered her and stretched her, finding its way home.  When he felt she had adjusted to him, he started a slow rocking movement before sliding slowly in and out of her.  As their passion grew in intensity, he quickened his thrusting, grinding himself against her and stimulating her into a second orgasm.  Kathryn’s hands gripped tightly against his buttocks, as if trying to pull him even further into her and her hips thrust up against his, matching his rhythm.  She felt him lose control just as her own body exploded and heard herself scream his name, her own bursting forth from his lips at the same moment.  She was dimly aware of his weight coming down over her fully as she felt his seed fill her and then felt herself pulled onto her side with him.  They held each other tightly as their breathing slowed and each knew in that moment that nothing in the universe would ever be the same again.

They spent the next hours sipping champagne and making love again and again and then somewhere in the small hours, holding tightly to each other, they drifted off to sleep, more content than either had ever been.

Kathryn awoke to sunlight streaming into the room and the feel of Chakotay’s fingers tracing lazy circles on her shoulder.  She raised her head slowly and met his eyes.

“Morning sleepyhead.  I love you.”  Kathryn smiled sleepily at him.

“I love you too.  Thank you for last night.”  Chakotay moved his other hand and brushed the hair from her face.

“That’s supposed to me my line.  Thank you too love.  You’ve completed me.”  He pulled her tighter to her.  “Fancy some breakfast?”  Kathryn kissed him and her hands started exploring.

“Soon….”  The rest of her words were lost as her mouth explored him.

They sat eating breakfast in bed an hour later, feeding each other and drinking from the same cup, making it a loving cup.

“This I could learn to live with.”  Chakotay barely made out her words as her mouth was filled with toast and he laughed.

What?  Me or the coffee?”  Kathryn pursed her lips.

“Oh definitely the coffee.”  She laughed when he put on a sad face.  “Oh all right, you as well.”

They finished breakfast and just lay back on the bed together, cuddling each other.

“What do you want to do today?  Personally, I could stay here forever.”  He felt her smile against his chest.

“Me too.  You here in bed with me and room service with coffee.  What more could a woman ask for?”  She leaned up on one elbow and he saw her face get serious.  “As much as I’d love to do just that, I have to sort out mom’s affairs and probably Phoebe’s too.  I really can’t put it off any longer.  I’ll have to go out to the house…”  He saw her mind drift off there, her thoughts taking her around her childhood home.

“Want me to come with you?”  His hand stroked up and down her arm and she turned her eyes back to him, an almost pleading look on her face.

“Would you?  I know it’s silly but I really don’t want to do this alone, be alone there for the first time…”  Chakotay leaned up now and stroked her cheek.

“Kathryn, you know what I told you about that.  You’re never alone.  Of course I’ll come with you.  I want to be there for you always, in everything.”  He kissed her softly and held her to him.

“I’ll always be here for you, you know that.”