50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

Summary: Kathryn Janeway can’t help breaking hearts, but at least she never does it the same way twice.

 

Characters: Janeway, Chakotay

Codes: Janeway/Chakotay

 

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Paramount. I'm just having a little twisted fun with them.

Notes: When I posted A Long Journey on tumblr, @caladeniablue asked 'Fic to go with this?' and it got me thinking. This is the result. (If you have a request for a lover Kathryn could leave, email me!)

Rated M

one | Chakotay


“I’m sorry, Chakotay.”

A quick glance in the mirror confirmed that he was still hunched on the edge of his bed, bare under the rumpled sheet she’d tossed hastily (and strategically) over his thighs.

“Kathryn, we need to talk about this.”

She was almost dressed; years of practice made quick work of Starfleet fasteners, whether they were going on or coming off. She propped a hip against the door jamb as she pulled on her boots. “Not now.”

Not ever, preferably, though she kept that thought firmly to herself.

He opened his mouth, apparently thought better of it, and scrubbed a hand over his face. His voice was deliberately conciliatory as he asked her, “Dinner tonight, then?”

“I can’t.” She evaded his eyes – his dark, wounded, soul-filled eyes – as she attached the final pip to her collar. “I have an appointment with Tuvok to go over security drill procedures.”

“Shouldn’t that fall under the first officer’s duties?”

From the corner of her eye she saw him stand, saw the sheet fall away from his lap, and forced her gaze away as he walked toward her. His hand cupped her nape, warm and shivery and tempting.

Too tempting. That was how she’d ended up here in the first place.

Kathryn pulled away.

This could only be faced head-on, she realised, and turned to him.

“We can’t do this,” she said firmly. “This can’t happen.”

“So you said.” Chakotay watched her, eyes and voice even. “But it did happen.”

“Once. And it was a mistake.”

“Twice,” he corrected, “and sometimes, what seems to be a mistake turns out to be a beautiful opportunity.”

“How mystical of you,” she couldn’t help snapping, then closed her eyes in frustration. “I’m sorry.”

She opened her eyes just in time to see him quickly school the vestiges of amusement from his expression.

“This isn’t funny.”

She pushed past him, but he was too fast: he caught her arm and said her name in that soft voice.

“I can’t.” She couldn’t look at him, couldn’t let him hold her or wear down her defences. “We gave into … this … for one night, but it’s over, Chakotay. It can’t happen again. It won’t.”

She pulled her arm from his grip, and he let her go, and in three strides she was out in the corridor, gulping in what felt like fresh air but was just the heady rush of freedom.

© 2021 by Mia Cooper