50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
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Summary: Kathryn Janeway can’t help breaking hearts, but at least she never does it the same way twice.

 

Characters: Janeway, O Paris

Codes: Janeway/O Paris

 

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

nine | Owen Paris

~*~

“I’ve found you a ship.”

Kathryn’s hand stilled on his chest, where she’d been idly tracing her fingers over his heart. “What do you mean?”

“The Bonestell – an Oberth class. It’s what you’ve been wanting, isn’t it? A ship of your own.”

Something in his voice curled into her hindbrain and set all her senses on high alert. She shifted to see him, registering that his gaze dropped to her bare breasts but returned immediately to her face.

His body was slack under her palm – fleshy, gravid with advancing years, a thing she had always claimed she did not mind –, and although his mouth was smiling his eyes were not. If she’d had to put a name to the expression in them she’d have called it disdain.

He was waiting, she could tell, for something. She wasn’t sure what he wanted from her. That was different, and not entirely comfortable.

“It is what I’ve always wanted,” she agreed slowly. “But Owen, I’m twenty-nine. I only made commander a year ago. Even I know I haven’t earned it.”

His smile thinned, and some of that new and disquieting scorn bled into his reply. “You’ve earned it, Katie.”

And there it was: the confirmation she’d been dreading, and wilfully ignoring. And – damn it all – it hurt. More than it should.

She didn’t trust herself to speak. She got off the bed, off him, in silence and pulled on the little black dress she’d showed up in. It had felt so naughty at the time, so sexy, turning up at his family home in sky-high heels and a dress Julia could never have pulled off.

She laughed in spite of herself. What had she been thinking? Certainly not that he’d leave his wife for her, no, she had never wanted that, but … had she really thought that she could do this, this, with him, and still see respect when he looked at her?

Idiot, she scolded herself as she buckled her strappy shoes. Stupid, arrogant, fucking little idiot.

“Where are you going?”

He had the nerve to sound surprised. She didn’t answer. She straightened up, taking her time to shake out her hair and smooth her dress.

“Come back to bed, Katie.” She heard him patting the empty sheets, still warm, she was sure, from her body. “There’s no need to run away.”

The self-satisfaction in his voice curdled her stomach. You got what you wanted, it said. Now come and show me you’re grateful for it.

One hand on the door jamb, she turned and withered him with an over-the-shoulder glare.

“Go fuck yourself, Admiral, because I won’t be doing it anymore.”

The heavy door swung closed behind her and Kathryn’s stilettos carried her along the Berber-carpeted hallway. Her step was light and a smile broke over her face.

Leaving had never felt so liberating.