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

                     them. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Rating:         NC17.

Summary:     When Naomi goes missing, it re-opens Kathryn's painful past.  This

                      story covers the subjects of child abuse and incest. 

                      Please read the warning at the beginning of Part One before

                      reading this story.







THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER.

By KAT LADY.





PART SIX.




Two nights later, they both had the evening off, along with the following morning, thanks to Chakotay’s quiet handling of the duty roster.  He wasn’t quiet enough though.  Tom was first to notice the new duty arrangement and informed B'Elanna, who quietly passed word to the rest of the crew and so a silent understanding came about, that something special was planned by their First Officer for his Captain.  Tuvok was even brought into the conspiracy, surprising everyone with his agreement, and quickly issued the order that the command team were not to be disturbed and that all ship’s business was to come through him.  Chakotay finally uncovered their little plot but said nothing, afraid of Kathryn finding out.  He quietly thanked Tuvok and B'Elanna, without admitting to anything and set off to plan the evening.  B'Elanna was more forward with him though.



“I’m not being nosy but we all get the feeling that you’re planning something special for the Captain tonight.  We don’t mean to interfere.  We just care about you both and want to help.”  Chakotay rolled his eyes and tried to hide the smile on his face.



“I know you do.  Normally though, this crew’s idea of quietly helping ends up sounding like a herd of elephants.”  B'Elanna pretended to be hurt at that but had to agree.



“We aren’t always as subtle as we’d like to be, I agree with you there.”  She winked at him.  “So what’s the big occasion?”  Chakotay shook his head.



“Just a quiet dinner.  Now leave it.”  B'Elanna smiled knowingly.



“OK, keep your little secret.  Tell you what, I’ll call her down here just as your shift ends and you can get started on your ‘quiet dinner’.  I’ll make sure I delay her long enough for you to get things ready.”  Chakotay felt a surge of warmth pass through him.



“You’re a good friend, B'Elanna.  Thank you.  Look, I just want this evening to be perfect.  I don’t, however, want to hear a word spoken about it by anyone.  This is personal and special…just between Kathryn and me.  If I hear this discussed anywhere on this ship or off it…or find out that Kathryn has heard anyone talking…I’ll make sure those responsible pay big time.  This is private and personal between us and doesn’t concern anyone else.”  B'Elanna softened and laid a hand gently on his arm.



“Chakotay, what do you take us for?  We care deeply about you both.  I know we talk and clown around but it’s not meant in any harmful way.  I promise you won’t hear a word spoken.  We all respect you too much.  Now go on.  I’ll call her down here at the right time and hold her for about fifteen minutes.  Any more would look suspicious.”  Chakotay took her hand and squeezed it.



“Thanks B'El…I owe you one…”  She laughed and moved away.



“And you’ll pay…don’t worry about that…”



^^^^^^^^^^



Chakotay looked up when the doors to Kathryn's quarters opened to admit her.  She smiled softly at him but he could see how tired she seemed.



“They know, don’t they?  They know how we planned to have tonight and tomorrow morning off together…that we’d planned something…?”  Chakotay froze until she smiled again.  “Relax love…I don’t mind.  There was a time I’d have worried about them knowing anything about us…even though there wasn’t really an ‘us’.  Now I don’t mind at all…  I guess in a way it’s another way for me to feel normal…”  She dropped her head to one side.  “I know…we are normal…”  He smiled back at her this time and moved towards her.  “So…what exactly have you planned Mister…  You’re being very quiet about all this…”  Chakotay took on a look of deep contemplation and stroked his chin.



“Mmmmm…let me see now…  What have I planned…?  I’ll have to think about that….”  Kathryn punched him playfully on the arm.



“Well, I’m going to change out of this uniform while you think about it…”  She moved away but Chakotay caught her arm.



“Just change into your robe…”  She gave him a puzzled look, mated with a half smile.



“May I ask why…?”  Chakotay stroked her cheek.



“I have a full evening planned for you, love.  Just trust me on this…”  Not needing anymore than that, Kathryn nodded and smiled.



“OK…just my robe…”  He nodded and leaned in, kissing her forehead gently.



Five minutes later, Kathryn turned to find Chakotay standing in the doorway, smiling softly at her. 



“Ready?”  She nodded and smiled, her hands indicating the robe she wore.  “Good.  Come with me then…”  He led her to the bathroom and heard her gasp of surprise when she saw what he had done.  “Do you like it?”  Tears sprang to her eyes as she looked around the small room.  On almost every surface, candles burnt, their gentle scent filling the room as their light flickered and danced off the walls.  She looked towards the tub, seeing it filled, the steam of the water rising gently with the perfume it carried.  Bubbles barely hung onto the rim, almost overflowing onto the floor.



“Oh Chakotay…”  Kathryn shook her head, not trusting herself to say more.  He took her hand and pulled her to him.



“You’ve had a long day and you’re tired.  I want you to soak here and relax while I get dinner.”  He pointed to a small table beside the tub.  “I’ve left you a glass of wine, so lie back and let the water work it’s magic.”  She was too choked up to say anything, but her eyes spoke for her.  Chakotay smiled his understanding. 



“Kathryn, tonight is about us relaxing and having dinner…just spending time together.  How this evening ends isn’t planned.  There’s no pressure or obligation here on either of us.  We’re two people who love each other, having a quiet evening together.  We take it as it comes and just enjoy each moment.”  He cupped her cheek and she leaned into his hand, nodded through her tears.  She mouthed ‘I love you’ to him silently and he understood.  His eyes held hers as his hands reached for the tie on her robe.  “May I?”  She nodded, blinking back more tears.  He slowly untied the thin strap and opened her robe, letting it slip from her shoulders.  He took her hand gently in his and led her to the tub, holding her while she stepped into the bubbles, then slipped down beneath them.  He reached over and pulled her hair up, fixing a clip in place.  He then handed her the wine, touching the back of his finger against the glass.



“It’s still chilled enough.”  He leaned down and kissed the top of her head.  “Drink that and then lie back and relax totally.  When you’re finished, dinner will be ready.”  He moved away now, leaving her in peace.  Her voice stopped him at the door.



“Chakotay…thank you…I love you…”  He smiled tenderly. 



“I love you too…”



^^^^^^^^^^



Kathryn emerged from her bath, her entire body totally relaxed.  The fragrance of the bath oil still clung to her skin as she brushed out her hair, almost dry now in the steam of the bathroom.  She had hated blowing out the candles, feeling almost as if she was ending a moment she wanted to keep going and cherish for all time. 



“It’s still in your heart and memory for all time, silly woman.”  She chided herself as she looked towards the bed and stopped, her hand in mid air.  Lying there was a beautiful deep green dress with small sequins dotted here and there on the silky fabric.  She reached down and fingered the delicate material and almost cried.  Beside the dress lay a bra and brief set, in matching silk with delicate lace piped around the edges and beside those lay a pair of shoes, almost matching the dress in colour, thin straps crossing over each other.  Kathryn sat down on the bed beside the clothes and brushed at the tears she felt on her cheeks.  She looked up to find Chakotay standing in the doorway, a look on his face halfway between worry and hope.



“Do you like them?  I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing or…”  Kathryn smiled tearfully up at him.



“I love them…the dress is…”  Chakotay saved her from her attempts to find the right words and just smiled.



“Dinner will be ready in about ten minutes…  Take your time…”  He smiled at her once more and then returned to the other room.  She heard him setting out the table, faint clinks of crystal against silverware.  She smiled to herself and stood slowly, turning her mind to getting ready. 



Ten minutes later, she stood in front of the full-length mirror and appraised her appearance.  The dress clung to her in all the right places but didn’t quite reveal what lay beneath, merely hinted at it.  It fell to just below her knees in delicate folds, moulding itself to her shapely legs when she moved.  The heels of her shoes were just right, giving her a little extra height but still comfortable to walk in.  Kathryn smiled to herself, for once pleased at what she saw with her reflection and gave a last adjustment to the thin straps of the dress, which criss-crossed her shoulders.  She checked her make-up and gave her hair a last brush then added the finishing touch with a spray of perfume.  One final inspection and she moved away, the image of how she looked staying with her.



Chakotay looked up when he heard her enter the room and stopped dead.  His eyes swept over her, his breath caught in his throat.  He’d been worried about his gift, especially the underwear but seeing that Kathryn was fine with the garments, he relaxed.  His voice sounded breathy when he spoke.



“You look…unbelievably beautiful…a vision…a…”  He put down the vase of flowers he’d been holding and moved towards her, unable to tear his eyes away from her.  “So beautiful…”  Kathryn blushed under his scrutiny, actually feeling beautiful for the first time in her life as she saw the truth of his words reflected in his eyes.



“Thank you…I actually feel it…”  She blushed again, admitting the compliment but finding it sitting a little uneasily with her.  Chakotay reached out a hand and stroked her cheek then leaned down and brushed his lips over hers.



“Come and sit down…dinner is ready.  I’ll just pour the wine…”  He took her hand and led her to the table, Kathryn taking in his appearance for the first time as she watched him pour the wine, the candle flames reflecting through the red of it.  He wore dark slacks, the colour not completely distinguishable in the candlelight of the room.  She noticed little things then, like the pleats leading up to the waistband and the tiny pattern on the cream shirt he wore.  The spicy scent of his aftershave made its way to her nostrils and she inhaled it deeply as it mixed with her own perfume. 



As she sat, he handed her a small red velvet box, which had been lying on the table, unnoticed by her.  Kathryn looked up at him, a slightly puzzled look on her face.



“What’s this for?  You’ve already given me so much…”  Chakotay just smiled and nodded towards the box.



“Just a little something for you.  Open it…”  Kathryn nodded and opened the box then gasped.  Inside lay a gold pendant in the shape of a rose, three tiny diamonds fixed into it, representing dewdrops.  Kathryn's face crumpled and tears filled her eyes as she stared down at the gold rose nestled against the deep red velvet.  She blinked back her tears as Chakotay reached for the box and took it from her, before taking the chain and lifting it from the velvet, then moving behind her and placing it around her neck.  Kathryn's hand went immediately to the place where she felt the small weight lying and fingered the rose.



“I love it…so much…thank you…it’s beautiful…”  Chakotay’s hands slipped to her shoulders and squeezed gently.



“It pales in its beauty against you…”  He moved around to look into her eyes and smiled tenderly then dropped his eyes to look at the pendant in place and nodded, satisfied with his choice.  When he looked back at her, he saw her still fighting her tears.  “Come on…”  He stroked her cheek with the back of his finger.  “Let’s eat…” 



^^^^^^^^^^



Over the next hour and a half, they sat and enjoyed the food Chakotay had prepared, chatting generally between mouthfuls.  Kathryn was amazed at what he’d managed.  Roast lamb, the delicate taste of rosemary coming through, accompanied an assortment of vegetables and cream potatoes and she smiled as she saw Chakotay eat the meat also.



“For you and for tonight, I make the exception…”  Kathryn shook her head and smiled, her mouth full, savouring the flavour of the meat.



For dessert, he produced something which practically had Kathryn crawling through hoops for a second serving.  He laid a plate of gateaux before her, segments of orange mixed in with cream, between layers of sponge and topped with cream flavoured with chocolate and coffee, along with chocolate swirls.  Kathryn closed her eyes as the tastes exploded in her mouth and opened them again to see a very amused look on Chakotay’s face.



“What do you expect?”  She sighed and took another mouthful, moaning again.  “I once knew a girl at the Academy who had a perfect way to describe this…”  She smiled and blushed a little.  “She called this a ‘digestive orgasm’.  I see now what she meant.”  Chakotay laughed as he took a forkful himself and sampled it.



“OK…I can see how she came to that conclusion…”  Kathryn laughed along with him.



“They say ‘a minute on the lips and a lifetime on the hips’ but so what.  I think I’ll keep you.  You’ve discovered the real way to my heart…”  Chakotay forked more into his mouth and laughed.



“Chocolate and coffee…and the lady is mine…?”  Kathryn raised her eyebrows and laughed.



“You’d better believe it…”  She let a last forkful melt in her mouth and scraped the plate.  “That was beyond words…”  Chakotay shook his head.



“More?”  Kathryn leaned back and patted her stomach.



“No…maybe later.  If I have any more now, I won’t get up from this table.”  Chakotay laughed at that.



“OK, I suppose you don’t have room for coffee then…”  He feigned fear at the glare he received.



“You’ll never find a day when I don’t have room for coffee.  That’s something worth remembering…”  Chakotay stood and picked up their empty plates.



“It’s filed away under vital command information.”  He laughed as he made his way over to the replicator and recycled the dishes then ordered the coffee.  “Let’s move over to the sofa for this…”  He turned to find Kathryn already stretched out there and smiled to himself.  He brought the cups over to her and sat down.  He placed her coffee before her and smiled softly.



“Is this music OK for you?  I wasn’t sure if you liked this kind of cocktail piano style…”  Kathryn sipped her coffee and smiled, savouring the rich brew.



“It’s perfect…just right for the mood of the evening…”  She smiled up at him.  “It’s all wonderful.  My bath…my dress…the food…my present…”  She reached up and fingered the pendant again.  “Most of all though…the company…”  She put her cup down and turned towards him, taking his cup and placing it beside her own.  She then took both his hands in hers.



“Thank you…for everything you’ve done for me this evening and it’s not over yet…”  He smiled tenderly at her.



“No, it’s not.  I haven’t danced with you yet…”  He stood slowly and pulled her gently to her feet, then led her into the centre of the room, before slipping his arms around her.



They swayed slowly to the soft strains of the music, Kathryn's head on Chakotay’s shoulder.  She closed her eyes and let the warmth of his body caress her skin, feeling his hands trace over her back as they danced.  They let one more song play before returning to the sofa, Chakotay bringing the wine with him and refilling their glasses.  For the next half hour or so, they sat and sipped the red wine, lying back and holding hands, chatting occasionally but just as comfortable in their silences.



Kathryn felt so at peace with herself, something Chakotay didn’t miss.  There was no pressure on her as to how this evening would end and they both knew that.  When they finished the bottle of wine, Chakotay sat up a little and smiled down at her.



“Do you want me to get another bottle?”  Kathryn lay back, totally at peace with her world and shook her head.



“No.  I know what I want to do.”  She tugged gently on his hand which still held hers.  Chakotay put his glass down and leaned back with her.



“What’s that?”  She reached her hand up and stroked his tattoo, her fingers soft against his skin.  Her eyes held his.



“I want you to make love to me…”   There wasn’t a trace of doubt in her eyes and Chakotay smiled softly at her.



“As long as you’re sure…are ready for this…”  She smiled back and nodded.



“The time is right for us.  I feel that…”  He nodded again and sat up, almost cradling her hand in his.  He stood slowly as she joined him.



“I’ll just blow out the candles…”  He went to move away but she held his hand. 



“Bring them with us…into the bedroom…”  He smiled again and nodded slowly. 



“Wait here…”  She did as asked, watching him as he picked up the candles and brought them into the bedroom.  While he was gone, she quickly examined her feelings for any sign of something she didn’t want to find there.  Apart from a slight apprehension, there was nothing.  Her love for this man replaced everything else.  She looked up now and saw him watching her as he came back to her side.



“Are you all right?”  She smiled and nodded her head.



“I’m fine.  I’m really fine.”  He took her word for it, knowing that asking too much or too often wouldn’t help her.  He took her hand and led her into the bedroom, sitting her on the edge of the bed.  Kathryn looked around her for a moment, the room bathed in the glow of the candles, then turned back to the man beside her.  He smiled tenderly at her, then took her face between his hands and looked deeply into her eyes.



“I love you, Kathryn Janeway.”  She stared back at him, swallowing the lump which was forming in her throat.



“I love you too, Chakotay…”  He nodded, his face tender, yet serious.



“I need to ask you one last time if you’re sure about this.  If you…”  Her hands came up and covered his.



“I’m sure, Chakotay.  I want this and I want you.”  He nodded again, love shining from his eyes and saw it reflected in hers.  One of his hands slipped around the back of her head and into her hair.



“We’ll go slowly.  Don’t be afraid to talk to me, even though I know that can be a little embarrassing.”  She smiled shyly and blushed.  “Tell me if anything I do is wrong for you.  Tell me also if it feels right…because that’s how we’ll learn about each other…”  She smiled softly again and nodded her agreement.  Chakotay remained serious.  “If anything at all upsets you in any way…tell me immediately…”  Kathryn nodded again.



“I feel like…a virgin…I guess…”  Chakotay smiled at that.



“So do I.  In a way, we both are.”  He sighed softly and took her hand.  “I’m just so afraid of hurting you…”  Kathryn shook her head quickly.



“We’ve been through that…”  He nodded and smiled tenderly. 



“I know.  We’ll be fine.  We just take our time and allow this to happen…do what feels right for us both.”  Kathryn nodded and smiled up at him, tears gathering in her eyes.



“I love you…”  She choked on her words and leaned into him, feeling so at home in his arms.  She heard his soft whisper in her ear.



“I love you too…”  He held her close.



Finally, it was Kathryn who pulled back.  She smiled and then leaned forward a little, her eyes on his lips.  Chakotay leaned in too and brushed his lips to hers, his fingers stroking through her silky hair.  Kathryn leaned in the rest of the way and pressed her lips firmly to his.  Kissing was something they were well used to now but somehow, it still felt new.  Kathryn opened her lips a little, inviting Chakotay in, an invitation he took gladly as his tongue entered and swept her mouth, tasting her and the wine.  He felt her hands on his shoulders and then holding his head in place as she slipped her own tongue into his mouth, duelling with his.  He heard the faint moans from the back of her throat and felt her arch a little against his body. 



Chakotay left her lips to trail soft kisses across her cheeks and eyes, the faint cry from Kathryn heard by him, as if she felt abandoned.  Picking up on his intentions though, she copied his actions and began to spread kisses of her own across his face and down his neck, her fingers threading through his hair.  Chakotay groaned softly at the responses he felt to her soft touch and tilted his head back to give her further access.  As he did, she moved her own head, leaving the way clear for him to explore the same trail.



Eventually, they pulled back from each other, their eyes both sparkling with emotion.  Chakotay reached for her hands and placed them at the buttons of his shirt, a gentle invitation if she wanted to take it.  She understood and began unbuttoning, working her way down quickly.  Chakotay forced himself to relax but kept a very watchful eye on her, on the alert for the slightest sign of discomfort.  She concentrated on her task, looking back up at him now and then.  Finally, she had the shirt open and pulled it from his waistband.  He saw her draw in a shallow breath before running her hands over his chest and around his back.  When she looked up at him again, he smiled at the slight look of uncertainty on her face, knowing she was asking him with her eyes for direction.  He pointed to his chest.



“Kiss me here…”  She smiled and nodded then leaned in, her lips skimming over his skin.  Chakotay couldn’t help the moan which escaped his throat.  “Oh Kathryn…”  She covered his chest with small kisses until he eased her back a little.  He watched as one of her hands went to a strap on her dress and reached over, covering her hand with his.  She looked puzzled for a moment until he smiled tenderly at her.



“May I…?”  She nodded and smiled, her hand dropping away.  Chakotay held her eyes as his fingers slipped beneath the thin straps and then lowered them.  She pulled her arms free of them and let the soft fabric pool at her waist.  Only then did Chakotay look down.



“You are the most beautiful woman, Kathryn.”  He met her eyes again and she nodded to him, giving her permission.  Chakotay leaned down and ran a finger over her cleavage, the lace of the strapless silk bra in his way.  He looked to her and she nodded, reaching behind her and opening the clasp but leaving the final removal to him.  He smiled his thanks for the honour and gently pulled the dark green fabric away, revealing the wealth which lay beneath.  With tears in his eyes, he stroked over her nipples, noticing that they were already partly erect.  He smiled softly to himself then ran his hand over her breast, the other one joining in.  Kathryn drew in a deep breath and he looked up immediately.  What he saw brought tears to his eyes. 



Kathryn's head was dropped back, her eyes closed and her mouth slightly open.  Chakotay watched her face closely as he stroked her breasts gently at first and then a little more firmly.  He listened to her breathing, taking note of what it told him.  He stilled his hands then, waiting until she opened her eyes and looked at him.  She seemed a little embarrassed at her reaction but his shake of the head told her she shouldn’t be.  With her watching him now, able to see his movements, he leaned down and licked his way across her breasts, tonguing her nipples to full attention.  He felt her hands trace their way into his hair, her grip firmer this time.  Little cries were torn from her throat as he worked his magic on her, her chest heaving almost.



Kathryn let the feelings Chakotay was evoking in her, flow through her.  She had known immediately that this was like nothing she had experienced in the previous weeks of her own experience.  Her breath seemed to have a mind of its own, working in its own direction and creating a strange feeling in her throat.  She felt the rest too, almost immediately made known to her, as the feelings and sensations began to gather between her legs.  She knew them now, recognized them but never had they been this intense so quickly.  Rather than think about it, she just relaxed and enjoyed, amazed at how calm and at peace she felt.



When Chakotay felt Kathryn was ready for a little more, he leaned back, the disappointment in her eyes clear to see.  He pulled away from her and slowly removed his shirt, making sure she saw every move he made.  He took her hand and she stood, the dress falling the rest of the way on its own, leaving her standing in just the lace panties.  Chakotay’s breath caught in his chest at her beauty.



“Oh God…Kathryn…you’re beautiful beyond words…”  She smiled shyly.



“Only when I’m with you…”  They locked eyes, reading the love for each other there.  Kathryn reached out slowly and hesitantly, showing her nervousness, as her fingers rested on the catch of his trousers.  She looked to him, almost for approval, and he nodded.  She slowly opened them and eased them down his hips, until they too fell to the floor, following the route taken by her dress.  Chakotay toed his shoes off and stepped out of them, watching as she stood out of her dress, slipping her own shoes off.



He reached out slowly to her and held her to him, easing them both back down into a sitting position on the bed.  He kissed her gently, then more deeply, feeling her respond more urgently this time.  His hand brushed her breast again and he felt her hands stroking up and down his back, making contact with the elastic of his boxers, barely slipping beneath it.  He dropped his mouth to her breasts once more and worked her back up, hearing her breathing shallow again.  After a few minutes, he moved up to her mouth and kissed her, then holding her eyes, eased her back on the bed so slowly, he was barely aware of the action.



Kathryn lay back, no sign of distress about her and smiled at the man beside her.  She knew he was watching her closely and was trying hard to reassure him.  Her hand slipped shyly and hesitantly under his boxers, her way to tell him she was fine and he nodded, understanding her message.  He eased himself onto the bed, lifting his legs up from the floor and stretching out, then watched as Kathryn did the same.  She lay mostly on her back and smiled up at him, her fingers stroking over his chest again.  His own hand stroked down over her stomach and he saw her draw in a deep breath as his fingers traced over her skin.  He whispered softly to her.



“You’re safe…I’m here with you…I’ll never hurt you…  Don’t be afraid…”  She nodded and smiled softly.



“I’m not afraid.  What I am is shy…nervous…worried about disappointing you…”  Chakotay shook his head, his hand still stroking her.



“Disappoint me?  Oh Kathryn…  That’s something you could never do, even if you tried.”  He saw her respond to his touch and gloried in the trust he saw she had in him.



Her hand once again slipped beneath his boxers and then stopped.  He saw from her face that she appeared a little apprehensive.  He was worried that she was pushing herself, either for his sake or to prove something she didn’t need to prove.



“Kathryn…?”  She shook her head, knowing he was worried only about her.



“I’m fine…I’m just…”  She swallowed.  “I’m not being too forward, am I…?”  Chakotay wanted to laugh but just smiled softly.



“Never.  Please love, just be yourself…  Do what feels right for you…not what you think I want…  You’ve nothing to prove here.”  She smiled shyly and resumed her journey, slipping her hand around and stroking his buttocks, Chakotay following her lead now, his hand dipping into the back of her panties, ever watchful.  She saw that with him and shook her head.



“I know I’ve nothing to prove and I told you…I’m fine…”  He smiled an apology.



“I know…I just worry…”  She slid her hand around to his hip, pausing there.



“You don’t need to.  I’m fine…better than I thought I’d be…”  Chakotay took her word and leaned down, claiming her lips again.  He stroked across her buttocks and around her hip, matching her movements, determined to go no further than she did.  Inch by inch, he felt her hand move, her fingers barely brushing against his skin, so that she tickled him almost.  He held still and let her explore at her own pace, matching her movements. 



Slowly her fingers traced their way down the front of his boxers and brushed against his hardening manhood.  Her hand stopped for just a moment and he knew this was a tough test for her.  He stilled his own hand and continued kissing her gently, then felt her hand resume it’s caress.  He moaned loudly as her fingers closed around him and opened his eyes.  He looked deeply into hers, trying to read her.  For just a second, he detected a trace of pain, but it was gone as quickly as it had appeared.



“It’s…not the same…it’s…fine…you make it fine…”  She stroked hesitantly up and down him and he tried to hide the worried look in his eyes.  She gave him a small smile, her voice quiet.  “I thought…thought the feel would make me…but it doesn’t…”  She looked down to where her hand was hidden beneath his shorts and smiled sadly.  Chakotay placed a finger under her chin and lifted her face to his.



“What is it, love?”  She looked over his shoulder for a moment, trying to find the right words, an expression of what he thought was almost wonder on her face, then looked back at him.



“It’s strange…”  She smiled at the worry and puzzlement she saw on his face.  “I’ve realized that…it’s not…not the physical…the touch and feel…which is what I was worried could upset me …it’s not what I remember so much …and probably hasn’t been for some time.”  Chakotay placed a hand on her arm to still her caresses.



“What is it…?”  She shook her head.



“It’s not the physical feel but…the way it made ME feel…  Can you understand that?”  Suddenly Chakotay did and he smiled softly.  “It’s like…like a fire…  I’ve realized I’m not afraid of the flame…don’t remember the feel of it but I remember the pain of the burn…”  He smiled to himself at her analogy.



“I do understand…  I was worried…”  Kathryn began moving her hand again.



“Please don’t be…  You asked me to just be myself…  I’m asking you to do the same…”  Chakotay leaned in and kissed the tip of her nose.



“Then let me love you…show you real love…”  She smiled through the tears which filled her eyes and leaned into him, her lips on his now, her hand continuing its exploration.  Chakotay deepened the kiss, concentrating only on the feel of her lips on his.  Eventually, he pulled back and traced his hand around the rim of her panties.  His eyes on hers, he saw her nod her permission and slowly slipped them down past her hips as she sat up to help him.  He sat up also as she slipped his black boxers down.  And then they were naked, nothing hidden from each other.



Chakotay made love to Kathryn slowly and tenderly, teasing her ever gently with his hand first, using her body language and soft cries to guide him.  He felt her wetness as his fingers traced through her folds, his mouth on her breast.  Slowly he worked his way down, constantly on alert for the smallest sign from her that he was going too far or too fast.  None came.



When he finally nuzzled his way up her inner thighs, she opened her legs for him, the ultimate sign of trust in him.  He looked up to her face, saw her eyes closed, her head back and knew that she was all right.  He brought his mouth down on her, her hips jerking in response as she cried out, and brought her to her first climax.  His heart exploded in joy as she almost screamed out her release and he wept, the fear that this would have been one of the hardest tests for her, now fruitless.  He stroked her stomach as she came down and moved up beside her, his eyes on her face.  Slowly she opened her eyes and smiled at him.



“Oh Chakotay…”  He stroked her face softly.



“Are you all right?  Was it OK?  I mean that way and…”  She pressed her fingers to his mouth.



“It was beyond anything I could have imagined.  I’ve never felt more wonderful…or safer…or more loved…and I love you…for everything…”  She grew tearful and choked up.  Chakotay stroked her hair.



“I love you too…so much…”  He kissed her again, keeping his body a little away from hers, still frightened of scaring her in some way.  Kathryn reached her hand down again and stroked him then pulled her mouth from his.



“Don’t try and hide from me…I’m not scared…”  Chakotay’s face wore a gentle smile.



“Kathryn, maybe we should wait until another time…take this slowly…”  She shook her head, her expression matching his.



“No…I want you…want you to make love to me…  We’re waited a long time…  Please Chakotay…”  She pulled a little on his shoulders and lay back, allowing him to settle over her.  She moved her legs around each side of him, her hands stroking his upper arms now. 



“I’m fine…please…it’s OK…”  Chakotay nodded slightly.



“Would you prefer…?  You’d have more control if I was…beneath you…”  She leaned up and kissed him.



“Thank you for thinking of me like that…for offering me all the control.  Please Chakotay…I’m fine…  Worrying like this is letting the past come between us…”  He nodded slowly, understanding now that he wasn’t helping her by being so careful with every word and movement, that by hesitating over every touch, he was only reminding her more.



“OK love, I’m sorry.  You’ve told me you’re fine and that’s all I need.  I’m just a worrier and I love you so much.”  He settled against her, taking his weight on one arm and reaching down, stroking her intimately again, determined to ease her in any way he could.  She was ready for him and he lay over her, one arm on each side of her head now, taking most of his weight.  He leaned down and kissed her deeply.



“I love you so much.  I’ll be as gentle as I can.”  She smiled softly in return, the tiniest trace of apprehension in her eyes.



“I’m OK…really…”  He stroked his thumbs over the sides of her face and pressed gently against her.  He felt her lift her legs a little and saw her draw in a deep breath as she smiled up at him, making her body relax. 



Chakotay pressed a little more against her now, slipping inside her more easily than he had thought.  She didn’t tense once and held her eyes open, not wanting to lose contact with him.  He pressed deeper and felt her tense now, very slightly.  His eyes questioned only but she smiled back at him.



“It’s OK…go on…”  He nodded, pushing more, feeling her tightness surrounding him and forced his body into obedience.  He saw by her face now that she was hurting and stopped but she shook her head.  “Please…don’t stop…”  His eyes betrayed his worry.  “Please Chakotay…”  He barely nodded and pressed further.  He felt her hands grip his shoulders, her nails digging in and stopped again.  Once more, she whispered to him.  “It’s only for a moment…I’m fine…”  She pressed her own hips up now as she tightened her grip on his shoulders more. 



Chakotay knew she was hurting, knew he was hurting her but suddenly he understood.  She was pushing herself, needed to, knew that to stop now, would hurt her more.  If she felt she had failed at this, her past would have won and she would have failed.  He kissed her cheek, working around to her ear.



“Just a little more, love.  I love you…I won’t let you fall…”  He felt her nod against him.



“Please…complete me…make me whole…”  He met her eyes and nodded his understanding.



“Just hold on tightly to me…”  She drew in another deep breath and nodded, her eyes never leaving his.  Holding her face gently between his hands, Chakotay pressed forward quickly, completing the journey.  He saw her fight to keep her eyes open, heard her small cry, the following hiss of pain and then she was quiet as he held as still as possible until her body adjusted to him.  He whispered softly to her as he held her to him.



“We’re one, Kathryn.  We’re joined together for all eternity.  I love you so much.  You’re my life.  I’ll hold you forever.”  His words flowed over and through her, like a balm to any remnant of pain she had.  Kathryn felt the stinging ease, felt herself stretching around him and moved a little, instinct dictating for her now.  Chakotay read her well and began to move very slowly, building gradually into a gentle tempo, listening to her sighs and small moans, using them as his guide.  She held his eyes the entire time, her grip loosening on him then tightening again as he saw her eyes widen.  He felt her inner muscles contract at the same moment and forced himself to hold on.  He smiled as her mouth opened more.



“Ohh…”  It was barely a sound and he moved a little faster now.



“I love you, my Kathryn.  You’re almost home…”  She began panting slightly as she felt the sensations build, familiar and yet new.  Physically she knew what she was feeling but emotionally, this was new ground.  Her fingers dug into his flesh now as the wave crashed over her, her head snapping back at the intensity of it.



“Ohhhh Chakotay…”  He felt her legs grip his hips tightly and her release triggered his but he held on for one last moment, unable to resist the sight of her as she was at this moment.



“Ohhh Kathryn…ohh Goddd….”  He spilled himself inside her, feeling their bodies merge on some plane of existence he didn’t understand.



Chakotay stayed sheathed inside her, easing her down gently and letting her body relax and calm slowly.  She finally opened her eyes and smiled at him.



“I’m home, Chakotay.  I’m finally home.”  He nodded tearfully and kissed her gently.



“Yes, love…you’re home.  We’re home.”  He pulled himself from her, hating to leave the warmth of her depths.  He watched her face carefully and saw her grimace a little.



“Are you sore?”  She nodded slightly.



“It’s not bad…really it’s not.”  Chakotay caressed her cheek and kissed her again, then got off the bed.



“I’ll be right back…”  She watched him, her hand on his arm as if not wanting to ever let him go.  He smiled again.  “I’ll be back in a second…”  She smiled shyly and let him go, curling into herself a little and pulling the sheet over her body, as she watched him cross to the bathroom.  In a minute, he was back, a bowl of warm water and a cloth in his hands.  He eased the sheet back from her and proceeded to wash her gently, cleansing her and then opened a small jar she hadn’t noticed.



“An old tribal remedy…all natural…”  He answered her puzzled look and opened her legs a little, spreading some cream on her from the jar.  She immediately felt the soothing effect of the ointment, the scent of fresh pine reaching her nostrils.



“That feels wonderful…”  She smiled as she realized they were whispering to each other, treating the moment with a deep reverence.  Chakotay smiled tenderly at her then sat her on the edge of the bed and pulled on her nightgown.



“I’ll just be another minute….”  She nodded as he returned to the bathroom to clean up and came back to her wearing a fresh pair of shorts.  He slipped in beside her and pulled her into his arms, kissing the side of her face.



“This is the best part…lying together afterwards…sharing the afterglow…the closeness…”  He felt her nod against his chest but she didn’t answer.  He looked down at her and saw that tears were pouring down her face.  “Kathryn…?”  The whisper of her name from his lips broke the dam and she sobbed, burying her face in his chest and clinging to him.  He held her until it passed, stroking up and down her back and arms, whispering no words, only soothing sounds.  Eventually, she cried herself out and stared up at him with puffy eyes.



“I’m…sorry…it just…came…I don’t…”  Chakotay smoothed her hair back from her face.  He knew this had to happen, that her body and mind needed the cleansing her tears provided.  He knew she needed to break free from the last tenuous hold the bad memories and horrors of her past had on her.



“It’s all right, love…just let it out…”  She let him rock her, trying to make sense in her mind of what had just happened to her.



“This is everything I ever wanted…hoped it would be…  It was beyond that even…and I just…  I’m feeling everything and…”  She swallowed deeply as he tilted her face up.



“Kathryn, some things can’t be explained and some shouldn’t be questioned.  Your body needed that release.  There was a lot of emotion stored up inside you and it had to come out.  You needed to let it all go.”  He stroked her cheek, a worried look on his face.  “You don’t regret…?”  She jumped in instantly.



“No, Chakotay…please don’t ever think that.  If you walked away from me this moment, I would never regret this.”  She stared lovingly into his eyes and reached her hand up to his face, tracing her finger over his lips.  He saw the tears returning to her eyes.  “The angels gave you to me.  I’m so lucky…blessed.  All that I have now…loving you…knowing how much you love me…this moment…what we just shared…”  She swallowed the growing lump in her throat.  “It erases it all.  I’d go through hell and back…for just one day with you.”  Chakotay’s tears kept hers company now.



“Oh Kathryn…”  He kissed her eyes, her cheeks.  “I feel that this night is what my whole existence has been about, that this was where it all led.”  He took her face in his hands, his face solemn.  “You and I, Kathryn…  We will never separate in this life…nor in the next…  We’re bonded together for all eternity…  I’ll never leave you unless you ever tell me to go and even then, I’d fight you…”  Kathryn mimicked him, taking his face between her smaller hands, barely aware of the tears which fell from her eyes.



“I won’t ever let you go either…unless you wanted to leave…and then I’d probably follow you.  I love you with my life and soul, Chakotay.  You know everything about me… every secret…every weakness…and still you love me…”  Chakotay’s fingers caressed her face.



“That works both ways, Kathryn.  I love you too.  It’s what love is all about.  It’s knowing everything about the one you love, the good and the bad, and loving them just the same.  It’s about sharing every joy and every pain, the good times and the bad ones.  It’s holding the one you love up when they’re falling and having them there to hold you up when it’s you who’s stumbling.  I could talk on like this for all time but you know what I mean.  In the end, it’s you and me…loving each other…being there for each other…  Nothing else matters in the end.”  They clung to each other for some time, no more words needed as they continued to share the love they had between them.  Eventually, towards morning, they fell asleep in each other’s arms.



^^^^^^^^^^



EIGHTEEN MONTHS LATER.



They stood in the doorway together, the recently constructed archway between their old quarters, their arms around each other.  A soft sound came from the other side of the room and then it was quiet again. 



“She’s really here, isn’t she?  She’s really ours…?”  The wonder was clearly audible in Chakotay’s voice.  Kathryn smiled up at him.



“Oh, she’s here all right.  The soreness I’m still feeling in a certain part of my body is testimony to that.”  Chakotay smiled and nodded, unable to pull his eyes away from the small body in the crib.  His arm tightened around his wife.



“I was so proud of you when you gave birth to her…through the entire pregnancy actually.  Did I tell you that…?”  Kathryn laughed.



“Only about a hundred times a day.”  She scratched the side of her head.  “Except the day she was born…  I think you managed closer to a thousand times that day…”  Finally, he looked down at her.



“I meant to ask…was wondering…”  He smiled softly.  “Do you regret…telling the Doctor…?”  They both remembered back to the day the Doctor had informed them of Kathryn's impending motherhood.  Chakotay had worried immediately, despite how far they had come in their relationship.  Two days later, Kathryn had taken the Doctor to the holodeck and confided in him, leaving out most of the details but letting him know the main facts.  He had been understanding beyond her belief and had become a tower of strength for her throughout the nine months.  When the day came, he had taken them to the holodeck for the birth, having programmed in a comfortable country-cottage bedroom, with a wide window opening out onto a lush garden, no trace of anything ‘medical’ about the scene.  Hayley Amber Janeway came into the world to the delicate scents and sounds of nature, her father easing her journey, before laying her across her mother’s chest and cutting the cord.



“I don’t regret it for a minute…”  She smiled as she looked over at their daughter.  “He’s entered nothing into my records…you know that?  Has kept it all to himself…?”  Chakotay nodded and smiled.



“I know…he told me.  He’s one very special person…”  Kathryn nodded her head. 



“Asking him to be a godparent…seeing his face…  I’ll never forget that moment…” Chakotay smiled as he remembered also. 



“There are many moments…millions in fact…of our life together…that I’ll never forget.”  He tightened his arm around her.  “Asking you to marry me…our wedding day…delivering our daughter…”  He kissed the side of her head.  “Every day in fact…every moment…”  Kathryn's arm tightened around him too.



“I feel the same…”  She hesitated for a moment then and he gave her the silence she needed.  “Chakotay…there is one thing…something that has been on my mind…”  He looked down at her and nodded.



“Come on…let’s sit down…”  He led her across to the bed and sat her down, taking his place beside her.  “What is it…?”  She bit her lip a moment.



“It’s the only area…in the future I mean…where I’ll need you to…watch me I guess…”  She sighed as she saw his worried look and gripped his hand.



“I’ve one area of worry…with her I mean…and with me…”  Chakotay believed he knew what she was trying to say but remained quiet.  Kathryn's eyes filled with tears.



“Chakotay, what if I smother her…overprotect her or…  I’m terrified of something happening to her some day…history repeating itself.  I know I trust everyone on the ship but I trusted him too…my parents trusted him completely…never thought or suspected…  What if I do the same and she’s…”  Chakotay took her hands in his and squeezed gently.



“Kathryn, listen to me now.  I’ll be honest and tell you that I expected you to voice this at some time and I’ve been thinking about it…”  He shook his head gently.  “Kathryn, every parent worries and I know that because of what happened to you, you’ll worry more than most.”  He sighed softly.  “I can’t tell you that nothing will ever happen to her…or to you or me, for that matter.  The future is uncharted territory.  Think about this though.”  He saw the pain on her face.



“Kathryn, think of it this way.  You once told me that if more people were educated and knew what to look for, this wouldn’t happen or at least wouldn’t happen on the scale it does.”  Kathryn nodded, hanging onto his words.  “We have an advantage on others, and I wish I had a better way to say that, but we’ll always know what to look for, the signs if they’re ever there.  In that way, she’ll be safer.  I’ll say this too though.  Please don’t waste the time you’ll have with her worrying about what might or could happen to her.  We watch her but let her grow as normally as she should.  Every parent worries about their child.  That’s just natural.  What you have to learn to do is keep that worry in proportion.  If you’re constantly watching her and everyone around her, she’ll pick up on that and it’ll affect her.  We let her grow up the same as any other child, just keep a careful watch from the sidelines without letting her know it.”  Kathryn sniffed loudly and laid a hand on his chest.



“You’re right, I know that.  I’ll be letting him infect the next generation if I let myself get pulled into this.  If I worry every minute of every day, I’ll miss what we should be having.”  She smiled up at him.  “I’ll just need you to remind me of that from time to time.”  Chakotay hugged her to him.



“I will.  If I see any sign of you heading in that direction, I’ll say it.”  He eased her back a little and cupped her face.  “One thing I’ll never stop reminding you of though, is that I love you.  Be prepared to hear that a lot.”  Kathryn leaned up and kissed him.



“I love you too.  I’ll keep reminding you of that also.”  Chakotay kissed her deeply and then eased them both down on the bed.



“We’ll all be fine.  Come on, lady.  Get some sleep.  In no time at all, a certain madam will be awake again and screaming for her next feed.”  They laughed together and lay back in each other’s arms.  Within minutes, the whole family was asleep.



THE END.



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RETURN TO STORY INDEX TWO.



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