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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, Kim

Codes: Janeway/Kim


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

ten | Harry Kim

Requested by @arcadia75.


There’s an ache in the pit of her stomach, low down between her hip bones. The good kind of ache, but unfamiliar. It’s been so long … she barely remembered what this was like, had had to think, frowning through the hangover haze, trying to recall if she’d suffered some kind of injury, or an alien sickness.

How sad, how pathetic, that it’s been so long since somebody had cared enough, had taken the time, to show her how it could be. Since the last time she’d groaned at the pleasure-pain of pulled inner thighs, abraded skin, roughened lips. Too long, damn it, since she last felt so fucking good.

She is so absorbed in the delicious languor of lightly strained muscles that the shift of the warm body beside her comes as a shock.

Of course. He’s still here. Whoever he is.

Does she care? Not really, she reflects, eyes still closed, smiling. There’s a red-wine drumbeat in the base of her skull and her mouth is cotton-dry, but her body thrums so lavishly that she can almost believe the hands stroking her are real. She exhales so softly it can’t quite be called a sigh.

Red wine. Light presses its fingers through the cracks in her memory and she sees

a damp palm leaving marks on her white dress uniform, the weight of new bars on her collar, her polite smile slipping, the relief as a familiar voice smoothly guides her away from Admiral Sweaty Hands, the way she’d leaned into his shoulder in gratitude –

Velvet dims the flash of memory, but she runs the tips of her fingers along her breastbone as she reminds herself that he gave her more than simple diplomatic rescue.

The sound of his breathing changes beside her. She suspects he’s waking up. What will it be like, this first morning, waking to a stranger’s sleep-creased skin and sour morning breath? Will he be handsome, and if not, will he fuck her well enough to make up for it?

Will he want to fuck her again?

Because she really, really wants him to fuck her.

Fuck me, she gasps, oh god pleasedon’tstop. They are crammed against a wall somewhere, upright, her pants half off one ankle and her other leg wrapped around his driving hips. His perspiring forehead is pressed to her neck, his fingers digging into her ass, steel and grinding bones and friction so good it feels like dying, is she dying? God, he’s killing her, she’s going to burst open, she’s going to come so hard –

Beside her, she realises, the stranger is holding his breath. She thinks she might have moaned. Has she woken him, moaning like a wanton old lush? Heat stains her cheeks.

There’s nothing for it but to turn and face him, to make a self-deprecating quip and hope like hell that he lives up to her memory, such as it is.

If only she could be sure her voice wouldn’t grate or crack or creak, or her bones, or her heart.

Kathryn gathers her courage and begins, “Well, this isn’t the way I’d planned to start the m–”

The words die on her lips as she turns to him, registers the complex mix of emotions in his eyes, and recognises his face. His very familiar, dear, well-learned face.

“Fuck,” she says flatly.

She’s known him for seven years now, long enough to recognise each expressive nuance in his reaction. Recognises, too, when he lets the mischief shine through.

“I was hoping you’d say that,” says the newly promoted Lieutenant Harry Kim.

He gets that smartass streak from Tom Paris, she thinks inconsequentially, then corrects herself. Harry Kim has more than enough perverse spirit all on his own terms, as he proved last night.

Repeatedly. Prodigiously. With talent and aplomb.

Who would have thought?

She winces.

“Don’t do that,” Harry says immediately.

She can’t find her balance, not with this new assertive Harry Kim (is it really new, though? Or has she just not been paying attention?), who can apparently read her as easily as she can him. Better, perhaps, because he’s not the one in a tailspin right now. She’s at a distinct disadvantage here.

Kathryn pulls the sheet loose and wraps it around her body as she slips from the bed, keeping her movements smooth, not too quick. Her uniform is folded neatly on a chair (did Harry do that? Because she sure as hell wasn’t capable of that last night) thank the heavens. She keeps her back to him as she lets the sheet slip and yanks on her clothes. “Last night was –”

“Sure was.”

She glares at him, relieved to have a reason to do so. “Last night was … enjoyable… but never to be repeated.”

“Just like that?”

Kathryn fastens her jacket and ignores the underlying drawl in his tone. Not quite meeting his eyes, she turns in his direction. “I appreciate you … looking after me, Ens- Lieut-,” she closes her eyes momentarily, “Harry.”

“It was my pleasure.”

She glares again. “Yes. Well. Excuse me,” and she strides for the door, trying not to look as though she’s bolting.


Kathryn stops in her tracks. She’d been so close – almost out the door, almost gone – but it’s too late.

“Next time you need someone to look after you, you know where to find me.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” she forces out.

The door closes behind her, quieter than her relieved exhale. She hurries along the grey, carpeted corridor.

Long before she reaches the exit, Kathryn notices that there’s a bounce in her step and a smile on her lips.

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