Summary: Impersonating the Captain Janeway of the Mirror Universe – the one who commands a brutal war fleet of captured Delta quadrant ships – is a hazardous exercise, even for a Kathryn Janeway who’s survived the Devore Imperium and the Terran Empire. Forced to contend with senseless violence, sexual sadism and the constant threat of betrayal, she’s worn down and desperate to escape her new life. But can she rely on her brand-new allies … especially the mirror version of Chakotay, whom she’s naturally inclined to trust, but who might have an agenda of his own?
Written for the @voyagermirrormarch fic event.
Characters: Janeway, Mirror Chakotay, Mirror Kashyk, Kashyk, Mirror Tuvok, Mirror Paris, Mirror Seska, Mirror Torres, Mirror Ayala, Mirror Kim, Mirror Janeway, Original Characters
Codes: Janeway/Mirror Chakotay, Janeway/Chakotay, Mirror Janeway/Mirror Chakotay,, Janeway/Kashyk, Janeway/Mirror Kashyk, Kashyk/Mirror Torres, Mirror Paris/Mirror Seska
Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own the rights to the Star Trek universe and its characters, which I am borrowing without permission or intent to profit.
Warning: Violence, rape/non-con and dubious consent.
No, is all Chakotay can think as Kash’s words echo in the thickening air of the ready room. But he squashes the visceral reaction immediately. It’s the perfect solution, and he knows it.
Kathryn is shaking her head. “I can’t do that to you, Kash.”
“Yes, you can,” Kash encourages her over the comm. “I can take it, Kathryn. I was an inspector in the Devore military – we’re trained to handle more pain than you can imagine.”
“I know,” she admits. “Kashyk likes me to watch him discipline his officers, and he’s not averse to –” She cuts herself off.
“Disciplining you, too?” Kash finishes for her.
Chakotay can’t help hissing air through his teeth.
“Speaking of Kashyk,” Kathryn cuts in, “I think we should bring him into the loop.”
“You can’t be serious,” Chakotay says flatly.
She levels a mild glare at him. “We need all the help we can get.”
“Not from him,” he retorts. “We can’t trust him.”
“I can handle Kashyk.”
“Yeah,” he says. “Looks like you’ve done a great job of that so far.”
On the other end of the comm, Kash clears his throat. “When you two are quite finished…”
“We’re finished,” Kathryn says, voice glacial. “Stay where you are for now, Kash. I’ll make sure Seska is released to care for the children. Janeway out.”
She closes the channel and turns to Chakotay.
“As for your other recommendation, Commander, I’ll take it under advisement. In the interim, I’d like you to take the bridge.”
“Where are you going?” Chakotay demands.
“To secure some help.” Kathryn stands, straightening her jacket, and brushes past him on her way to the door.
“Kathryn,” he halts her with a hand on her arm. “Be careful.”
Her eyes soften. “I will.”
He stays on the bridge until Kyoto comes to relieve him for Beta shift. The moment he’s alone in the turbolift he taps his combadge.
“Chakotay to Janeway.”
“Go ahead, Commander.”
“What’s your status?”
“I’ve briefed Kashyk,” she replies. “Come to his quarters as soon as you can, and bring Kash with you.”
“Understood,” Chakotay mutters, and closes the link.
The ‘lift opens on his deck and he makes for his quarters to collect Kash, but before he can reach his door, Torres rushes into his path and hustles him along the corridor and into an unused storage room.
“Something wrong?” Chakotay asks her, eyebrows arched.
“You tell me.” Torres locks the door and leans against it. “What’s going on with Janeway?”
“You’re going to have to be more specific.”
“Cut the crap, Chakotay.” Torres folds her arms. “She threatened to throw Seska and the others to the Kazon and never followed through. She sent Ayala to the brig rather than space him for pissing her off. And the way I hear it, she’s sending rescue teams down to Ledos instead of bombing the hell out of that planet. She’s a kitten, not a captain, Chakotay. So again I ask you: what the hell is going on?”
“Don’t worry about it,” he says. “I’m handling it.”
“Oh, you’re handling it?” She stares at him. “Are you sure? Because I remember the last time you thought you had her handled, Chakotay, and that didn’t turn out so well for you. Or for any of the Maquis.”
“Shut your mouth, Torres,” Chakotay growls. “You know that was down to Tuvok, and in case you haven’t noticed, he’s in the brig. I have it under control this time.”
“I hope you’re right,” Torres mutters, “because we’ve been planning this too long for you to fuck it up now.”
Quick as a striking snake, Chakotay slams a palm into her shoulder, pinning her against the door. “Remember who you’re talking to,” he snarls into her face.
“Keep your head, Chakotay,” she snaps back, unimpressed. “I know exactly who I’m talking to. What I don’t understand is why Janeway’s gone soft.”
“She hasn’t,” he says, releasing her abruptly. “She had me kill her duplicate, didn’t she?”
“And that’s another thing,” Torres pounces. “She was fascinated by her mirror self. Why kill her, all of a sudden? And why not kill the other Kash – I mean, Kashyk?”
“She’s taken a shine to him,” Chakotay shrugs. “You must have noticed he’s got a little more spine than Kash.”
Torres snorts softly. “That’s not all he’s got.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing,” she smirks.
She tosses her head. “What can I say? Janeway left me hanging this morning, and Kashyk was willing. No harm done.” She grins. “Nothing a dermal regenerator couldn’t fix, anyway.”
Chakotay’s eyebrows arch. “You’re screwing the captain’s new plaything? Are you insane?”
“Probably.” She licks her lips. “But it was worth it. That Devore knows how to fuck. I can see why she stayed with him. The other Janeway, I mean. Kathryn.”
Chakotay glares at the floor, jaw clenched.
“I guess that’s why Janeway had her killed,” Torres muses.
“All the more reason for you to stay away from him,” Chakotay snaps at her. “Keep it in your pants, Torres. We have work to do.”
“I could say the same to you,” she fires back, shifting to the side and yanking open the door. “So you’d better be sure you are handling it, Commander. Or we’re all dead.”
I remember the last time you thought you had her handled.
Chakotay kicks the storage room door shut behind Torres and tips his head back against the bulkhead.
That didn’t turn out so well for you, or for any of the Maquis.
It wouldn’t sting so much if B’Elanna wasn’t right … at least, in part. He’d had grand ideas of taking Janeway’s command from the moment she’d manoeuvred him into serving under her, but his plans hadn’t turned out well for him or his former crew. Not back then, and certainly not now.
But the most damning aspect of all was that any control he’d ever had was purely illusionary, and every rebellion he’d planned had come to nothing.
Because, in truth, he’d given up any pretence of handling the situation long before he and the captain were stranded on the planet they’d named New Earth.
From the very beginning she had toyed with him. He couldn’t look at her without noticing her parted lips and cast-down lashes; couldn’t be in the same room without feeling her presence. She touched him constantly. She said his name, even his rank, in that husky, throaty voice that turned it into a caress.
But she’d taken Tom Paris to her bed that first night she’d captured Chakotay’s crew, and she didn’t seem to want anyone else – at least until after the warp ten flight. Chakotay had never asked her why she’d rejected Paris after that, but it didn’t matter; Paris took up with Seska soon afterward, and Janeway began to fuck whoever she fancied. She’d screwed ambassadors and ministers and prelates from almost every Delta quadrant race they encountered, and had worked her way through well over half their amassed allies, not to mention most of the Voyager and Val Jean crews, by the time they reached Sector 428.
But she wouldn’t sleep with him, and Chakotay couldn’t understand why. He’d sacrificed his ship to save hers and she’d thanked him by imprisoning his crew. He’d vowed to serve her, and she’d rewarded him by flirting with him mercilessly but keeping him forever at arm’s length. He’d quelled mutinies and rebellions, and she’d cut him out of command decisions, trusting her pet Vulcan over him.
He’d offered himself to her in any way she wanted him, and she’d turned him down.
Had he wanted bedmates he wouldn’t have lacked for them, but perversely, the less interest Janeway showed in him, the more he wanted her, and only her. He thought about imposing himself on her, but the idea left him cold. He didn’t want to force her. He wanted her to come to him of her own free will, because she desired him.
Because she felt something for him, as he did for her.
And, sometimes, he thought maybe she did feel something for him. As the months wore on she began to confide in him more, to seek him out, to open up to him. She touched him even more frequently, and sometimes when they were alone he’d glance up and catch her watching him, and he would think he saw something in her eyes before she looked away.
It was B’Elanna who made him face the truth. “You’re in love with her,” she said in typical blunt fashion, after Chakotay had led a search party for Tuvok’s missing shuttle, returning in triumph with the injured tactical officer. “You could have left that Vulcan to die. She’d never have been the wiser, and you’d have been rid of your biggest rival. You’re an idiot, Chakotay. She has you exactly where she wants you.”
He’d shut her down, telling her he was playing the long game and her job was to keep the engines running and make alliances with the more disgruntled ‘fleeters. But he couldn’t deny the way his gut clenched at her words.
He needed to prove Torres wrong, so for the next six weeks he made seditious plans, and when Voyager reached Sector 428 and the captain ordered a rare shore leave, he set them in play … only for his meticulously-devised mutiny to be brought down by a small, biting insect.
By the time Chakotay makes it to his quarters to collect Kash, he finds the Devore pacing anxiously.
“The children?” Kash asks him immediately.
“Kathryn released Seska to care for them,” Chakotay assures him, and watches the other man’s shoulders relax a fraction. He notices Kash’s hair is rumpled, his skin still pale and eyes shadowed from his ordeal with the neural whip. “You okay?”
Kash nods. “Let’s go.”
Chakotay grasps his elbow as they stride through the ship’s corridors, arranging his expression in forbidding lines. The last thing they need is some overzealous Starfleet security officer challenging his authority, demanding to know where he’s taking the Devoran prisoner.
He keys in the override code at the guest quarters on deck six and ushers Kash inside, only to almost run into the man’s back.
“Kash, what the hell –”
But Chakotay cuts himself off as he takes in the sight that’s stopped Kash dead in his tracks.
Kashyk and Kathryn stand in the centre of the room, locked in an embrace; he has one arm clinched around her waist and the other hand is in her hair, his lips nuzzling her neck. Her palms press flat to his chest and her face, as they ease apart and turn toward Chakotay and Kash, is flushed, lips parted.
She opens her eyes, pushing against Kashyk’s chest, but before she can speak, Kashyk releases her and strides toward the pair of them.
“Are you insane?” he demands. “Whose idea was this? Did neither of you stop to consider that the only way this can possibly end is with all of us dead?”
“Kashyk,” Kathryn remonstrates, rubbing tiredly at her forehead. “It was my idea.”
He swings to stare at her, eyes narrowing. “I think you and I need to speak in private.”
“No,” Chakotay growls. “We don’t have time for this. The crew already suspects something.”
“It seems you’ve overestimated your talent for deception, my dear,” Kashyk says pointedly, “again.”
Kathryn presses her lips together. “I’ve reconsidered your plan,” she addresses Chakotay. “I’m not prepared to fire on Ledos unless it’s absolutely necessary, and I won’t execute or torture crewmen for disobeying orders. So as much as I hate the idea of it, the only option I can think of is to do as you suggest.”
She turns to Kash.
“If you’re still willing, I accept your offer.”
He nods. “I’m willing.”
“What offer?” Kashyk demands. He moves up behind her, sliding a possessive hand up under her short jacket, fingers spreading over her ribs. “What are you talking about?”
Kathryn ignores him, allowing the touch as though she’s used to it, used to being handled like property. Chakotay forces his eyes away from Kashyk’s roving hand and up to her face.
“While I was in the ready room I spoke to a Ledosian scientist named Barus,” Kathryn says. “He may be knowledgeable about the energy barrier we detected on the planet. I want to know more about it.”
Chakotay frowns. “Why?”
“Scientific curiosity,” she shrugs. “Who knows what we could do with a tetryon reactor?”
“Understood,” he replies. “I’ll have Barus beamed to the brig.”
“The brig?” Kathryn shifts, and Kashyk’s other hand finds her hip, tugging her back against him, holding her still.
Chakotay averts his eyes. “She,” he says pointedly, “would never allow an alien to wander freely aboard Voyager. Particularly one she intended to question.”
“All right,” Kathryn concedes. “That still leaves us one major problem. What should we do about Tuvok?”
For the first month after the Doctor brought them out of stasis, Voyager had remained in orbit while the captain worked furiously from the planet, trying to find a cure for the virus. But after the third mutiny attempt, Chakotay had forced her to face the truth.
The crew wouldn’t accept the status quo. They wouldn’t continue to take orders from a pair of planetbound leaders and one loyal Vulcan, and soon their Kazon prisoners would defect and they’d be alone, defenceless, at the mercy of the Vidiians and any other species who wanted a piece of them.
So she’d ordered Tuvok to assume the captaincy, to carry on with the mission and leave the two of them behind.
The plasma storm struck two days after they lost contact with Voyager, destroying all her equipment and leaving the captain desolate, shaking in his arms as they sheltered under a table in their wrecked cabin. It was the first time she’d shown him any vulnerability, and far from repulsing him as it should have, it twisted his heart into something tender. It made him completely hers.
From then on he made it a point to avoid her. How could he be near her, knowing the power she wielded over him so effortlessly? Knowing she would rather take her pleasure from her Kazon captives than go to him? Knowing that even now, when they were the last two people on their new earth, she didn’t want him?
But then she ambushed him. Waited until he’d come back to the cabin late after a three day hunting trip and had fallen into an exhausted sleep, crept into his alcove and shaken him awake. He bolted upright to find her beside him, her hair halfway down her back, nightgown slipping from one shoulder, her face white and tense.
“Why are you hiding from me?” she demanded.
“I’m not hiding.” He scrubbed a hand over his face, trying desperately to wake up, and she grabbed at it, twining her fingers tightly into his.
“Look at me.”
“I asked you to call me Kathryn.”
She had. Weeks ago, after the plasma storm, when it had become clear that they were stranded forever. But he found it almost impossibly intimate, and the only way he could kid himself that he hadn’t fallen for her completely was by retaining at least some measure of distance.
“Chakotay,” she pleaded, her voice softer than he’d ever heard it, and her other hand came up to cup his face.
He found that he was covering her hand with his own, that his body was leaning toward hers. She let her fingers drift onto his bare chest. He was sure she could feel his heart thundering.
Then he was touching her face, her throat, her bare shoulder, and she was angling her chin, tipping her face up so that their lips could meet. His tongue stroked into her mouth and she was gasping he was groaning and her hands were in his hair and his were on her body, pushing their way beneath her nightgown and onto soft skin, and he urged her under him, feeling her thighs part in welcome.
He’d thought he’d seen her at her most vulnerable the night of that destructive plasma storm, but after he brought her to climax, after he came inside her, she pushed her face into the hollow of his neck and wrapped her arms around him so tightly he grew confused and eased back to look into her face. She was laughing, he realised, but her eyes were wet and her hands were shaking.
“Why now, when you would never sleep with me before?” he asked her.
“Because I wanted you too much, you idiot,” she said, exasperated. “Because I love you.”
He kissed her for a long time before he could speak again, and then the first thing he said was “Kathryn,” softly, trying out her name aloud.
They had two perfect weeks together before Voyager returned for them. Two weeks in which he fell deeper and harder, grew more certain of her feelings, and finally, was brave enough to confess his own.
They weren’t making love when Tuvok and Paris beamed down with the cure; they weren’t even touching. They were just planting tomatoes, working side by side in the dirt. He was teasing her and she was laughing, and it was blatantly obvious to anyone with eyes, let alone to a Vulcan with senses highly attuned to his captain, that they were on intimate terms.
In retrospect, Paris’ presence was probably the only thing that had saved Chakotay’s life; the Vulcan, upon seeing how close the pair of them were, might well have simply vaporised him on the spot. As it was, he allowed Paris to administer the cure and had them both beamed to Sickbay. Before Chakotay could protest, Tuvok deactivated the EMH, confined the newly reinstated first officer behind a forcefield, and initiated a mind meld with the captain.
A meld so deep, so complete, that it altered all memory of the events of the past few months, the relationship she and her first officer had developed on New Earth, and the feelings she’d confessed to have been harbouring for him since the day they’d met. A meld that had bonded the captain to her tactical officer in a union that was at once profane and seemingly unbreakable.
It took Chakotay far too long to accept the truth: that the Kathryn Janeway he’d known and loved was gone, and was likely never coming back. And it was all thanks to Tuvok.
“Kill him,” says Chakotay. “It’s the only way.”
“No.” Kathryn’s tone is flat. “I will not allow anyone to kill Tuvok.”
“Trust me – you’d be doing us all a favour,” Chakotay insists. “He isn’t the Tuvok from your universe. You said it yourself – he’s sick. He’s obsessed with her. And he’s already inside your head.”
“No. You don’t harm him. And you make sure nobody else touches him, either.” She bats Kashyk’s hands away from her body and steps up to Chakotay. “Consider that an order, Commander.”
He huffs an incredulous laugh. “You can’t be serious –”
Before he can finish, the ship rocks savagely under a barrage of weapons fire.
Kathryn clutches at Kashyk’s shoulder to steady herself and slaps her combadge. “Janeway to the bridge, report!”
“Kyoto here, Captain. One of the Ledosian vessels from the advance fleet returned and attacked us.”
“Disable them,” Kathryn orders.
“Their weapons systems have been disabled. Preparing to target their warp core –”
“Belay that,” she snaps hastily. “Beam their injured to Sickbay and the rest of them to the brig. I’m on my way to the bridge now.”
“Understood,” Kyoto responds after a pause.
Kathryn closes the channel and meets Chakotay’s eyes.
“You don’t need me to tell you that she would have destroyed that ship,” he says.
“No,” she sighs, “I don’t.”
“What are you going to do with Tuvok?”
He watches her rub at her temple. “I don’t want him hurt,” she emphasises. “But he’s too dangerous. We have to disable him.”
“Then leave it to me.”
She watches him, eyes shadowed. “Chakotay …”
“Trust me,” he says, steadily holding her gaze. “I’ll handle it.”
Slowly, she nods. “All right. Thank you.”
Kash comes close and touches her elbow. “We can’t put this off any longer,” he says quietly. “As soon as you’ve finished on the bridge, you and I need to stage our little show.”
Her shoulders slump fractionally. “I know.”
“Show?” Kashyk, who’s remained uncharacteristically quiet throughout their exchange, steps up again, shouldering his double out of the way. “What show?”
Kathryn and Kash exchange glances.
Chakotay shakes his head, hiding a grim smile. “I’ll be in the brig,” he informs them, and turns for the exit.
“Somebody had better start talking,” he hears Kashyk demand as the door closes behind him.
Every cell in the brig is occupied when Chakotay arrives, and the guards on duty look nervous.
“Sir,” one of them says, snapping smartly to attention.
“As you were.” He strides past with a cool nod, halting outside the last brig on the starboard side. “Computer, initiate privacy shield around cell theta-two.”
Tuvok rises from the narrow bench and moves toward the forcefield. “Commander Chakotay.”
“Where is Captain Janeway?”
Chakotay cocks his head. “I don’t know what you mean, Tuvok. She’s on the bridge, of course.”
“No,” replies the Vulcan, “she is not. The woman currently in command of this vessel is the impostor from the alternate dimension.” He steps closer. “I repeat: where is Captain Janeway?”
Chakotay steps forward to meet him, feeling the static hum of the forcefield. “You’re right, of course,” he says, voice soft with menace. “But don’t worry – she’s safe and sound.”
“Of that, I am certain,” Tuvok states implacably. “You would not have harmed her.”
“If you’re so sure of that,” Chakotay folds his arms, “why are you so determined to get me out of the way?”
Tuvok’s cold eyes find his. “You have never been good enough for her.”
Chakotay stares, then lets loose an incredulous laugh. “You’re jealous,” he says wonderingly. “Some Vulcan you are.”
Tuvok says nothing.
Waving a hand, Chakotay continues, “Anyway, you’re in luck. For some reason Kathryn doesn’t want you dead. Which means I need to get you the hell out of my way without killing you.” He looks the Vulcan up and down. “I have one idea, but you’re not going to like it.”
Tuvok inclines his head. “I am listening.”
“All right,” says Chakotay. “But if we do this, we’re going to have to trust one another – and if you betray me, not even Kathryn will be able to stop me from slitting your throat.”
He waits for Kathryn in her ready room, standing by the viewport with the cup of black coffee he’s sure she’s going to want and the sandwich he’s sure she’s going to say she doesn’t need. By the time she enters from the bridge, she’s already rubbing fiercely at her aching temples and her face is white with tension. She stops short on seeing him.
“Tuvok?” she asks.
“I’ve taken care of it. The Ledosians?”
“Disarmed. Three are in Sickbay, four in the brig.”
“I’ve had Dr Barus beamed to the brig as well.” Chakotay gestures toward the couch. “Sit down.”
She climbs the steps warily. “What’s all this?”
“The sustenance you’re going to need to get you through the next twelve hours,” he answers, handing her the coffee and sitting beside her.
Kathryn sips, sighs and allows a small smile to flicker at the corners of her lips. “Thank you,” she says softly.
“You’re welcome. Eat.”
She glances at the sandwich with disinterest, but he pushes it toward her firmly.
“I’m not taking no for an answer, Kathryn.”
Instead of protesting further, she picks it up and takes a bite from one corner, chewing and swallowing with difficulty, then returns it to the plate and rests her head in her splayed fingers, elbow on her knee.
“What’s wrong?” he asks her.
“My stomach’s in knots,” she admits.
“Because of what you’re about to do?”
She nods. “It was easier, somehow, when I didn’t see it coming. When I had no real choice in it.”
Chakotay lays a hand lightly over hers. “Don’t kid yourself that you have a choice in it now,” he says. “In this universe, the only real choice we have is to survive or to die.”
“That doesn’t make it any better.”
“How can I make it easier for you?” he asks her.
“Just,” she bites her lip, “be there when it’s over.”
Chakotay squeezes her fingers gently and then releases them. Kathryn picks at the sandwich and stares out of the viewport at the planet below, her expression troubled.
“There’s something I need to tell you about Kashyk.” He hesitates, then says in a rush, “He’s sleeping with B’Elanna.”
She blinks. “Oh.” Then, “That could be a problem.”
Chakotay frowns. “That’s not exactly the way I thought you’d react.”
“It complicates things,” Kathryn says slowly. “And it makes me wonder what he’s up to.”
“You’re not upset?”
“Kash to the ready room.”
Kathryn’s hands still. “Go ahead,” she manages.
She raises her eyes to Chakotay’s, and impulsively he reaches out to lay his palm against her face. “You can do this,” he assures her. “It’s a performance. It doesn’t mean anything.”
“Right,” she whispers. She turns her face into his hand for a moment, closing her eyes.
Then she takes one long, deep breath, exhales, and stands, straightening her shoulders and hardening her expression.
“Report to the briefing room, Commander,” she orders, “and bring what’s left of my senior staff with you. I’m in the mood for a little entertainment.”
(To be continued...)